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  • 19 November 2010 12:55

Research: B2C call centres need real-time prompts for relevance, retention and revenue

Call centres without real-time driven prompts are significantly less likely to provide relevant offers, retain customers and persuade customers to consider new offers, according to recently released UK and US based independent research commissioned by Portrait Software, a leading provider of customer interaction optimization software and now a part of Pitney Bowes Business Insight (PBBI).

Sydney, NSW - 19 November 2010 - Call centres without real-time driven prompts are significantly less likely to provide relevant offers, retain customers and persuade customers to consider new offers, according to recently released UK and US based independent research commissioned by Portrait Software, a leading provider of customer interaction optimization software and now a part of Pitney Bowes Business Insight (PBBI).

Interestingly, 27 percent of call centres surveyed believe customers would describe their service as ‘uninformed’ while, at the other end of the spectrum, under a third believe they would be described as ‘insightful’.

The research highlights the impact of inbound call centres using real-time decisioning in terms of the revenue, customer service and brand perception benefits. Real-time decisioning engines provide call centre agents with prompts that take into consideration to-the-second interactions, past orders, analytically derived propensity scores, data analytics and other customer data.

According to the ‘Customer Insight Research 2010’ conducted by Loudhouse Research, call centres using real-time prompts say they are more than twice as likely to ‘persuade customers to consider a new offer’ than those not using prompts. Similarly 83 percent of real-time decisioning enabled call centres are able to ‘retain customers they might otherwise lose’ compared to just 55 percent of ‘no prompt’ call centres.

Of the UK and US call centres surveyed, 30 percent do not use any form of prompts to support frontline agents and only 27 percent use advanced real-time decisioning via analytically derived propensity scores and prompts.

In Australia, the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland Australia (RACQ) is one of the first organisations to embrace real-time decisioning prompts as part of its Member Relationship Management revitalisation project scheduled to go live in late 2011.

‘Real-time prompts will allow our frontline staff, in the inbound call centre and elsewhere, to follow a best next action path that delivers better service for each of our 1.2 million members,’ said John Devaney, Executive Manager Marketing at RACQ.

‘A real-time decision engine is the pinnacle of advanced CRM and analytics.’ said Kieran Kilmartin, Group Marketing Director at Portrait Software. ‘The research shows real-time prompts enable a truly individual interaction with each and every customer even if you have hundreds of thousands of customers. It’s the kind of customer experience that will quickly become the benchmark for B2C customer service and is fuelled by data analytics and fully integrated customer data streams.’

However, the integration of multiple customer databases and ‘delivering a complete relevant customer record to frontline staff’ still remains a challenge with just over half (54 percent) stating their call centre systems holding customer data are fully integrated.

Those research respondents with fully integrated data systems believe they are more likely to deliver a consistent brand experience than those without integration (71 percent vs 52 percent) as well as driving customer perceptions of the call centre as efficient and insightful. No wonder the next twelve months sees ‘better integration of customer data to data from other parts of the organisation’ as a priority for 60 percent of those surveyed.

Copies of Customer Insight Research 2010 can be downloaded from the Portrait Software website at www.portraitsoftware.com

ENDS

About Portrait Software

Portrait Software is now part of Pitney Bowes Business Insight (PBBI).

Portrait Software enables organizations to engage with each of their customers as individuals, resulting in improved customer profitability, increased retention, reduced risk, and outstanding customer experiences. This is achieved through a suite of innovative, insight-driven applications which empower organizations to create enduring one-to-one relationships with their customers.

Portrait Software was acquired in July 2010 by Pitney Bowes to build on the broad range of capabilities at Pitney Bowes Business Insight for helping organizations acquire, serve and grow their customer relationships more effectively. The Portrait Customer Interaction Suite combines world leading customer analytics, powerful inbound and outbound campaign management, and best-in-class business process integration to deliver real-time customer interactions that communicate precisely the right message through the right channel, at the right time.

Our 300 + customers include industry-leading organizations in customer-intensive sectors. They include 3, AAA, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, Dell, Fiserv Bank Solutions, Lloyds Banking Group, Merrill Lynch, Nationwide Building Society, RACQ, RAC WA, Telenor, Tesco Bank, T-Mobile, Tryg and US Bank.

Pitney Bowes Business Insight (PBBI) is a division of Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE: PBI).

For more information please visit: www.portraitsoftware.com or www.pbinsight.com

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