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Intelligent Cross- & Up-Selling by the Use of Next Best Activity

The Right Offer for the Right Customer at the Perfect Time 

NBA meets NBA

A successful team in the American Basketball League NBA combines four crucial characteristics:

  • the ability to work in a team
  • scoring
  • inspiration
  • passing the ball to one another

But what does that have to do with the technical concept next best activity (NBA)? This question was discussed with the participants in the course of a workshop at the Call Center Association (Call Center Verband) Spring Conference 2013. The challenges for the implementation of an NBA concept were specifically identified and ideas for solutions were developed.

The Concept

NBA systems implement a transition to a customer-centered perspective in customer management and direct marketing. Among all actions possible for the customer the best one is chosen – taking into account the individual customer interests, business or product strategies and the communications policy of the business.

The Transition from the Campaign Perspective to the Customer Perspective

Successful direct marketing can only be achieved by a transition from the campaign perspective to the customer perspective.

Or in other words: the question should be: which campaign is suitable for the customer? And not: which customer is suitable for the campaign?

Using the scarce resource “customer contact” for the business’s benefit only becomes feasible by the transition to a customer-oriented perspective in connection with an individual contact strategy:  dynamic selections and parallel implementations of competing campaigns which are always focused on the needs of the customer groups ensure a continuously optimized condition of the campaign systems and thus an increased customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Focus on the Customer – Optimization in 6 Dimensions

The customer optimization takes six dimensions into account:

  • Products
  • Channel
  • Time
  • Priority
  • Contact
  • Offer

These dimensions are considered in the scorings in order to identify the best campaign with the highest likelihood of transaction for each customer.

Challenges and Ideas for Solutions

During the workshop at the Call Center Association Spring Conference 2013 the participants also discussed the implementation challenges and obstacles of a next best activity concept and developed ideas for solutions:

Agent Skills

  • Challenge
    The dynamic combination of the campaigns per customer requires that the call center agent knows a large number of ongoing campaigns in order to be able to advise the customer in a highly qualified manner. 
  • Solution
    In the first step, the NBA solution offers a short guide on all campaigns. In addition, this challenge can be mastered by intelligent routing.

Data Quality

  • Challenge
    The data quality in the existing system is often not adequate enough to implement the customer optimization in six dimensions.
  • Solution
    By means of updated guidelines and projects to improve the data quality, the existing system’s maturity level is systematically increased.

Budget and Project Duration

  • Challenge
    The implementation of NBA should entail an appropriate project duration and a reasonable project budget.
  • Solution
    Both the budget and the time restrictions are met in smaller project steps. The quick ROI is thus ensured at all times.

 The Call Center Becomes a Well-Established Team by the Next Best Activity Concept

  • The Ability to Work in a Team
    Due to the same training and especially the same knowledge of the customer, the call center is able to operate and inform across channels.
  • Score
    The relevant campaigns per customer are identified, tracked and analyzed. Thus, the accounting is simplified on the one hand and the agents can be remunerated according to their bonus level.  
  • Inspire
    The focus is on the customer and the service is always customer-optimized. A large number of adaption possibilities can be integrated. Because there are no waiting periods in the pre-calculation the service is always perfectly aligned to the customer.
  • Pass the ball to one another
    Due to the ease of use, the call center agent always has the most important information on the customer at hand. Due to the proactive approach following the customer activity, the agent is able to make the customer an offer at the perfect point in time.

Efficiency and Success Increase Business Success and Motivation  

In customer management, direct marketing and especially in the service center, analytics reveals its full strength and provides valuable operational support in the customer dialogue. Real time technologies and next best activity concepts may significantly improve the service member’s ability to act and his/her decision competence. They provide immediate recommendations for action at the point of sale in the form of situation- and needs-oriented information, offers or goodwill scopes. Among all actions possible, the best action for the customer is chosen.

A sharper focus on the customer as central focal point of all sales and marketing processes serves both the businesses and the customer. The latter feels that he/she is cared for according to his/her needs and appreciates that by tending to stronger loyalty and higher turnover – the suppliers, in turn, improve their share of wallet, use cross- and up-selling potentials more effectively and strengthen their customer base by means of sustainable and consistently demand-oriented support.