January 25, 2017

What we learned from the Water Utility Conference

CDS at the Water Utility Conference

CDS at the Water Utility Conference

As one of the main sponsors of the Water Utility Conference last week, we spoke to many delegates and listened with great interest to the excellent speakers. Perhaps unsurprisingly the themes that emerged were around challenges that many other businesses in the UK also face.

We reflect on these below but firstly the hot topic is, of course, the fast-approaching deregulation of the Water Utility business market.

Dealing with deregulation

With the opening of the Water Utility business market only a couple months away, we will soon see the introduction of competition for the first time and an influx of newly licensed retailers operating in a new B2B market.

We expect to see the emergence of new products, the introduction of more bundled services, higher customer expectations, tighter margins and new initiatives aimed at improving efficiency, driving innovation and enhancing customer service.

Our thoughts: adopting an approach that aligns your services closely with customer wants as well as their needs will put you in a stronger position to win business in this new environment. Right now, we’re helping South West Water accomplish this.

360-degree customer view

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Is a 360-degree view of your customer just a dream? It is fair to say we all recognise that Google and social data from Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms offer far more insight into a customer than most company’s CRM systems.

The challenge of how to track customers and their communications, in an ever more complex omnichannel world, and present a single customer view is a desire of many marketing and customer service teams.

Our thoughts: when the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law comes into force companies will need to be prepared. The benefits of a 360-degree view of your customers include improved customer service, higher customer engagement, greater customer retention and higher conversion rates. However, you’ll want to choose suppliers who understand the law and can help implement the changes needed to ensure compliance. 

Omnichannel

Today, customers use multiple channels and they expect excellent customer experiences across all of them.

Our thoughts: building a marketing distribution platform that can support every customer touchpoint and can combine content with customer data and integrate channels, communications and systems is critical if your goal is to achieve a seamless and positive customer experience. (Interesting thought piece here.)

Customer Engagement and channel shift

Ensuring customers are engaged and aware of your products and services is more important than ever during the infancy of the new business market.
In the consumer market, many of you are striving to move customer engagement from traditional channels (i.e contact centres) to alternative low-cost digital solutions. By doing so, businesses can reduce the cost per transaction and drive improvements in efficiency.

Our thoughts: Developing solutions that support on and offline communications and provide an optimum customer experience, will be key to ensuring success. We’re working with Aberdeen Asset Management, the Metropolitan Police Service, Birmingham City Council, South West Water and many more on this challenge. Good article about the complex communications landscape here.

Interested in this story and want to find out more? Contact Paul Meersman on 0113 399 4000 or email us via our contact form.