Customer Preference Management System

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Case Studies

Executive Summary:

Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) identified that implementation of the Customer Preference Center (CPC) solution is a key component within the overall customer service strategy to increase customer satisfaction, provide customers choice in communication channels, and increase self-service adoption. CPC sets the foundation to allow the customers to select which communication they want to receive from SMUD, when they receive it, how often they receive it, and through which communication channel e.g. text message, email, phone call. The preference center stores their preferences and provide a database that can be queried and used for specific outbound communication such as demand response, bill and outage notification as well as store information for marketing “Do Not Contact” list. The solution was developed with flexibility for future growth in channel and messaging types.


Overcome Challenges


SMUD supports multiple outbound notification campaigns, all with their own intricacies, limitations and business processes. Very little, if any, preference information is collected for each notification category / individual campaign and data that is collected is housed in disparate systems. Not being able to collect and store preference information in a centralized manner is resulting in inefficient and inconsistent processes limiting the ability to meet customer expectations in a changing market.

In order to respond to this challenge, SMUD has solicited proposals for the procurement of a system integrator to design and build a customer preference management solution (Customer Preference Center) into its current SAP/CRM system. SMUD’s project objectives are to:

  • Provide customers with an online one-stop-shop to establish notification preferences across multiple channels and internal programs
  • Accomplish this within its existing SAP/CRM system infrastructure
  • Provide the Customer Service Representatives, an interface for customer preferences to accommodate those customers without internet access
  • SMUD sought a solution that is scalable, flexible and works well within SAP framework
TechNet's Solution

TechNet’s Solution:

Tech-Net’s CPC solution was built on an existing SAP framework that has resulted in elimination of custom code for CSR data entry into the preference management solution. The system leveraged the standard SAP CR&B processes to manage preferences (automatically create, end, reinstate), based on the customer transaction. Tech-Net’s preferences management solution provided IT infrastructure to extend CPC solution to customer self- service portal. The solution has minimal to no (zero) impact on the future upgrades.

Results and benefits:

  • All preferences housed within SMUD’s system of record, i.e. CRM.
  • System is agile enough to incorporate additional channels/ communications as they are offered and developed by SMUD (outgoing text, push notifications etc.)
  • Integration of Contract Management with Customer Preference Management
  • Rapid deployment, less impact on regression testing, seamless integration, less training impact, scalable, upgrade compatible.
  • Supports the building blocks of a preference center, i.e. Certify, Capture, Update, Honor and Analyze
  • The solution sets foundation and will be leveraged for upcoming projects such as Customer 360.
  • Customers are provided with 360 degree view of the information SMUD has for them with full control over their own information.

Customer Profile

  • Sixth largest public utility in the United states serving a total population of 1.4 million
  • Recipient of the highest residential customer satisfaction ratings of any utility in California in the JD Power & Associates survey, for 12th straight year
  • SMUD had the 2nd highest JD Power & Associates score of any large electric utility in the United States
  • Received 2nd highest score in the USA for commercial customer satisfaction in 2010
  • SMUD’s energy efficiency and renewable energy programs are recognized nationally for their leadership and innovation.

"Rapid deployment, less custom development, configurable business rules, flexibility in integration with future channels, leverage SAP CRM’s standard framework, central repository of preferences data, single solution for residential - commercial customers, scalability are some of the features that made Tech-Net’s CPC, a clear choice at SMUD."

Marty Katz
(Director, IT Projects)


"Tech-Net’s CPC solution fully leverages customer master data in SAP CRM and eliminates data redundancy. It tightly integrates into contact management, eliminating the need for manual intervention and data redundancy."

Amber Connors
(CRM IT Lead)


"With features like add, delete, end, apply to all, relationships and contact person’s ability to set preferences, integration with CRM master and transactional data, Tech-Net’s CPC solution has become an integral part of SMUD’s customer information management."

Kristin Butts
(Business Unit Lead)

Technology Used

  • SAP CRM Framework for preference management
  • Business Rules Framework Plus