February 4, 2016 | Written by: Francis Friedlander
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Part 1 – From Customer Centricity to Real Time and Contextual Customer Centricity
With the rise of the Internet and mobile, advertisements have become more prolific than ever. Customers are overwhelmed from having too many options. Therefore, it is crucial to differentiate your business from the competition by sending your customers relevant messages at the right time and place. Join us at IBM InterConnect 2016, and learn how true customer centricity can be accomplished with IBM Smarter Process.
This past May, I received a promotional SMS from my bank in France while I was in New York City. It was advertising a student loan. This was great timing because May is when I usually look at options to finance my children’s studies. In fact, one of my daughters was going to enter college in September. With that information, my bank was able to follow a customer-centric approach and show me a relevant offer about student loans.
My bank has launched an enterprise-level decision support platform based on the IBM Operational Decision Manager (ODM) business rule management system. This bank built its new generation “Next Best Offer” service on top of that platform, and it’s going to implement many other services, such as pricing, client onboarding and more, in the coming months. This platform uses predictive analytics and the bank’s customer relationship management (CRM) system. In addition, ODM provides line-of-business stakeholders with a natural language for expressing business rules. This helps them to make accurate decisions in line with changing market needs and changing regulatory requirements.
Obtaining the right contextual information
Actually, the timing of that SMS wasn’t perfect. Indeed, it would have been around 11 AM in Paris, but it was only 5 AM in New York. That SMS woke me up!
My bank could have discovered that I was in New York because I had withdrawn some cash in Manhattan the day before. I had also launched my bank’s mobile app, which has geolocation support, to check my account.
ODM Advanced and its Decision Server Insights (DSI) capability keep a live context for each customer. This context accumulates customer data and events, and provides insight into the past behavior, the current state and position, and the likely future behavior of the customer. Whenever I am withdrawing money, calling my bank or using my bank’s mobile app, the DSI platform updates my context.
Obtaining the right contextual information is key. I recently met the analytics lead of one of the most technologically advanced banks in the world. He told me the product recommendation propensity models they built are very accurate, but business rules and a context are required to operationalize them properly. Even if I am likely to buy a new house, I don’t want to be proposed a loan when I’m calling my bank because I lost my credit card!
Making it all happen in real time
In June, I flew to New York again. As soon as I landed, I checked my account, and a very timely message appeared on my mobile: “Welcome back to New York!”
To do this, my bank had to have correlated three separate events:
- My presence in New York in May
- A withdrawal I made at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport right before flying
- That mobile interaction from JFK International Airport
By doing so, my bank would have been able to figure out that I had just arrived in New York after having been there recently. Therefore, “welcome back” made a lot of sense.
What really impressed me was that my bank was able to seize that interaction to discover where I was, reconstitute my customer journey and push me the right message, all in real time!
Want to know how this was accomplished? Stay tuned next week for Part 2, where I’ll discuss proactive, cognitive, real time and contextual customer centricity.
Also, be sure to register for InterConnect, so you can check out the sessions related to customer centricity: BDM-1165, BDM-1242, BDM-1274, BDM-2029, BDM-2124, BDM-2672, BDM-2961, BDM-3229, BDM-4223, BDM-4336, BBP-4415, BDM-5075, BDM-5091, BDM-5553, BDM-5692 and BDM-5984.