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Arcadia Voices is an interview series highlighting the work, insights, and ideas of those working with Arcadia to build a 100% clean energy future. In this installment, Alexis Juneja sits down with Senior Member Experience Representative Monique Thomas to discuss Thomas’ passion for serving Arcadia members and ensuring there’s a clean energy option for everyone.

For Monique Thomas, member experience isn’t just part of her job title; it drives everything she does at Arcadia. Thomas joined Arcadia after previous roles in customer service, and today she supports our members over email, phone, and chat. For her, everything comes back to being a good advocate — for our members, for the company, and for the environment.

We have different backgrounds, different interests, different traditions… But we all come together to promote the mission of making clean energy an easy choice for everyone.

Thomas was environmentally conscious before coming to Arcadia, but she was new to clean energy. She decided to go all in when she joined Arcadia and learn as much as she could. “I still had a ways to go to get my own understanding of how renewable energy worked,” she says. “But I was willing to make that commitment and I’m glad I did.”

That commitment helps Thomas better understand the questions members ask and mentor new colleagues on how to do the same. It helps her explain to members how they’re helping the demand for a clean energy future. And it drives her to constantly wonder how she and the rest of the Member Experience team can be better advocates. “We’re the first touch a member has and that impact will go a long way with the relationship we have with each other,” she says.

We talked with Thomas about her time at Arcadia and how she always shows up at her best to support members.

Alexis Juneja: What brought you to Arcadia?

Monique Thomas: I joined Arcadia because it had a mission to make clean energy accessible to everyone. There’s so much going on with our climate, and we still have a ways to go. This is where Arcadia piqued my interest. With my strong background in customer service, I knew I could help our members understand what we do and how they can help make an impact.

How would you describe the work culture?

Every day is not like the day before. Change is constantly happening throughout the company. I love that everyone is receptive and engaged to change. With change comes growth. With growth, possibilities are endless.

We’re all dedicated here. We want to give everyone a chance to support renewable energy and each team puts in the work to make this happen.

Every day is a learning process, a chance for us to grow and serve our members and prospective members in the best way possible.

What’s it like to work on the Member Experience team?

With Member Experience, we’re dedicated to understanding all of our product offerings so we can relay this back to our members. It’s grown so much from when I started, when we were just about wind energy and renewable energy credits (RECs). To be able to offer Community Solar with no upfront costs, our Smart Rate program, home efficiency projects… We’re trying to change the game and we’re here to stay.

My colleagues are like a second family. They’re amazing and that’s what separates us from most.

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What are some aspects of the culture that resonate with you?

Diversity is something that resonates heavily with me. All of us come from all walks of life. We have different backgrounds, different interests, different traditions. But at the end of the day, we come together to be advocates for Arcadia and to promote our mission of making clean energy an easy choice for everyone.

Diversity also goes hand in hand with openness throughout Member Experience. I love this, as we can analyze different aspects of the business from different points of view. There is no wrong point of view in my eyes. We want to be as transparent as possible with our members and sometimes our conversations with them — whether it be via email or over the phone — spark thoughts within Member Experience. The fact that we can express these ideas without anyone judging promotes the continued openness within our team.

What do you enjoy most about working at Arcadia?

Every day is a learning process, a chance for us to grow and serve our members and prospective members in the best way possible. I live firmly by a Bill Gates quote: “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” If someone is upset, somewhere down the line something wasn’t clear to them.

I want our members to understand that there is something here for them.

This is why we have our Member Experience team. We want to give our members an experience, a positive one, something that they can relay to their friends and family. We can show that we understand where they’re coming from. This comes down to answering questions and being as transparent as possible with what we’re offering as a business.

How do you always show up at your best for members?

My colleagues would say I hone a lot of calmness within myself. You’ll sometimes hear them say, “I’m trying to channel my inner Monique.” I love to hear this as I try to make my own impact on the team. Things aren’t perfect; we shouldn’t expect them to be.

One part of my role is being available for escalations. I learned early on that empathy goes a long way. I worked face to face in my previous role. I had to be mindful of my tone and facial expressions. If I was having an off day, I would sure hear about it, as we had frequent mystery shoppers. This made me value empathy so much, because even if I’m going through something, I remember that our members are relying on us to answer any questions or understand and ease any concerns they may have. They’re counting on us as their advocates.

I’m also very direct with our members. This goes back to my calmness; I’m firm in what I say but there’s a calming undertone to it. I want our members to understand that there is something here for them. I want them to understand that our programs are put in place because we know some people can’t afford their own solar panels, or their utility might not offer a renewable energy program. I’m direct in letting them know, “We’re here for you, let’s go over what we offer, and what will work best for you.” Taking that time to explain is what they need. They’re reaching out for a reason.

What is your favorite sustainability hack?

We’ve been using a sustainability hack for years: I don’t buy chemical products to clean my household. I buy a big container of vinegar, put it in a spray bottle, and start scrubbing away. I’ll add some tea tree oil sometimes, as I already use this for my hair and it has antifungal properties. I owe a big shoutout to my mom, as she faithfully cleaned the house when I was growing up with just a bottle of vinegar.

What excites you about the future at Arcadia?

I love Arcadia. If you can wake up and actually enjoy going to work and look forward to making an impact for our members, we’ve got a good thing here! I’m excited to see what we do in the upcoming year and how we can expand not only our team, but also more choices for our members toward a clean, renewable lifestyle.

Want to change the future of energy?
Come work with us
Alexis Juneja

Alexis Juneja is the Senior Vice President, People & Impact at Arcadia. Follow her on twitter at @lexjuneja.

Washington, DC