Safe. Caring. Dependable. Efficient. Those are the four Service Keys that help all DTE employees make better decisions for our customers and provide service excellence. The power of these Service Keys has never been more evident than in a recent event in Canton.

Late last year, we visited a residence to install a new smart meter and restore power after it had been temporarily shut off. Upon arrival, we quickly realized, not only was the power off, but there was 18 inches of water filling the basement.

Due to having no power, the home’s sump pump stopped operating. The homeowner had been unaware of the outage as she was staying elsewhere due to medical reasons. Her son, who occasionally checks the house, reported it to DTE.

Once aware of the situation, the Distribution Operations team collaborated quickly to figure out what they would be able to do to help. Jeremy Smith, supervisor of field underground, took it upon himself to go the extra mile.

“It was an unfortunate situation,” Smith said. “But through our collaboration we were able to get to the home quickly, talk with the customer and provide the level of customer service that is expected from us.”

Smith made it a point to not only go and try to comfort the customer but bring equipment to help. He brought a pump to empty the water from the basement, coordinated an overhead crew to reconnect the power and after the power was on, worked to get the furnace running.

“It was important for me to go out and personally make sure our customer felt cared for,” Smith said. “Our job shouldn’t stop at restoring power. We should make sure we leave every customer with a positive experience and better perception of DTE.”

Smith emphasized how being positive and transparent can go a long way in situations like these to improve customer satisfaction. He also raved about the help his coworkers gave that night.

Jerry Tullio, overhead field supervisor, Peter Bean, underground technician, Chris Falls and Jordan Kmiecik, overhead linemen, and Scott Haidy, underground cable splicer, all assisted that night. The job would not have been possible to complete if not for the teamwork that took place.

“This is a situation that really demonstrates our service keys – specifically caring and dependable,” said Bill Cloutier, recently retired director of the Southwest Region. “Even during a rightfully stressful moment, the customer couldn’t have had more positive things to say about DTE. He was very grateful that we went above and beyond and helped him in this way.”

“You can’t measure the impact of having team members that understand our service mission and demonstrate it in their daily work,” Cloutier added.