Panel Discussion: Digital Channels: Strategies, Challenges and Opportunities


Digital channels already are the starting point for most customer-care interactions. Yet as companies rush to respond by launching new channels, many wind up with a costlier, more complex network that fails to improve overall customer experience, reduce call volume, or lower costs. Panelists will share their strategies for avoiding these pitfalls, discuss their recent successes and identify new opportunities for delivering a seamless, tailored digital experience.


Moderator: Steve Waters

Senior Consultant, Chartwell, Inc.

Steve Waters joined Chartwell in 2021 as a Senior Consultant with more than 20 years of energy industry experience at CenterPoint Energy in IT, Corporate Communications and Marketing. Steve’s responsibilities there included executive speechwriting, management of omni-channel communications projects, web content management, email marketing and marketing automation, social media, and content marketing. Since 2009, Steve has been a member of several Chartwell leadership councils include Outage Communications, Smart Grid, and Customer Experience. He currently brings his industry experience to connect Chartwell member utilities to energy solutions.  



Sheenam Arora

Director of Customer Technology, Salt River Project

Sheenam’s team is responsible for ideation, delivery and support of a diverse product portfolio geared towards both customers and internal employees.  Products supported include Power mobile apps for SRP customers to make bill payments and interact with SRP, My Account portal, Contact Center telephony system, metering head-end systems and payment kiosks at stores. Sheenam joined SRP 10 years ago and received MS in Information Management from Arizona State University in 2014. 


Sonia McCollum

Digital CX Manager, Southern Company

Sonia is a digital and customer experience expert with over 20 years in this space spanning roles in Technology, Customer Service, Marketing, Corporate Communications and Customer Experience.  She has managed teams across the Southern Company footprint including Georgia Power, Mississippi Power, Southern Company Services and now Southern Company Gas.  In her current position as Manager of Digital Self-Serve Customer Experience, she is leading the efforts for transforming existing self-service channels such as the My Account site and IVR as well as integrating new channels such as virtual assistants in a cohesive connected experience for the customer. 


Sid Arigapudi

Director of Digital Experience, DTE Energy 

Sid is an executive with leadership experience in Business Development, Transformation, Project Management, Operations, Innovation and Analytics. He is skilled in developing and leading multiple strategic initiatives ranging from standing-up new business functions to enterprise systems implementations. Key aspect of all his roles are to maximize ROI through innovative customer focused solutions leading to increased brand value along with customer acquisition and retention.