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Exploring data driven customer experience (DDCX) use cases in utilities businesses

Isaac Frimpong, Rebecca Rusby, Matthew Morris
30 Jun 2023

In a world where customer experience is the future, we take a look at how data can be collected, transformed, analysed, and activated in real time to enable enhanced marketing, customer service, and customer-facing portal experiences. Find out more in blog two of our Energy Transition & Utilities series.

In our recent blog post, we introduced the tremendous opportunity that utility businesses have to enhance customer experiences through the application of data-driven processes and decision making. We touched on the huge volume and variety of data sources available to be harvested, and how customers are increasingly expecting retail quality service and personalised communications.

In this second blog of our short series, we will explore data driven use cases within utilities and understand how to unlock value using Salesforce Data Cloud.

A) Applying DDCX techniques to solve business problems

DDCX uses a variety of techniques to unlock the potential of data to solve business problems. These include:

  • Establishing one view of the customer – bringing all customer data together on a single platform provides a shared version of the truth on which to base all customer engagements
  • Personalisation – making all touchpoints with customers targeted and personal – with customer service agents, in marketing communications and even when using self-serve portals – helps to drive loyalty and unlock value
  • Analytics and AI driven intelligence – using AI and ML models to drive intelligent recommendations for customers
  • Managing consent and preferences – managing in real time across all channels builds trust between customers and the business
  • Constant measurement and optimisation – assessing the effectiveness of marketing communications campaigns or self-service initiatives using KPIs enables ongoing improvement programmes.

B) Use cases

When exploring solutions it’s critical that objectives, current ways of working and potential optimisation opportunities are kept in focus. A DDCX approach groups use cases into categories by primary persona for the interaction, such as customers, service agents and marketing and sales professionals.

  • Customer – to enhance the customer experience, we focus on developing user-friendly self-service portals providing fast and easy access to usage and billing information, driving high NPS and retention, while reducing agent calls and associated costs
  • Service agents – by arming our customer service agents with the best data and insights possible to have the best conversations with customers when they do call, we turn every service interaction into an opportunity to deliver more value, while also reducing the cost to serve
  • Marketing and sales professionals – data enhances the effectiveness of outbound marketing by ensuring that the right message is reaching the right customer at the right time. Understanding customer interests and preferences enables cross-selling and up-selling, and ultimately increases customer lifetime value (CLTV).

The following list of use case examples are grouped using the customer, service agents marketing and sales professionals categories. This is an illustrative set of use cases applicable to the energy supply sector to identify where DDCX can make a distinctive difference for businesses and their customers.

Figure 1 – Energy Supply Use Case Examples

C) Customer journeys

Weather warnings

In the example below, the scenario of a severe weather warning is considered.

Each energy supply customer has specific requirements and the way they travel through the journey is personalised to their own preferences and needs.

Each journey begins with an engagement with the customer initiated by the energy supplier, leading to an interaction by the customer and a follow-up next step.
The related use cases from the previous section, (e.g., MS1, MS3, C1, CS2) are annotated within the journey.

Figure 2 – Example customer journeys with reference to use cases (see previous section)

The following diagram uses an example reference architecture to highlight the technology required from Salesforce and others, which can be enhanced or added to the system landscape to deliver data driven customer experiences.

Figure 3 – DDCX Reference Architecture Weather Warnings Use Case

Smart meter customer journey

The next example illustrates how smart meters can be used to drive additional, valuable communications with customers. The scenarios cover sample events which can be triggered via smart meter data, such as a low credit balance, gas safety and unauthorized access to smart meter devices.

Figure 4 – Smart Meter Data – Customer Journeys with reference to use cases

Using an illustrative reference architecture, this diagram showcases how technology from Salesforce and other providers can be used to enrich customer experiences, based on data.

Figure 5 – DDCX Reference Architecture Smart Meter Use Case

D) Evolution to DDCX

When adding new technologies to the landscape, an evolutionary approach is taken to build capability over time.  The chart below describes example milestones, with reference to the components on the landscape diagram above.

Figure 6 – Crawl, Walk & Run Chart

E) Summary

In conclusion, there are many uses cases where DDCX can be applied to enrich customer engagement. Salesforce Data Cloud helps unify data from multiple internal and external sources, to provide everyone in the enterprise to work from a single source of truth when engaging with customers.

It’s important to understand that the reference architectures provided are examples. Each client use case should be reviewed carefully to ensure the appropriate systems are used to develop the solution. In our final blog, we will explain the end-to-end architecture landscape and explore key fundamental components to deliver DDCX.

Isaac Frimpong

Senior Solutions Architect | Salesforce Marketing Cloud | Capgemini
Isaac is a skilled professional with a strong focus on Salesforce Marketing Cloud. His expertise extends to cross-cloud projects, complex integrations, and supporting digital engagement transformations. With certifications in Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Data Cloud, he brings exceptional proficiency in architecture delivery and implementing effective solutions.

Rebecca Rusby

Data Driven Customer Experience lead (UK & EU) | Capgemini
Business leader working across a variety of industries and on a diverse range of challenges, all centered around improving the way businesses utilize data, analytics and enabling technologies to optimize customer experience, across commerce, marketing, sales and customer service. Committed and passionate about improving knowledge of new growing areas of data and CX best practices.

Matthew Morris

Salesforce Innovation Director | Capgemini
In collaboration with our clients and experts, Matthew leads the creation of the next wave of multi-cloud applications.