Customer Experience Uplift Program

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Melbourne Water manages and protects Melbourne’s major water resources on behalf of the community. The organisation touches all parts of the water cycle that are essential to our way life: from providing clean drinking water, treating sewage, managing flooding, and keeping Melbourne’s rivers, creeks, and catchments healthy.

As an organisation, Melbourne Water wanted an uplift in customer focus. People at Melbourne Water agreed that there wasn’t enough focus on customers and what their needs were. In addition, guidance and structure to customer digital governance was lacking and the strategy and tactics were not clear enough. Melbourne Water simply did not put customers first.

Exco Partners were engaged to create a digital customer experience framework that is simple and practical for internal Melbourne Water people to use and that delivers meaningful experiences to customers.

Our approach

Most organisations place too much emphasis on mindsets. Long lasting positive change comes almost exclusively through action (behaviours) and habit-building. Tailoring the approach for this effect, the emphasis of the Melbourne Water program was to develop and embed a select number of skills and focus on staff building them into habits where they form part of the ‘way things are done’.

The overall objective was to build foundational customer experience skills (including mastery skills in specialist areas) and capability uplift across the entire Melbourne Water organisation.

Our framework for customer experience uplift:

Make it everyones job

Customer experience is often considered the domain of front-line workers. The sales and customer staff for example. CX uplift requires commitment from everyone.

First build the fundamentals

Most organisations place too much emphasis on mindsets. Long lasting positive change comes almost exclusively through action (behaviours) and habit-building.

Customers focus

It is important that everyone uses the customer and the customer’s objectives at a north star in their decision making.


Exco approached this project by understanding the biggest pain points in the organisation to design a course to address those needs.

The first phase, Discover + Assess focused on understanding Melbourne Water’s current state, future state and how to get there. This was done by interviewing Melbourne Water employees. The interviewees were very engaged, providing invaluable insights and resources. The co-design approach meant Exco could create meaningful and targeted training modules.

The second phase, Synthesize + Create involved converting discovery (interviews and existing Reputation & Customer Satisfaction data) into desired module content. The modules covered the learning approach, tools, habits and outcomes. These learning modules blended media, individual, group and facilitator-led approaches and incorporated activities that will build CX capability, but also be able to function as stand-alone areas of learning for participants.  

Exco worked with people in Melbourne Water to deliver these materials and incorporated assignments for participants to complete between modules to keep focus. It was also agreed that leaders would give people time during their day to practice what they learnt in the modules.

The final phase, Test + Roll out focused on rolling out the modules to the ‘Early Adopters’, a group of employees at Melbourne Water that were deemed subject matter experts within the organisation. This allowed the group a chance to review the content and to further strengthen out the learning modules with participants. Exco gave a range of tools that they can use with customers and taught them how to use it and set an internal culture where they can practice this e.g. a Teams group was created so individuals can share questions.

The result

Exco developed and delivered seven customised customer experience capability modules to train and coach staff across the organisation from frontline and team leaders to management.

Foundational courses focused on the basics:

  • Who are the customers, and why are they
  • Delivering exceptional services
  • Open communication and engagement
  • Relationship management

Mastery courses focused on:

  • Developing sustainable strategic partnerships
  • Community Engagement
  • Turning insights into action

Courseware was also enhanced with digital vlogs covering key content and train-the-trainer services were provided.

Exco partners surveyed the participants after delivering the training modules. Results showed that the program was valuable:

  • 100% of respondents said they learnt something new;
  • 89% of respondents rated the quality of the training 4/5 out of 5;
  • 95% of respondents rated the quality of the instruction 4/5 out of 5.


Exco successfully researched, designed and implemented training modules at Melbourne Water to manage customer-facing content and services. Melbourne Water can broadcast the learning throughout the organisation to ensure lifting customer awareness and focus. Selected Early Adopters will assist in strengthening the learning content and approach to roll-out the training modules and continue the CX capability building.