Enterprise Intelligence: 5 Steps to Ending a Whac-a-Mole Approach

If you are reacting to customer and competitor actions, you are already behind; but enterprise intelligence can get you back in the game

Executives responsible building and marketing compelling customer experiences in financial services and insurance – or those responsible for customer service and retention – must feel like they are stuck in a never-ending game of Whac-A-Mole.

In the highly unlikely event you’ve never played it, Whac-A-Mole is a classic arcade game introduced nearly 50 years ago.  It is a kiosk game with a waist-high playing surface with five holes, where plastic “moles” reside; these moles randomly pop up out of their holes, but quickly drop back down into them.

Whac-a-Mole game

A player stands in front of the kiosk with a foam mallet and tries to “whack” each mole before it disappears into its hole; they earn points for each hit… so the better their aim and the faster their reaction, the higher their score.

What makes Whac-A-Mole so difficult is that the moles’ appearance is random and fleeting… just like customers and prospects in the financial services and insurance industries.  In Whac-A-Mole even if you start to swing the instant you see one popping up, it’s often gone by the time your mallet lands where it was… only to have the mole-next-door pop up. There’s no way to predict when and where they are going to appear, or how long they will be whack-able, so Whac-A-Mole can be an incredibly frustrating and exhausting game.

Real-Life Whac-a-Mole

Banking and insurance companies marketing to fickle consumers are trying to leverage enterprise intelligence to build effective, lifecycle-long customer management solutions. Their challenge is to attract and retain new customers and curtail defections by existing ones before they disappear… hence, the comparison to Whac-A-Mole. Building these solutions, and then marketing them effectively, can be frustrating and exhausting… not to mention expensive and time-consuming.  Nothing dings an efficiency ratio like the repeated swings-and-misses that enterprise intelligence can help to eliminate.

Digital transformation – the apex deployment of enterprise intelligence – is supposed to help companies build fully customer-centric solutions. But, as in Whac-A-Mole, it seems like every time you nail one problem in the digital transformation journey, another pops up.  This probably helps to explain why 70% of digital transformation efforts fail to achieve their desired outcomes, even though some aspects of an enterprise intelligence solution are in place.

Who’s Whacking at Your Client Base?

It’s no secret that customer loyalty is largely a remnant of the past, and defection rates are at an all-time high in both banking and insurance. What are some of the warning signs that things are not going smoothly in your customer acquisition, management, and retention efforts?

  • Long-time clients suddenly disappear without explanation; you know they didn’t just stop needing banking or insurance services… they just stopped needing them from you.
  • New prospects appear out of nowhere and complete bank loan or insurance paperwork… but before you can verify their identity, assess their risk potential, and approve then, they’ve already signed with someone else.
  • Across your product portfolio, you are losing clients at a faster rate than you are gaining them. You see snazzy new digital-first competitors growing like crazy, with more launching every day.  Your intuition tells you that you’re fighting a war of attrition… and maybe you’ve lost the high ground.

Strategy, Timing, Precision

But what if you knew when and where every prospect, like in Whac-a-Mole, was going to pop up before they actually did? Or better still, what if you could entice them to pop up exactly when and where you wanted, so you could be there waiting?  That is the ideal state of customer management – true customer centricity – made possible through enterprise intelligence.

Sometimes called “applied intelligence,” enterprise Intelligence is the ideal state achieved by successful digital transformation, a tremendous advance in the way corporate and client data are accumulated, processed, and analyzed. It ensures smarter, faster, more profitable decisions at every customer touchpoint by persistently driving verified data through models, rules, and analytics enriched by artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) to devise strategies that will produce the optimal outcomes. 

As these strategies are enacted, enterprise intelligence correlates the approaches suggested, the actions taken, and the results they delivered; this makes the system smarter with each pass… resulting even smarter decisions next time around.  Thus, enterprise intelligence helps companies to:

  1. Make consequential use of more – and more types – of data, to instantaneously aggregate and assimilate deep client knowledge, and then understand its relevance, applicability, and potential for competitive advantage.
  2. Glean valuable, actionable insights to drive unique, non-intuitive customer solutions, while timing actions to occur at the most opportune moment… catching clients at precisely the right time to gain their business.
  3. Continually improve outcomes by maintaining a deep, analytical understanding of underlying strategies and their results, in order to quantify the effectiveness of programs, simulate new / better alternatives, and assimilate “lessons learned” for ever-improving ROI.

The 5 Building Blocks of Enterprise Intelligence

To success in achieving enterprise intelligence, companies need to reach the following five milestones, best attainable through the concerted use of an enterprise digital decisioning platform.

Milestone 1: Unify and Mobilize the Enterprise

Enterprise Intelligence optimizes and monetizes the use of people, data and analytics across the enterprise. By connecting-the-dots and filling-in-the-blanks in your enterprise customer information, it identifies new opportunities and ensures better decisions at every point of client actions across the lifecycle, improving over time.

Milestone 2: Empower Business Users

After unifying their organizations to act with collective intelligence, disruptive companies bring the heat of the marketplace into their planning: they empower business users to create and manage the strategies, rules and analytics that drive decisions and actions – without dependence on IT. By effectively doubling the manpower able to test and build analytics solutions, enterprise intelligence helps companies foster a market-driven approach to digital decisioning, and can cost-effectively pursue a wider range of scenarios, faster than ever before.

Milestone 3: Expose, Leverage Decision Assets

With their book smarts and street smarts working as one, fused into a unified enterprise intelligence network, companies can begin to aggregating decision assets from across the enterprise and integrate them into a common decisioning platform. This allows them to leverage and re-use these valuable assets in perpetuity, creating an upward spiral in both the quality and return-on-decisions decisions across the entire customer lifecycle. It also gives them the ability to create customized, targeted decisioning customer experiences that are consistent, transparent, explainable, and expandable as needed over time.

Milestone 4: Simulate, Optimize before Production

Having promising strategies and solutions is one thing; validating and fine-tuning them before deploying them is another matter. Simulation and optimization work together to generate highly accurate predictions about programs’ prospects for success, with dashboards displaying predicted and compared-to results. enterprise intelligence helps firms maximize the success rate and ROI of their decisions, by iteratively simulating and perfecting them prior to launch to ensure optimal outcomes. Thus, companies attain highest possible degree of certainty that new programs will perform as desired before putting them into production.

Milestone 5: Automate the Delivery of Personalized User Experiences

By providing an all-encompassing view of clients, enterprise intelligence empowers companies to offer tailored experiences that are reached by, and infused with, deep customer intelligence. These personalized customer service solutions span all channels, enabling companies to effectively serve their clients' immediate needs and accurately predict future needs... the secret formula to ensuring customer satisfaction, loyalty, retention, and share-of-wallet for the entire customer journey.

As stated earlier, the odds of achieving digital transformation and customer centricity are strongly tilted in favor of companies using the Platform approach to their enterprise intelligence and decisioning.  The most comprehensive report and “buyers guide” for enterprise decisioning platforms comes from Forrester Research, and is available here.

How FICO Can Help You Apply Enterprise Intelligence

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