Utilities Deputy Director of Customer Experience & External Affairs

The Utilities Deputy Director of Customer Experience and External Affairs is a newly created position serving as part of the executive leadership team at Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU).

The Deputy Director is responsible for managing customer experience, stakeholder relations, and external public affairs for TPU, ensuring that customer outcomes factor into every organizational decision.

As the Deputy Director, you’ll have financial responsibility for a $75.2 million biennial budget and personnel decision making authority for five direct reports and a total staff of 197 FTEs.

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About this team

At TPU, we’re excited to bring Customer Experience to the forefront of what we do.

We believe:

  • All customers and communities deserve to experience compassion and equity from their utilities
  • We must be knowledgeable, empathetic advocates, who provide consistent, equitable support that leads customers to the right solution for them
  • We are partners with our customers and create dialogue with them that is understanding and supportive and continues to evolve as the community and technology evolves
  • Data is a powerful tool that should inform decisions from our employees, customers, and community, through the lens of both qualitative and quantitative insights

About The Role:

Reporting to the Director of Utilities, the Deputy Director will lead and oversee staff in four key units: Customer Services; Community & Government Relations; Customer Experience & Market Development; and Communications.

The initial key projects this role will focus on:

  • Implementing organizational change to operationalize customer experience transformation
  • Sponsoring TPU customer experience strategic initiatives and leading customer experience change management
  • Establishing and implementing KPIs and contact center optimization
  • Championing customer experience transformation and
  • Finalizing and overseeing Customer Experience technology roadmap implementation to support the above

Essential Duties
  • Build a customer-centric culture across TPU and its divisions: oversee the strategy, planning, coordination, and direction of new and existing customer experience programs, policies, and procedures for all customer types across all utilities.
  • Oversee integrated communications for TPU: media relations, public relations, marketing strategy, and customer, employee, and market communications.
  • Provide strategic guidance on legislative and regulatory strategies.
  • Operationalize a seamless customer journey built on customer value across all functions to drive productivity, enhance self-service, increase customer satisfaction, decrease customer effort, and empower employees to effect change.
  • Infuse a voice of the customer approach across TPU programs, communications, customer service operations, and others to create a holistic customer experience: share customer sentiments, market trends, data analysis, and leading practices.
  • Drive cross-functional focus on customer outcomes, value and experiences, utilizing a metrics-driven approach including quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Develop and oversee a stakeholder management strategy across the service territory that includes elected officials, political liaisons, local governments/agencies, key accounts, and community leaders and facilitates strong relationships in support of TPU’s community and policies.
  • Manages and directs the department financial activities including budget development and procurement; monitors and administers budgets, revenues, and expenditures from multiple sources and for multiple activities.
The Ideal Candidate
  • Possess a high level of professionalism, integrity, and passion for the customer experience.
  • Experience overseeing large complex departments and establishing goals, metrics, and deadlines while showing empathy for the customer and passion about the customer experience and satisfaction.
  • Strategic and innovative thought leader who is comfortable interacting and influencing stakeholders.
  • Strong collaborator, who works effectively and efficiently across departments with customers, executives, employees, boards, committees, and regulatory agencies.
  • Strong analytical capabilities, qualitatively and quantitatively.
  • Excellent communication skills, both orally and in writing. Ability to communicate complex topics to a broad spectrum of audiences. Strong listening skills with appropriate follow-up.
  • A strong commitment to equity in action, and the transformation of a workplace to deliver services.
Education & Experience

We are seeking candidates to serve as our new Deputy Director who possesses a relevant combination of the education, demonstrated experience, and skills in some or all of the following areas*:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in business or public administration, engineering or related field and
  • 10 years’ experience including prior supervisory, managerial and/or subject-matter expert experience

Equivalency: 1 year of experience = 1 year of education

Desired Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in above areas or related field
  • 10+ years of progressive work experience with utility-related issues and customer experience
  • Executive level leadership experience in any or all of the following: customer experience strategy, community or public affairs, government or stakeholder relations, and customer or market development communications.
  • Experience driving change through influence with the ability to build strong relationships with cross-functional partners.

*Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they meet all of the qualifications listed. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job, and that candidate may be one from a less traditional background. If you have transferable experience, please tell us about it.

Compensation & Benefits

This salary range for this position is $173,264 – $243,963.20 DOQ

The City offers a comprehensive total rewards package with one of the best pension packages in the market. For complete details, please explore the City of Tacoma Benefits Guide and Tacoma Employee’s Retirement System website.