Next Best Action: It's Not Always About Making the Next Sale

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When people think of next best action marketing, they often associate it with steps that marketers can take to apply everything that's known about a customer to try to sell him or her another product or service. But as two customer experience leaders at British Gas shared at Pegasystems' Pegaworld 2016 conference last week, next best action technologies and techniques can also be used to better understand each customer and to take the next steps that are best suited for that individual.

When people think of next best action marketing, they often associate it with steps that marketers can take to apply everything that's known about a customer to try to sell him or her another product or service. But as two customer experience leaders at British Gas shared at Pegasystems' Pegaworld 2016 conference last week, next best action technologies and techniques can also be used to better understand each customer and to take the next steps that are best suited for that individual.

Despite its position as the largest energy and home services company in the U.K., British Gas competes with roughly 40 energy suppliers in the U.K. One of the ways that British Gas is trying to stand out in an increasingly crowded market is by using decisioning tools from Pegasystems to help it to learn more about its customers and to offer for the right service plan and price rates that are well-matched for each customer, says Steven Thomas, Head of Campaign Decisioning for the company.

"We're using analytics to get from a one-size-fits-all approach to customers to a segment of one," says Thomas.

The use of analytics and customer data is helping British Gas to gain a more complete understanding of its customers and their behaviors and to try to get its customers to use more of its services and extend their loyalty, says Thomas.

"It's not always about trying to sell something to the customer," says Thomas.

Personalizing the customer experience and offering services that align with each customer's energy usage enables British Gas to distinguish itself to customers, adds Jo Allen, Business Lead, Next Generation Decisioning at British Gas.

"In the end, gas is just gas, so we try to use decisioning to find ways to differentiate ourselves," says Allen.

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