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The customer's influence on decisioning

There was an interesting question posed over on Bankwatch this week when Colin posted about using Enterprise Decision Management (EDM) to improve the customer experience. Colin asked how external influences on a customer can be included in the decisioning process - how can I make a decision about his/her experience as a customer that takes into account their likes and dislikes, personality and so on.

This is an interesting question and is paralleled by how a decision can take into effect a customer's voluntary regulation. It seems to me that an EDM approach would result in a couple of parallel threads on this topic:

  • An EDM-centric customer experience would allow a customer to interact explicitly with the rules that govern some aspects of the interactions they have
    This is akin to Amazon's feature that tells customers why certain things were recommended and allows them to tune this.
  • An EDM-centric customer experience would leverage all data available that might give implicit insight into the customer's wishes
    Which webpages do they look at? Which products do they own? About which products have they inquired? What kinds of complaints have they made (about interest rates or late fees for example).
  • An EDM-centric customer experience would try and segment customers by what kind of interaction style they preferred as well as the kinds of products they might buy
    Web or phone? Advice or self-service? Value-add or lowest-price?
  • An EDM-centric customer experience would use demographic and pyschographic data from outside the company to improve profiling.
    Using external data to identify customers changing life stage or moving house for instance.
  • An (advanced) EDM-centric customer experience might include non-relational information from blogs, wikis etc to tune the interaction

The customer's attitudes and interests and the impact on them of their community and experience absolutely should be taken into account. It's just harder and so can probably wait for phase 2!

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