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Increase Retention by Adapting to Your Customers

Case Study

ScottishPower is one of the ’big six’ suppliers in the UK’s retail energy market, providing energy to more than 5 million customers. In addition to keeping your home cozy, offering you competitive rates, and delivering a greener energy future, ScottishPower positions itself as an energy leader that you can rely on to make a difference.

“Retention is critical. Alterian drastically helped us adapt quickly enough and target smartly enough with in-the-moment personalisation to keep our brand top of mind for maturing customers no matter where they interacted with our brand.”

Craig Paterson, Head of Digital, ScottishPower

Adaptive Marketing at ScottishPower

According to Craig Paterson, Head of Digital at ScottishPower, adaptive marketing is customer service. ScottishPower wants their customers to always feel known and understood. Creating personalized experiences and convenient services for existing customers increases satisfaction leading to higher retention rates and increased lifetime value (LTV). Exceptional customer service also turns their existing customers into loyal brand ambassadors that help them organically acquire new customers through word of mouth which is significantly more cost effective than traditional customer acquisition efforts.

A Successful Adaptive Marketer™

A successful adaptive marketer at ScottishPower is one that puts the customer relationship first, and is constantly finding innovative ways to turn their customer experience into a unique identifier so that existing customers remain satisfied and ScottishPower maintains a competitive edge in the UK utilities marketplace.

Adaptive Marketer™ Challenge & Objective

When a customer’s contract is due for renewal, the customer has the option to renew or switch energy providers based on who can offer the best rates and customer service. ScottishPower found that many customers drop out of the process to research competitors after they’ve seen their renewal price. ScottishPower’s Adaptive Marketer™ challenge was to find a way to appropriately remind renewing customers to complete the renewal process if they dropped out.

Mikes are a maturing customer whose fixed-rate contract is due for renewal soon. As an Adaptive Marketer™, I want to create an Adaptive Customer Experience™ for my Mikes ... by influencing their decision to renew their contracts ... so that my business can reduce churn ... and my customers can receive a personalized renewal experience and remain satisfied.

Previous Customer Experience

ScottishPower’s previous linear channel-centric campaigns did not allow them to fully adapt to Mike’s unpredictable behavior, resulting in missed opportunities to dynamically personalize content in-the-moment reminding Mike to complete the renewal process during his interactions across any channel.

Missed Opportunities

  • If Mike dropped out, he was not followed up with personalized interactions
  • If Mike dropped out and returned, he would have to restart entire process
  • If Mike renewed via another touchpoint, he would continue to be targeted
  • Mike was not being recognized before authenticating on known devices
  • Mike wasn’t being targeted in the mobile application at all
  • Can’t measure the success of targeting

Adaptive Customer Experience™

ScottishPower leveraged the combined power of the ACX Platform, including Insights, Campaign Manager, and our Dynamic Decision Engine to upgrade their linear channel-centric trigger campaigns to dynamic customer-centric real-time campaigns. They centralized all their customer data and centralized the decisioning logic so that the latest state of Mike’s relationship could be used to personalize content in-the-moment and maximize existing and new opportunities at any time in their ecosystem.

New Opportunities

  • Messaging is personalized in-the-moment on necessary channels using the latest state of his relationship
  • If Mike drops out of the process, he would be reminded to renew across all channels
  • If Mike drops out of the process, all channels would know his current progress
  • If Mike renews, he will immediately no longer be targeted across all channels
  • Mike was being recognized and targeted before authenticating on necessary channels
  • Success of targeting is measured using web behavior data

Opportunity Tree™

Mike's New Experience

ScottishPower’s main objective is to appropriately remind and encourage their existing customers to start and complete the account renewal process with the best rates. They designed an Opportunity Tree™ to outline their adaptive customer experience for Mike’s unpredictable behavior. Opportunity Trees™ show all the potential opportunities to align Mike’s needs with ScottishPower’s business objectives. The following is an example of how ScottishPower is maximizing every opportunity to increase LTV with Mike and create the best possible customer experience while doing so.

11:00 AM – Mike receives a letter from ScottishPower through the post notifying him that his current fixed-rate energy contract will expire in 6 weeks and he has the opportunity to renew for another fixed term.

11:05 AM – Mike logs into his account to get a renewal quote. He starts the process and sees his new rate. He then leaves the website to check this rate against ScottishPower’s competitors.

11:10 AM – While on his desktop computer entering his details on a comparison site, Mike receives a personalized email from ScottishPower containing the product and price he was quoted earlier, plus additional messaging on how simple the renewal process is. The pricing on the comparison site is not compelling enough to switch, so he clicks the link in the email.

11:15 AM – The link in the email takes him right back to where he left off in the process on the website. This reassures Mike of how easy it is to renew with ScottishPower. He adds an additional warranty to his quote, but receives a work call and does not complete the process. He closes the desktop browser.

8:00 PM – Mike checks his email on his phone and sees another email from ScottishPower with the updated quote and products. Mike has a bit more uninterrupted time now, so he clicks on the email link and is taken to the mobile app.

8:05 PM – Mike is now on the ScottishPower mobile app. He is taken right back to where he left off and completes the renewal process within a matter of minutes. Mike will no longer be targeted with renewal messaging on any channel.

Market to the Opportunity™

Discover - Planned their strategy by prioritizing the business objective and confirming Mike’s persona.

Design - Centralized all their marketing (historical slow) data into their Insights Adaptive Marketer™ Data Environment and created the audience segment based on the full context of Mike’s relationship.

Define - Designed an Opportunity Tree™ during our ACX workshop to expose all the potential opportunities they have with Mike including the slow and fast data needed to remind him to renew.

Deploy -Created decisioning logic using both Mike’s slow data from the Adaptive Marketer™ Data Environment and the in-the-moment fast data from each channel, associated them to Mike’s campaign, and deployed using the platform.

Slow Data

  • CRM profile data
  • Customer allocated to a control group
  • Customer’s score based on propensity to churn
  • Actual renewals from third party agencies
  • Last recommendation made when logged in
  • Email address

Fast Data

  • Current product / future dated product
  • Products currently on offer
  • Inferred renewal from third party agencies
  • Products selected during renewal process
  • Stage the customer dropped out
  • Channel / device in use

Results & Benefits

  • 4 months to deploy, including initial integrations and testing
  • 1 week after deployment to see statistically significant results
  • 1 hour instead of 1 month to deploy system-wide configuration changes without needing assistance from IT
  • 4 hours to deploy real-time rules across entire ecosystem