Remaking Business Intelligence - CRM Systems

by Customer Inter@action Solutions' Brendan Read

For contact center agents, retaining customers and improving sales starts with data-gathering. And business intelligence--or "BI"--is one technology that helps turn data about customers into improved retention rates as well as profits.

Having solid BI methods and tools in place is becoming critical for firms what with forecasts showing a slow recovery, including with it marginal but growing increases in spending. Companies need to extract every last ounce of value from the data, obtaining from it a most accurate picture of what is happening with customers. This way they can fine-tune with customer relationship strategies to obtain maximum revenue at minimal costs.

At the same time firms need to look at refining their BI in view of changes in how customers interact and transact with organizations. They are using growing array of channels both traditional live-person (agent via voice, e-mail and chat, and retail/ counter), newer automated (Web, kiosk, and IVR (Interactive Voice Response) An automated telephone information system that speaks to the caller with a combination of fixed voice menus and data extracted from databases in real time. self-service) and the latest: social media. That means firms have to look at hard at the types of data that can be collected from these interactions, which could force them to change how they aggregate, analyze and process them.

#1 Ranking: Read how InetSoft was rated #1 for user adoption in G2's user survey-based index Read More

The payoff in having the right BI methods in place is enabling companies to stay competitive or better yet, best their competition in today's environment where there has been a commoditization of many products, pricing and even service.

"You can relatively easily gather for example that some of your customers are satisfied dissatisfied from surveys," says Boris Evelson, principal analyst, Forrester. "But to automatically and proactively infer the reasons for their satisfaction or dissatisfaction from their activity in their account, e.g. all of a sudden they start withdrawing money, or when they complain on Facebook, require a comprehensive BI application. Having that capability is what differentiates companies from each other.

"If you can make a better, faster decision on information with it [BI] from your customers than your competitors guess which one is going to respond with the most success? And when your analytics does cover social media as an extra dimension and are more insightful then obviously you will make better decisions and that will be your competitive edge."