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Next Best Action!!


What is Next-Best-Action ??

Next-Best-Action solutions for marketing and other business areas represent a necessary paradigm shift for companies that hope to increase profitability while maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction”

N-B-A(Next Best Action) & N-B-O(Next Best Opportunity) are the two jargons coined in the air by the market leader in BPM Arena – PegasystemsNext-Best-Action is a trademark of Chordiant Software (currently Pegasystems)

Is this something “New” ??

Not Really!!…Well,to understand what exactly does it refer to..here we go!!

  • We all have visited the sites like amazon.com, flipkart.com, youtube.com and many other online retail stores. One of the feature that is very common in most of the portals are the features like “Recommended for you“, “People you read this Book also liked” and many more..
  • The N-B-A is just a similar approach proposed by Pegasystems for boosting the marketing strategy, customer centricity and profitability.
  • The driving force behind this is the Old archived data, sentiment analysis, predictive and statistical analytics. The crucial and the important info in this case in “Data“.

What is the Necessity ??

Lets try explaining this with a real time example :

  • We all receive(outbound) or call(inbound) customer care call-centers for banking, travel, shopping and many other needs.
  • Suppose, I gave a call to the customer-care executive regarding my credit card statement and queries. And during the on-hold or the wait period some promotion is being done for a Housing Loan as an Up-Sell or Cross-Sell Strategy.
  • But, what holds really appropriate and pleasing in this case is to offer something new in the Credit Card Product.
  • Its morelike the quote “Hit the Iron when it is Hot” on a very rough note.
  • i.e Offering and promoting the right Product to the right Person at the right Time.
  • Human Resources are very important in a call center when it comes to costing and utilization. If the company feels that the Maximum number of customers are interacting via the Web Channel for Housing Loan, then its better to have the Strategy and Resources aligned proportionately.

To note, inbound calls are very important for a Company because :

  • The Person took some time off his busy schedule and tried to interact with the company itself
  • The challenge with the outbound calls is that its tough to find out what is the mood of the person at that point in time (considering the fact that Human Beings are very different and sophesticated species).

So, as a rule of thumb, the company cannot risk to loose the attention of these customers and has to come up with the very appropriate and specific strategy and campaign.

How is this achieved in the N-B-A Approach ??

  • In the N-B-A approach, there is a “decision hub” defined which takes necessary action dynamically and on-the-fly.
  • The decision hub is driven and configured by the company’s marketing strategy and algorithms/statistical theorems for Predictive Analytics.
  • A simple scenario can be “defining a theorem or a statistical formlae based on the customer data like age, place, income and gender“.

Business Benefits of N-B-A !!

  • Happy Customers!!
  • Automating and Reduction in manpower.
  • Costing and expenses are Reduced
  • Better and organized approach for strategy building and implementation
  • Transparent Approach
  • Flexible changes subject to business strategies
  • Right Offer at the Right Time and for the Right Person
  • Proper Alignment of Resources based on user Responses
  • Effective Monitoring
  • Collision Avoidance by flooding the customer with multiple strategies

Things to be taken care of !!

  • As the entire Automation of the system is done with minimal human interferrence , care should be taken for the quality of Response.
  • Thorough Testing and implementation of the Decision tree or the Predictive Algorithms needs to be done to get a flawless output.
  • Data should be very clean and appropriate as this is crucial deciding factor

Anything Similar that can be co-related ??

Yes Indeed.

  • On a very small scale not exactly using Predictive Algorithms and analytics, the Pega CPM Product (Pega’s answer to CRM) provides a feature called “Persona“.
  • With “persona” the Call-Center Executive can actually give a Nick name for a customer and have the Marketing Products aligned for up-sell or cross-sell.
  • For example : There is a Customer “John” who calls very often and bargains a lot, in that case a persona like “John Bargain” an be set. So that next time when the customer calls, they can be handled at ease.
  • Similarly there are other personas like “super-shopper“, “enquirer” etc which can be tagged to the customers and reap better benefits by targeting the right product for advertisements or up-sell.

Business Usecases !!

  • As it appears, on a very blunt note – its not something very specific to CRM only!!
  • Even the archived log informations, tracing the user steps on a screen/web-page, past chat informations and knowledge repositories can all be collaborated to provide valuable guidance tips and info on the site itself.
  • Chatbot or the online chat is yet another implementation that can be unleashed and enriched with statistical and data mining approaches.

Thoughts on Technical Approach !!
As “Data and Analytics” plays a very vital role in this implementation following are the technical approaches that can be considered (as a personal perception) :

  • Data Mining (for extracting the specific and exact info from the dump of Data). This can be achieved using any BI Tool or Data Warehousing products.
  • Hadoop and BigData (for applying Statistical-Analytical formulae or using the Map-Reduce Algorithm and getting valuable info from very huge amount of dump/archived data)
  • BPM (This is a very generic approach for using a Workflow Management Process)
  • CRM Solution/PegaCPM (for a specific case of a Call-Center requirement the CRM Solutions can be leveraged)

Is N-B-A a Tested and Proven approach ??
Yes it is.  Clients in the Telecom and Financial sector have already implemented this approach and reaped the benefits out of it. Orange and RBS to name a few.

Some Reference Links!!

Pega eBook : http://www.pega.com/sites/default/files/NBA-Marketing-eBook-Jan2012.pdf

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: FrameAngel / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Happy Learning!! 🙂

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