Digital agility drives new customer-centric strategy

Built on feedback from more than 6,000 customers, this initiative produced the strategy, initiatives, and foundation for becoming a more data-driven, customer-centric organization.

The Challenge

Using customer data to meet evolving expectations 

Like others across the industry, AES Corporation’s two North American utility companies are transforming their business strategies to succeed in a digital world where customers expect to be understood and served with ever increasing speed and efficiency. The key to success is the sophisticated use of customer data by a culture that operates with purpose and agility.

While the two utilities recognize the importance of customers, their operations were not proficient at delivering consistent, differentiating, “customer first” experiences. Existing corporate metrics and processes focused on operations rather than customers. Furthermore, the utilities stored vital customer data across systems, inhibiting their ability to see and “know” customers across interactions. They turned to West Monroe Partners for its uncommon blend of industry, customer, technology, and data management expertise.

The Solution

Data fuels new opportunities

West Monroe facilitated 12 internal workshops to build consensus among internal AES staff. These workshops brought together internal stakeholders ranging from linemen to utility presidents and represented an array of business functions, including regulatory, customer service, corporate communications, and field operations.

The sessions included:
  • Customer journey mapping exercises to understand current “pain points”
  • Innovation workshops that identified ways to solve those pain points
  • CRM-specific workshops that gathered detailed business and technical requirements
The West Monroe team also captured insights about experiences and expectations directly from the utilities’ residential and commercial/industrial customers – including more than 6,000 survey responses and in-depth feedback from 60 focus-group participants. 

From the internal and customer input, West Monroe Partners and AES Corporation created a three-year customer experience strategy designed to break down business and technology silos and modernize its operating platforms. The team also developed an organizational structure that allowed AES to move towards a customer-centric model and execute future initiatives.

The strategy also establishes a set of guiding principles to motivate employees to focus on customer experience as the primary driver for operations and to deliver excellent customer service.

The Impact

Equipped to achieve more

The output included 10 actionable initiatives and a roadmap for implementing a future CRM solution to establish a single source of customer data, including interaction history and communication preferences. Armed with this key digital enabler, the organization’s utilities will be able to use data to create new approaches for interacting with customers and introduce new service offerings.

This highly collaborative project has positioned AES Corporation and its U.S. utilities to focus its culture, operations, and systems on using data to transform the customer experience. By involving stakeholders across all relevant business functions, the organization has achieved consensus for its customer experience strategy, key initiatives, and CRM roadmap—and equipped themselves to achieve far more, far faster, for years to come.
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