With unprecedented access to numerous competing brands, consumers are more empowered than ever. It’s no longer enough to sell a good product or service; your customers want personalized solutions. But how do you match the right offers to the right customers for more profitable results? With predictive analytics, you can leverage multiple data sources to identify customer pain points, anticipate needs, and create offerings tailored to specific customer segments. You’ll be able to forecast potential outcomes and build marketing campaigns that generate better ROI.
Predictive analytics unlocks the power of your data
Gone are the days of marketing strategy based solely on best guesses or relying on past performance as a predictor of future results. Imagine how much more efficient your sales team could be if they know which products to promote to specific segments, allowing your business to invest marketing resources toward the right audiences.
With predictive analytics, your business can gain valuable insights to increase marketing effectiveness:
- Acquire customers — Who are your most attractive potential customers?
- Grow customers — Which marketing channels do your customers prefer? How do you increase revenue through these channels? What are the best ways to engage your customers?
- Retain customers — Why do your customers leave? How do you keep your high-value customers happy? How can you prevent them from leaving?
Predictive analytics leverages all of your available structured and unstructured data to glean insights that help you understand what kinds of products your customers want and what’s likely to sell well. With a comprehensive data set that might include transactional history, email and chat transcripts, call center notes, survey feedback, and social media comments, survey feedback, and order history, you’ll have a more robust understanding of your customers.
As an example, online technology retailer Sofmap used predictive analytics to examine customer purchase data, and determined their website design didn’t lend itself to simple buying decisions for customers. Armed with this information, Sofmap implemented a user-friendly recommendation engine to improve their customer shopping experience. Their solution worked—page views increased by 67% each month and the company’s profits tripled within a year.
Drive profitable results by analyzing customer behaviors
While effective marketing helps you deliver the right message to the right audience, you also need to know which messages will motivate buying behavior. To get a general sense for what messaging will resonate with customers, companies have traditionally used market research to segment customers by a variety of factors, including demographics, geography, and lifestyle or values.
However, traditional market research is limited in that customers say what they might do in the future, but that may have little bearing on what they actually do. Predictive analysis, on the other hand, can provide insights into customer motivations and needs based on their behavior in the past.
As an example, First Tennessee Bank demonstrated how nuanced audience segmentation can increase ROI on marketing spend. The bank examined how real profit and loss data reflected customer needs, and used the data to develop targeted, high-value marketing offers for various customer segments. The results? A 3.1% increase in marketing response.
The bank saved on operational costs as well. Because they were able to identify a segment of customers most likely to respond to their offer, they reduced mailing costs 20%, and printing costs went down 17%. Rather than blasting the same piece to everyone on the bank’s mailing list, First Tennessee was able to market a specific offer exclusively to the most attractive segment to achieve the best results.
Knowing your customers’ needs and motivations is a key component of any marketing strategy. Using predictive analytics reveals valuable information about your customers that can drive a better return on your investments through targeted messaging and offers. Competition for customers is fierce no matter what the industry, and the winners will be those who develop a data-driven understanding of their customers.
Like this post? Download and take it with you >
Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) turned 3 years old. When the CFPB launched in July 2011, it wasn’t clear what power this regulatory progeny of the Dodd Frank Act would wield. Today, there is no doubt about the agency’s authority. With 9 products in its ever-increasing purview, the CFPB now hosts over 275,000 complaints in its public database (400,000 received in total), and has enforced 22 regulatory actions costing top financial institutions $4.6 billion dollars to date. As a result, financial services providers are hearing a serious wake-up call to monitor and improve their practices.
As part of its birthday celebration, the CFPB published a list of figures summarizing its achievements to date. For banks and other financial services companies, one of the figures left out may be the most eyebrow-raising – the meteoric rise in the dollar amount of regulatory fines.
From July 2011-2014, the CFPB has ordered $4.6 billion in monetary relief, affecting 15 million consumers.
Source: CFPB Fact Sheet
The agency’s first target was Capital One, ordering payment of $165 million in fines and restitutions for issues such as deceptive marketing practices. Over time, the average amount of a CFPB enforcement action has increased from $160 million in 2012 to almost $280 million in 2014 – a 75% increase in only two years! Even in 2013, when the CFPB levied its biggest penalty to date – a whopping $2.6 billion to Ocwen, a leading mortgage servicer – the average fine was less than it’s growing to be in 2014. The message is clear – it’s getting more and more expensive to ignore customer feedback, and more imperative to find and fix customer experience pain points.
How not to get invited to the party? Leverage customer data
The good news for banks, credit unions, and other financial services providers is there is a clear way to avoid paying a similar costly penalty. The answer is in the data. Complaints do not exist in a vacuum. They exhibit a lifecycle, and if you trace the journey of a complaint from inception as a customer concern, there are typically multiple touch points before the customer resorted to involving the CFPB. These touch points represent multiple opportunities for a company to fix the customer experience issue and prevent an escalated complaint that could spark regulatory action.
The companies doing the best job at predictive prevention of complaints are using decision tree algorithms to find patterns in their customer data. Want to identify targets of highest propensity for escalation to the CFPB? Your business can explore which products tend to generate problems, which types of issues seem most sensitive, which types of customers might be more negatively impacted, etc. Also look at other angles such as how customer tenure affects their likelihood to complain, and how channel use plays a part in customer pain points.
The answers will be different across products and companies because the experiences differ. The solution, however, is the same:
- Journey map complaints starting with their inception as customer issues.
- Identify patterns in transactional and behavioral data that predict complaints.
- Deploy a decision tree model on current customers to assign a propensity to complain.
- Flag customers with the highest propensity to complain, and intervene before their issues escalate to the CFPB.
In the era of data science, we’re no longer analyzing data to answer the question, “What happened?” Today, we are asking “What will happen, and how can we impact it?” If banks and credit unions want to avoid paying hundreds of millions to billions in fines, it is time to embrace predictive prevention.
In our work helping companies with customer experience strategy, data science, and communications, we at Beyond the Arc are really more behind-the-scenes types. Yet sometimes our work comes front and center in recognition and accolades. We’re always flattered when our name appears on “best of” lists, and we wanted to share some recent highlights.
||A panel of CEOs, CIOs, VCs, and industry analysts named Beyond the Arc to CIO Review’s list of 20 Most Promising Data Analytics Consulting Companies, which identified consultants that take on “real analytics challenges.”
||Beyond the Arc included as a member of the “Big Data 100″ by SourcingLine, and recognized as market leaders on their “best of” lists:
Companies were chosen based on “company experience, breadth of knowledge, client references, certifications, industry recognition, and marketing presence.”
||In June 2014, Fortune Magazine mentioned Beyond the Arc in an article about “big data companies to watch” for our experience in predictive analytics.
||Forrester® Research, Inc. included us as an example of a VoC specialist in its February, 2014 report, “Voice of the Customer Vendor Landscape, 2014.” Beyond the Arc was the only consulting-focused vendor included in the report, which also said we are known for helping companies “set up or improve VoC programs through consulting services.”
Check out the Beyond the Arc newsroom for our latest featured articles and contributions to industry analyst reports.
Measuring customer satisfaction is a great first step toward understanding your customers. But it’s rarely enough to drive real business growth or learn how to differentiate your brand. Many businesses rely on the Net Promoter Score (NPS), a simple metric to gauge customer satisfaction based on whether people would recommend the company. NPS may be fine on a high level, as an easy-to-explain, sweeping generalization about your progress (or lack of it), but the score tells only a small part of the story. An effective customer experience campaign needs rich insights.
Why “good” isn’t good enough
A high Net Promoter Score can make your company look great, but it doesn’t provide insight into what is popular and why, which are keys to understanding how to leverage that popularity to build business and capitalize on opportunities. Perhaps more importantly, while a low score is cause for concern, it’s not enough to simply identify that customers are unlikely to recommend your brand. What you need is real insight into what and why customer pain points exist, so you can take targeted action for improvements.
And what about the future? NPS is a good tool for taking the temperature of current customer satisfaction, but it’s no help in predicting how well your customer experience efforts will do in the future. Similarly, the NPS metric doesn’t identify emerging issues that indicate where dissatisfaction is brewing.
How Net Promoter Score works
Using a simple survey, your company can tap into customer sentiment by asking them to rate from 0-10 how likely they are to recommend your company to others.
NPS ranking is based on the premise that your customers fall into three camps: Promoters (loyal brand advocates), Passives (indifferent, could easily go to competitors), and Detractors (dissatisfied, no repeat business).
The percentage of Detractors is subtracted from the percentage of Promoters, and the result equals the Net Promoter Score.
Let’s look at an example: Suppose you survey 30 customers, and 15 of them rank their likelihood to recommend between 9 and 10. That means 50% are Promoters. If 6 people gave a ranking of 0 to 6 on thescale, they are Detractors. 6/30 = 20% Detractors. To determine your score, you subtract the Detractors (20%) from the Promoters (50%), which equals 30%. In Net Promoter Score terms, your score is 30. Typically, a score of 50 and higher is considered excellent.
In a 2014 report, SynGro, a Voice of the Customer software company stated that, “Net Promoter Score is the most widely used Customer Experience metric. 54% of companies surveyed in a recent international CX research study use NPS as a primary measure.” (“Net Promoter Score: Driving Profit with NPS”, SynGro 2014). Yet relying on NPS may mean companies are missing important context to really understand their customer experience.
Whether your NPS score is high, low, or in-between, you get very limited information. That can be especially problematic if your Detractor rating is high. Negative sentiment may be overflowing into social media, influencing other consumers to avoid your brand —and you need to find out why and how to correct that.
Deeper insights give you the power to act quickly
For small companies with simple products and limited customer touch points, surveys and Net Promoter Score metrics may provide enough data to gauge customer satisfaction with the brand. But for companies with numerous products and services, and multiple points of customer interaction, a single number score simply does not provide enough information to take meaningful action. Customer satisfaction programs that treat people as static data points are bound to miss important insights, as Bank of America found out a few years ago.
By tracking Twitter and Facebook comments about Bank of America, Beyond the Arc discovered over 20 service breaks that were only identified through social media text analytics. In our Bank of America case study, we noted that a wave of customer dissatisfaction erupted based on misinformation, which the bank could have avoided if they had identified the issues sooner. A low Net Promoter Score would signal a problem, but social media analysis and Voice of the Customer analytics help target specific issues and provide insight on what customers expect and need to not only resolve the problems but improve their perception of the brand.
An effective Voice of the Customer (VOC) program helps you gain a comprehensive picture of satisfaction levels across the entire customer journey. Far beyond simple surveys, VOC analytics enable you to leverage a broad range of structured and unstructured data sources, such as transactional data and survey ranking, combined with commentary from call centers, email, in-store feedback, and social media.
As Forrester noted in their report on Net Promoter Scores, “NPS is not a fast-moving metric,” and doesn’t answer the question of what’s currently trending. Customer satisfaction may be high today, but tomorrow’s losses could be right under your nose, right now. VOC analytics and predictive analytics give you the power to see what’s coming –and react early and even prevent problems that could impact customer satisfaction.
Net Promoter Score is a good beginning metric that is easy to understand and adapt. However, companies should not rely on it as their only tool for evaluating customer experience. NPS tells only part of the story, and should be factored in along with a Voice of the Customer program that focuses on understanding why customers are happy or not. For best practices on how to get started or make your VOC program more robust, see our blog article, “Building a successful Voice of the Customer program”.
Like this post? Download and take it with you!
Event: Predictive Analytics World, Chicago 2014
Presentation: “Leveraging Predictive Analytics and Alternative Data Sources to Improve the Customer Experience”
Case Studies: CFPB, Capital One, Citibank, Bank of America
Speaker: Steven Ramirez, CEO, Beyond the Arc
Date: Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 3:05 – 3:25 p.m. Eastern Time
Register online >
Using customer feedback to drive decisions is nothing new for businesses, but the locations and forms of conversations have shifted drastically in recent years. Companies now have greater transparency into customer relationships at the same time that individual consumers have a more visible platform to share their positive and negative experiences with individuals worldwide.
In this session at Predictive Analytics World, Steven Ramirez shares how new capabilities, such as using predictive analytics to gain insights from social media and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) complaint database, can empower banks to identify emerging issues and necessary service changes to prevent loss of business.
Join us on June 17 in Chicago — Register online today >
The Finovate show is a showcase for some of the most innovative companies exploring the intersection of financial services and technology. In just 7 minutes, each company must do a hands-on demonstration (no PowerPoint or pre-recorded video) and show how their innovation will revolutionize financial services.
Nearly 70 companies present over two days to an audience of over 1,300 that includes bankers, industry analysts, and the press. Given the show’s venue this year in San Jose, quite a few VCs and investment bankers were also on hand–leading emcee Greg Palmer to quip that Finovate is “where Silicon Valley meets Wall Street.”
The Finovate audience selects the Best of Show awards, with each attendee voting for their Top 3 picks at the end of each day. Based on the balloting, here are the Spring 2014 winners, along with brief descriptions from the Finovate website:
- EyeVerify, for its Eyeprint Verification technology that enables mobile biometric authentication
- Loop, for its smart mobile wallet system accepted at virtually every retail POS terminal without making changes to the existing POS system
- Motif Investing, for its Advisor Platform that streamlines the way advisors build, monitor, and rebalance investment portfolios
- Ondot Systems, for its CardControl technology that allows users to remotely control their credit and debit cards via their smartphone
- PrivatBank, for topless, contactless smartphone-enabled Android ATM technology
- SaveUp, for its Gen Y/Millennial-oriented solution that combines gamification with personal finance
- Stockpile, for their “give the gift of stock” solution that helps people invest in the brands they love
You can read our full Finovate coverage here:
Day 1 Finovate coverage
Day 2 Finovate coverage
Beyond the Arc is back for Day 2 of the Finovate Spring conference, featuring the latest innovations in financial services and technology. If you missed our commentary on approximately 30 of the most interesting companies in fintech, you can catch up on Day 1 of Finovate. Today I’m joined by William Mills of the William Mills Agency as my co-blogger. Huge kudo’s to Corrie Evanoff who did a wonderful job yesterday at her first Finovate. She kept up with all of the action and shared some excellent insights on Day 1. Look for her commentary marked with her initials, ^CE.
There were several themes in the presentations yesterday. One of the most interesting is that fintech entrepreneurs are rolling out new products, and partnering strategies, for financial institutions. This is in line with what we’ve seen in the industry with the recent acquisition of Simple by BBVA and Banno by Jack Henry.
Also noticeable, in its absence, was the lack of any Personal Financial Management (PFM) product announcements. Back in September, and last year’s Finovate Spring, it seemed like every third company had a PFM product. Perhaps new entrants have been scared off by Money Desktop? They have such a strong product, great user interface, and a growing list of bank clients. MD is not at Finovate this time around, but that just means the next time out will probably hold some great new developments.
As usual, Yodlee has had a strong presence at Finovate. While they are not presenting, they have hosted several events to promote their Yodlee Interactive developer initiatives. You can follow them on Twitter. Yodlee is partnering actively with their network of established FIs, as well as a fast growing cadre of fintech innovators.
Today’s sessions will begin shortly, and we’ll have periodic updates to the blog throughout the day.
Market Prophit is up first. Igor Gonta (CEO)
They are not listed first in schedule so I’m trying to get the information on today’s speaker. The speaker is showing the page for @jimcramer and how their system integrates with Jim’s Twitter feed. What I believe they do is integrate Twitter feeds into their platform to help consumers/traders find/follow and act upon information, the BEST information. Social media sentiment as related to stock performance.
This is the first Finovate Spring that has been held in San Jose vs. San Francisco and I believe we are going to be seeing a lot of newer, even cooler stuff like this during the day.
From their web site “Extracting the market signal from social media noise” http://www.marketprophit.com/about/#sthash.1LRYCb9s.dpuf ^WM
I think it is interesting to see how social media can be leveraged as a source of intelligence for investors. Clearly, crowdsourcing can have benefits and provide the wisdom of the crowd. I do have some concerns about manipulating social media, and hence the value of publicly traded stocks. ^SR
Jumio – Michael Orlando (CSO) and Anthony (SVP)
I’ve seen these this company present before. From their web site: Jumio – Scan and Validate Credit Cards and IDs Jumio is a next-generation payments and ID software-as-a-service company that utilizes proprietary computer vision technology to reduce mobile payment friction and ID fraud.
See your way to more revenue and less fraud with real-time credit card & ID scanning and validation. Integrate Jumio into your mobile app or site. www.jumio.com/
Showing IOS APP. I’m having a problem understanding what this new app does DIFFERENT from what they are currently doing. “If you have forms for a loan we can make it seamless and easier in a mobile environment”. Well, this could be big; we need a lot of new mobile-based approaches to lending/credit. ^WM
Gilad Golan and Emmanuel Marot are showing their web-based LENDING platform as opposed to a TRADING platform. It looks slick; I’m try to understand what makes Lending Robot different than other alternatives. Interesting FAQ on their web site: “Is LendingRobot affiliated with Lending?Club or Prosper?” NO. I guess they get asked this a lot. Is this platform a way for consumers to participate in peer lending? The system is open today. I needs to take more time to study. ^WM
A new platform for replacing the banker’s pitchbook. They claim that a deal pitchbook costs $40,000 to produce, for each book. This is an ipad and browser-based application. The application allows you to drag and drop charts and other elements, to create compelling banking presentations. While this can certainly simplify the process, I’m not sure they have supported the use case persuasively. This is apparently targeted to the investment bankers and commercial bankers in the audience. This product would resonate much more strongly with the New York audience of Finovate Fall. ^SR
Adrian Crockett and Jamie are presenting. They have technology which helps people put together “deal books”. Now, this is something new; I’ve never seen anything quite like this. They are based in NYC. From their web site: Pellucid Analytics is a finance-oriented technology company focused on improving how investment bankers work. ^WM
A marketing solution for attracting small business and merchants. This is based on a database of 42 million businesses, with their technology that enables you to sync with your CRM. Wait! What if bank doesn’t yet have CRM? I know, shocking. The app allows you to create on-the-fly segments of merchants to target. ^SR
Darian Shirazi (CEO) From their web site: The Modern Way to Market to Small Businesses. Unlock your best SMB customer segments. Deploy targeted marketing campaigns and measure your success. http://www.radius.com
Folks, keep on eye on this company. They have raised from Fromation8 (among others). They are a great B2B play to help find and buy small businesses. ^WM
OnBudget - Jim Collas (CEO) and Mike Corrales) VP Marketing
They want you to be able to setup and manage your personal budget. OK, so the first PFM offering of this Finovate show. They believe existing tools are too cumbersome, and not optimized for everyday spend. They offer something “delightfully simple”, with clients in 16 out of top 50 banks. They emphasize the ease of setting up your budget. Mobile app shows you easy to understand overview of how you’re doing. You can setup multiple budgets. ^SR
“Only 1 of 5 adults use PFM”. This LOOKS like a pre-paid card approach to PFM that’s easy for consumers to use. We have an effortless budgeting process.
Showing IOS app. It looks clean and nice. I think Mike is a little nervous (don’t worry Mike, your demo looks very good). You get a notification and the consumer gets to the alert in an overview page that shows consumers that they might be over budget. ^WM
Coinbase - Roger Gu and Nahid Samsam
A bitcoin wallet provider, the first one of the show. No charge-backs, that is an attractive benefit. One of their major partners is Overstock.com, as well as the Sacramento Kings basketball team. Bitcoin transactions are helping to attract new customers to merchants. Coinbase has a merchant dashboard to track their bitcoins. You can set the option of what to do with your bitcoin, including near-immediate conversion into U.S.. dollars. They charge 1% fee for transactions, no monthly or setup fees. They waive first $1 million in bitcoin transactions. They are obviously investing in growing this market. They are reaching out to payment gateway providers. ^SR
I need to study this a bit more; some folks are REALLY big fans of Bitcoin. So far, I see it as an international solution but am not sure of it’s long-term success in the U.S. “Easy way for merchants to use BitCoin. We charge a 1% exchange rate fee BUT free for the first $1,000,000 in BitCoin transactions.” Interesting. “We have 1.2 million consumer wallets” ^WM
You can follow Beyond the Arc on Twitter at @beyondthearc or on Google+
Continue reading Innovations in banking and tech: Finovate Spring 2014, Day 2