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Customer Advocacy

Utilities | Customer experience improvement

Growth Needs Assessment

To help prepare for the introduction of C-MeX, new measures of customer experience, on the Severn Trent wastewater services contract, Amey Utilities recognised the need to raise awareness amongst the field engineers of the impact of their behaviours on brand reputation and customer experience.

Journey4 were commissioned by Amey Utilities to design and implement a ‘Customer Advocacy’ training programme for more than 500 field engineers (crews). The initial focus was on the reactive repair and maintenance crews, civils crews (excavation and reinstatement works) and planned works crews, across the Severn Trent region. A modified version of the training was also applied to the back office scheduling, planning and customer service teams.

This training formed part of a wider customer engagement programme in preparation for Amp7 (Ofwat new price review period) and the new measures of customer experience (C-Mex), where brand reputation played a bigger part in the overall customer satisfaction score.

Our Approach

The training provided the engineers with a greater awareness of their behaviour and impact on customers and gave them new skills in communicating and engaging with the customer. We collaborated closely with the supply chain partners and Severn Trent in designing and rolling out the training.

An important requirement of the training, was to implement it in a live 24/7 operational environment, without impact on the operational performance. To acheive this we carried out training in depots across the region at periods in the day when the demand on the crews was at its lowest, for example at the start of the day and at the end of the day shift.

The main elements of the training programme included;

  • Amey ST Vision / Amp7 – why are we doing this?
  • Severn Trent Values
  • Brilliant basics
  • Core behaviours
  • Body language
  • Empathy
  • The conversation cycle
  • Influence v concern
  • Bad behaviours
  • Vocal dashboard
  • Written communication (calling cards)
  • Accountability
  • Good and bad behaviours summary (take away)
  • Consistency

Impact of our work

We completed pre and post questionnaires with the engineers to check their level of understanding and gathered feedback on how useful they found the training. The average score from the crews was 9.3/10 on the post course questionnaire and we received many positive free text comments, for example;

“Very good session. This is required more frequently to recap ongoing issues”.

We minimised the disruption to the daily operations, and tracked key performance measures throughout the training period. Overall service levels were maintained and the number of jobs completed each day during the training period were maintained at pre-course levels.

We completed extra sessions at the end of the programme to catch anyone who could not make the training course in their region, owing to sickness, holiday or operational priorities.