Utilities that want to become more customer-centric need to do more than just implement new technology, increase first-contact resolution, and update their branding.
E Source E NewsYou need employees in all functions and at all levels to think and work in customer-centric ways.
February 20, 2020

Engaging employees in the utility customer experience

Utilities that want to become more customer-centric need to do more than just implement new technology, increase first-contact resolution, and update their branding. They need employees in all functions and at all levels to think and work in customer-centric ways.

Unfortunately, most efforts to engage employees in the customer experience (CX) don’t succeed. Companies often bombard employees with messaging, bribe them with customer-related incentives, and bore them with training. But to establish a customer-centric culture, you need to take a people-centric approach that speaks to employees’ intrinsic needs and motivations. We recommend following the 6 Es of employee engagement.

The 6 Es of employee engagement

The 6 Es of employee engagement is a research-backed framework for engaging all employees in improving the customer experience. By following the framework, you can better support and motivate employees so they’re involved in CX initiatives and committed to those outcomes.

Empathize. How might you develop a deep understanding of employees’ attitudes, beliefs, assumptions, and constraints related to becoming more customer-centric?

Engage. How might you involve all employees in becoming more customer-centric?

Educate. How might you ensure that every employee understands who your customers are and how they influence your customers’ experiences?

Enable. How might you equip all employees to deliver the best possible CX?

Empower. How might you create the conditions that allow employees to deliver incredible experiences and outcomes for customers?

Embrace. How might you encourage and recognize the customer-centric attitudes, behaviors, and outcomes we want to see?

Putting the 6 Es to work at BGE

Working closely with E Source, BGE used the 6 Es framework to engage employees and, as a result, improve customer satisfaction.

After reviewing E Source research, BGE focused on increasing employee awareness of the company’s CX strategy and goals by conducting a series of CX discussions with employees throughout the company. E Source provided a guide and agenda to help BGE facilitate these discussions, which followed the guidelines for the first E—empathize.

The utility also built a cross-functional network of CX champions to continue the work of engaging various departments in customer-centric ways of working. The network of CX champions now conducts its own CX discussions, embodying the principles of the second phase in the 6 Es framework—engage.

BGE saw an almost-immediate return on investment from engaging employees with the CX strategy, in the form of customer satisfaction improvements. From 2017 to 2018, BGE moved from sixth to third place among large eastern utilities in the J.D. Power Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study.

To learn more about how BGE improved employee engagement and customer satisfaction, read our report How BGE used E Source expertise to engage its employees and improve the customer experience.

Read the report

Let E Source help you authentically engage your employees

If you’re focused on driving improvements to CX, you’ll need employees throughout the organization who are connected and committed to your strategy. Through the E Source Customer Experience Strategy Service, you’ll gain access to research and expertise to guide your efforts and increase your odds of success.

Need more help? The E Source Consulting and Advisory Services team will roll up their sleeves and work right alongside you to develop and implement proven strategies and tactics for CX and employee engagement.

About the author

ERYC EYL

Customer Experience Senior Manager

Eryc is committed to improving the experience of work and business for employees and customers. His expertise in CX, employee engagement, organizational culture, and change comes from more than two decades of experience in high tech, telecommunications, consumer goods, and the utility sector, as well as from coaching and consulting with clients in a variety of industries. Eryc earned an MA from the University of Colorado and a BA from Vassar College, and is a Certified Customer Experience Professional. He’s a recognized expert on work-life balance and is certified in organizational culture and change management.

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Contributing Authors

Senior Solution Director

Eryc Eyl is committed to improving the experience of work and business for employees and customers. His expertise in customer experience, employee...