Customer Intelligence: Turning Insight into Action
Author:CSC Town Hall
Our panel of experts discuss how to pick up on the digital cues your customers are leaving for you. Using specific examples from the insurance and banking industries, they show you how to revolutionize customer engagement by providing continuous value.
Understanding the value of big data is one thing; finding ways to actually work with it is another. Today, advanced analytics are being used to help companies develop a wider view of their customers to better understand their histories, wants and needs.
Victoria Green, a customer intelligence business architect at CSC, says customer intelligence can be thought of in two ways. “One way is the gathering and compiling of the details about a customer at each touchpoint. The second way is about producing the insights about the customer that are both smart and useful to the company. Customer intelligence is important because it can guide the company’s leaders to make better informed decisions with measurable results.”
That distinction is not lost on industries like insurance or banking says Rich Carreau, director of innovation and insurance software development at CSC. That’s because insurers, he says, have a “cradle-to-grave” experience with their customers. “Record low interest rates make insurers pay more attention to their brand and their relationship to customers,” he says. “Insurance looks at itself now in a more retail format which will rely on a more intimate customer experience, and banks find themselves in a similar situation.”
So what does it take to develop an effective ability to collect customer intelligence and use it well?
Green says a 360-degree customer view has three main components – raw data, derived data and insights. “Raw data is information like names, preferences, contact and call center history, purchases, etc., while derived data is information the company is able to synthesize based on raw data, such as customer lifetime value,” Green says. “But the most valuable data is insights generated from predictive analytics that can tell you a customer’s propensity to buy, who’s likely to leave or who’s most profitable to pursue.”
“Having that complete view of your customer and making it available to your customer-facing teams – marketing, sales and call centers – all at the same time, will help you offer customers a personalized experience,” she says.
Ryan Miller, Americas sales lead for big data platforms at CSC, says one of the biggest challenges is managing the many different types of interaction points that a company can have with customers – call centers, branches, social media – to name just a few. “You need to make sure there’s a cohesive message across all those and ensure that everyone has access to the same information – which has to be accurate information,” he says.
And then there’s the matter of knowing who your customers are. Carreau says that for industries like insurance, that may not always be the case. “Few insurers have had a direct relationship with customers. They’ve relied on their channels which have owned the relationship with customers,” he says.
Green agrees, and calls out several more challenges. “One is just managing the real-time flow of structured and unstructured data. Another is that customers have come to expect a certain level of personalization,” Green says. “Companies need to be informed about their customers, but that’s what customer intelligence is all about.”
- Rich Carreau, Director of Innovation and Insurance Software Development, CSC
- Victoria Green, Customer Intelligence Business Architect, CSC
- Ryan Miller, Americas Sales Lead, Big Data Platform, CSC
- Jeff Caruso, Senior Managing Editor, CSC