ORIGINAL REPORTING: Utilities look to Netflix audience clustering model for customer engagement
Utilities look to Netflix audience clustering model for customer engagement; As efforts to engage customers grow, utilities are looking to data analytics, online portals and personalized messaging to better understand diverse customer preferences.
Herman K. Trabish, Jan. 8, 2019 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: Is it customer engagement or is it behavior manipulation? Only the customer knows for sure.
Efforts to make customer engagement more effective are expanding. That engagement is a crucial response to the customer demand driving the power sector's accelerated shift toward renewables and distributed generation, leaders in the industry have found. Higher levels of engagement also allow utilities to align their interests with their customers. Personalized, targeted survey insights give utilities a better understanding of their customers, and are crucial to utility tasks such as balancing peak demand management with customer costs. SECC customer focus groups have identified customer segments and ways they can be effectively reached because mass marketing to the general population gets very little results.
Segmentation resembles what Netflix calls "clustering," and is one of three Netflix customer engagement practices that Bidgely has adapted for utilities. The other two Netflix practices are looking beyond customers' stated preferences to the preferences revealed by their behaviors and making customer visuals appealing. That is why utility website design is one critical aspect of utility engagement, according to a survey of energy industry executives. Over half (56%) of interviewees said ease of use is the most important portal feature, the highest agreeing score by more than 30%. The Duke Energy and Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) platforms demonstrate many of the best practices of customer engagement, but different customers are responsive to different communications. Emerging strategies focus on online access to bill payment and customer support, as well as delivering energy usage insights… click here for more
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