Published in Energy/Utilities

Ameren Missouri’s Gains CX Success Through Culture Change

In today’s service-obsessed world, community and citizen expectations are rising. Ameren Missouri has been acutely aware of the fact that they need to compete with new trends, employee needs, control operational costs, and implement modern technology to help them better serve their customers. In a recent webinar, Ameren Missouri shared how they have improved and sustained a 90 percent satisfaction rating for their call center representatives.

Culture Affects All Aspects of Engagement

Ameren Missouri realized that by improving their employee engagement, they would in turn improve their customer satisfaction. This realization was catalyzed by the fact that employee engagement was down and employees were not satisfied with their jobs. They set out to make an “all in” employee mindset initiative to better improve satisfaction. This initiative ensures that the concerns of their customers, shareholders, as well as fellow co-workers, are taken into account. In addition, they targeted specific aspects of the employee experience in order to further elevate their customers’ satisfaction. These include:

  1. Improving the hiring process
  2. Involving co-workers in the process of innovation and creating solutions
  3. Providing new career paths for employees
  4. Integrating CX insights at all levels of the organization

Improving the Hiring Process

Previously, Ameren didn’t have educational requirements for their positions, hiring based off a prospect’s ability to perform their tasks and work a computer. These requirements were changed to require at least 60 hours per year of education per employee. Not only did this raise the level of employees hired but allowed employees to continue their education which led to increased opportunities within the organization, and in turn, higher engagement.

Involving Co-workers in the Process of Customer Innovation and Solution

Ameren Missouri decided to put forth a survey of how the organization could improve. They received hundreds of replies about how various parts of the organization could be streamlined. An effort was made to reply to each of these suggestions. The most requested suggestions were moved forward and implemented, utilizing the employees to bring them into play. This not only improved the organization overall, but improved employee engagement by letting the workers be a part of the solution and innovation of Ameren Missouri.

Providing New Career Paths

Many employees would simply be hired and stay where they were. Not because they wanted to, but because there was simply nowhere to go. Part of the process improvements at Ameren Missouri were to create career paths for the employees that were hired. This would allow upward movement, through advancement of positions and pay, as well as embedding that “all in” CX mindset from the get-go. This showed employees that Ameren is invested in those they hire and improved employee engagement overall.

Integrating CX Insights at all Levels of the Organization

This step was critical to ensure that all employees were moving in the same direction. Meetings are held daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually to discuss how the customer and organizational engagement is faring. In order to promote success, customers verbatims are frequently communicated to employees and rewards and recognition provided to those exciting the customers most. Finally, in the spirit of continuous improvement, Ameren Missouri focuses on the elements of the interaction that have the greatest impact on the experience –the key drivers—those things that build relationships with the customers rather than merely performing a transaction.

Baby Steps to Success

By improving the hiring process, involving co-workers in innovative solutions, providing new careers paths, and integrating CX insights at all levels of the organization, Ameren Missouri was able to achieve and retain not only high-value and engaged employees, but also highly satisfied customers. But Ameren’s success didn’t come overnight. It was through tackling the low hanging fruit and small improvements that allowed them to achieve the success they did. If you’d like to learn more about Ameren Missouri’s success story, you can watch the full webinar here.