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Analytics + CRM = Happiness

I saw this article - Analytical CRM gaining gravity globally - today and it reinforced a trend I have noticed before. There is more and more talk about how you can get more value from your CRM investment.  Although this article focused on the value of using Business Intelligence-type analytics on your CRM data and on delivering this insight quickly, there are other ways to get more value. If we take a decision-management approach we can ask "what decisions will be taken where the data our CRM system collected is helpful". Some of these decisions are taken by people, such as identifying a new segment to target with a marketing campaign, and BI technologies are entirely appropriate to enable this. Some, however, are taken by people who have neither the time nor the skill to use BI tools (CSRs or tellers for instance) or even by automated systems (billing system, website, ATM).

What you need in these latter cases is an automated decision enhanced with the insight derived from your CRM data. You need to deliver business intelligence on your customers to those who design campaigns, set policy etc and then give them the power to manage the business rules that determine how a CSR or ATM responds to a customer.

If you can derive predictions about your customer's likely behavior from the CRM data, even better. Now you can add those predictions to your data and write ever more advanced rules about how to treat customers - someone predicted to become a Gold customer soon but not yet there could be directed to the gold desk, for instance, to reinforce the value of remaining a loyal customer.

Ultimately you need to develop decision management applications for these customer treatment decisions and embed them behind your ATMs, call centers, website, billing systems - every touch point. This ensures consistency of treatment and leverages your investment. Ensuring that analyticaly derived insight powers these decisions and that the business owners control the rules in these decisions ensures both precision - the best possible decision - and agility - the power to respond to changing circumstances.

Precision, Consistency, Agility.

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