Hearing the Voice of the Customer: Coast to Coast

To build a consistent omni-channel customer experience for Alinta, we first had to understand the needs of their customer base.

Alinta has two separate operating models in the east and west coast of Australia. To gain an in-depth understanding of all Alinta’s customers, their journey and their needs, we designed a customer journey map for each coast. This helped to uncover vast differences between the two models and the unique challenges each one faced.

Alinta Energy customer journey maps graphic

Building the Bigger Picture

To generate the insights we needed to transform Alinta’s customer service program, we reached out to their customers, assessing their needs, understanding their motivations, and walking in their shoes.

We designed and conducted online customer surveys for over 1000 customers and 30 face-to-face interviews to give us the depth of information we needed to produce valuable and actionable insights.

In line with our “outside-in” approach to customer research, we actively worked with Alinta’s staff, listening to recorded calls, shadowing call-centre staff, and conducting frontline interviews with customer-facing personnel.

This allowed us to develop empathy for their customers and employees and produce insights that would not have been possible if we had been on the outside looking in.

Alinta Energy and Proto conducting customer research Alinta Energy and Proto conducting 7 days in my life study

Distilling data into design

Leveraging the depth of our research and the connections we were able to build with Alinta’s customers, we constructed a specific set of actionable insights for each coast.

These addressed vital issues in the customers’ journey such as perceived lack of transparency and clarity in communications on the east coast and lack of a systemised on-boarding process for customers on the west coast due to being the incumbent provider in that market.

Refocussing on the Customer

Drawing on the insights our research had revealed, we were able to produce a vivid and visual map of Alinta’s current customer journey that highlighted existing pain-points, backed up by customer verbatims.

To solve these issues we generated 11 distinct mindset shifts, complete with actionable initiatives, that would guide Alinta in creating a refocused customer experience program that would deliver a fantastic customer experience at every possible touch-point.

Alinta Energy and Proto co-creating on ideas and initiatives

Clarity that drives impetus for change

The initiatives developed were visualised into compelling storyboards that provided a practical understanding of every touch-point and channel from their customers and employees’ perspective. The findings highlighted specific issues caused by the misalignment across key departments, in particular the different call centres and procedures that needed to be better connected.

The clarity Alinta gained from the results created a mindset shift that drove impetus for change. Alinta understood that in order to improve their customers’ experience, they would first need to improve their employees’ experience and provide staff with the tools to succeed. Phase two of our work with Alinta is helping them re-design their employee experience and create the ideal call-centre experience.

Alinta Energy customer initiatives graphic designed by Proto

“Alinta Energy had for a long time been focused on extracting the most value for the business and not necessarily the customer. Culturally we needed to really shift the way we were thinking. Now when we develop any new processes, we put on our customer hat and look at it through a different lens. Working with Proto was a leap of faith, but the work they've developed and the way we've been able to embed it in the organisation has been absolutely phenomenal, and we're getting the outcomes we want."

Felicity Clark, Customer Experience Manager at Alinta Energy

Delivering phenomenal outcomes


“Working with Proto was a leap of faith, but they have become a major strategic partner in our CX evolution. The work they've developed and the way we've been able to embed it in the organisation has been absolutely phenomenal, and we're getting the outcomes we want.”

Felicity Clark Customer Experience Manager

Bringing a new approach and mindset


“Proto is different. They roll up their sleeves and get busy working with us to do thing we wouldn’t have been able to do ourselves. They bring a new approach and mindset to get fresh insight by using design tools and methodologies that create solutions to really get things done!”

Michael Storey Head of Customer Engagement

Halving your customer churn


“Without the customer experience insights from the research program, we would not have been able to identify the acquisition issues that we had. Changes to the customer interactions that led up to financial protection have reduced the outflow rates by 50%.”

Felicity Rowcliff Dean Customer Centred Design Manager

Take your NPS score to the next level


“From an NPS perspective, I have gone Spinal Tap on you guys and gone to 11. I still think the work you did with us, the way you went about it and the deliverables amounted to one of the best pieces of consulting advice I’ve ever commissioned.”

Matthew Liebmann Chief Operating Officer

Exceptional prototyping


“The outcome of the prototyping has been exceptional and we continue to use the knowledge and expertise that Proto shared with us during their engagement. The icing on the cake for me was that Proto captured all of the insights from the customer workshops into an organisational asset that we now use as an integral part of our toolkit for training and briefing new team members.”

Sharon Nanetti Optimal Care Program Director

Prioritising what matters


“Proto’s in-depth customer research helped us to uncover underlying customer needs that wouldn’t have been possible without an ‘outside-in’ approach. The team identified the core customer problems and provided actionable insights that enabled us to remove key areas of customer friction and frustration and redesign a credit card experience like no other.”

Christian Johansson Head of Marketing, Customer Finance

Achieving a 20 point increase in NPS


“I have worked with Damian and the team at Proto for several years. In this time, they have worked collaboratively with us to build a roadmap of strategic ‘outside-in’ initiatives that ultimately resulted in a 20 point increase in NPS. They imparted a great deal of CX knowledge, approaches and tools that have been invaluable to the team and the business.”

Amanda O'Donnell Head of Customer Experience

Insight driven, customer centric ideas


“Proto revealed and captured a ton of insights, putting Gumtree in a position where we can take our experience from good to great!”

Coen Horrevoets Head of Product

Award-winning customer experiences


“We won the AFR Smart Investor SMILES award for Best Online Broker. This award is based on customer voting and I believe this was as a result of a clearer focus on our existing clients which you helped us to understand.”

Arnie Selvarajah Chief Executive Officer

Design that reduces cost to serve


“The Proto team demonstrated flexibility in their approach which made such a refreshing change. They took the time to coach and mentor each of us in a highly creative and energetic environment. Furthernore, they helped us exceed our customer satisfaction targets, all whilst stripping out in excess of 20% of our service costs in under 12 months. Proto helped us to stay focussed on the customer which enabled us to win in the market.”

Matthew Anderson Chief Operating Officer

Service innovation at scale


“We worked with Proto on an exciting & unprecedented challenge at Optus, to design the customer experience of the future. Damian & the team had high energy & together we operated as ‘one team’. Proto worked hand in hand with us to bring the internal team up to speed, & also brought in global experts to work with us to take our deliverables to another level of quality & innovation.”

Dan Sunderland Director of Customer Experience Strategy and Planning

Actionable Customer Strategies


“Proto developed a membership strategy that addressed points of friction along our members journey, identified opportunities to improve and clarified the types of engagement that our members needed at the different stages in their career. We were impressed with the depth of insight that Proto were able to bring to the project - as well as the energy and ideas that they helped to generate.”

Sarah Prescott-Thompson General Manager Shared Services

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