Picture this: You, an advisor at a financial services firm, are interacting with customers. You have at your disposal an enormous amount of information related to their likes and dislikes, along with a comprehensive overview of their finances. There are a million things you can recommend, but a decision backed by data (as opposed to one made on personal assumptions and speculation) with the highest probability of success can be yours with the click of a button. Would you take it?
Your predictable answer explains why financial institutions need to consider Next Best Action, which has implications for sales and marketing departments, as well as customer service. This blog takes a look at where the concept was born, what it can help a company accomplish, and why it really makes sense for any financial organization to consider bringing it on board.
Let’s start with what it means. Simply put, Next Best Action is about using the right channel to deliver the right message to the right customer, at the right time. It is a decision model and AI-based tool designed to provide insights that can help advisors deliver the best service to customers by examining their recent actions, past behavior, interests, and needs. It’s about identifying and deploying the most effective pro-active action that can help an organization meet the desired outcome, which isn’t necessarily related to its marketing goals alone. Everything offered to a customer — an email, offer, discount or phone call — should take into account what has the best chances of strengthening the interaction with a customer while taking the organization’s larger business goals into consideration.
Where Did It Come From?
This may come as a surprise, but we have the United States Airforce to thank for Next Best Action. To be more specific, it was a military strategist named John Boyd who came up with a concept that gave birth to the one we know. He called it the OODA loop, referring to how pilots in a dogfight could win based on how they Observed all variables, Oriented themselves into the best position, Decided upon the best course of action, and Acted upon it rapidly.
Soon, everyone from call centers to other businesses latched onto the idea, recognizing the potential quick decisions made in real-time. This became easier with the growth of the Internet, allowing small business cases to be made instantly, which is why the idea was quickly appropriated by the call center industry where Next Best Action cues empowered agents with context and processes that were adapted to actual conversations.
More Than Just Marketing
Next Best Action has had a tremendous impact on inbound marketing but also has implications for sales and customer service because of how it places a customer at the center. It compels an organization to move away from focusing on a product or service first and then identifying the right audience. The customer drives interactions here, allowing organizations to use context to deliver the right experience. It also enables the identification of new sales leads through AI and digital process management, and enables better customer service by analyzing customer data and using predictive analytics and adaptive self-learning models to anticipate what customers need.
When a financial services organization chooses to deploy NexJ’s Next Best Action, it equips advisors with recommendations and allows them to understand their customers better. They get a comprehensive customer view that generates ranking actions using centralized rules.
Smarter, Faster, Better For Business
Next Best Action really is about working smarter and faster, but the reason it makes such good business sense is that customers don’t want to be treated as members of a segment. They want to be looked at as individuals with distinct preferences, and organizations that recognize and leverage this can offer customers a better experience while making decisions that lead to a larger share of wallet.
With Next Best Action, a business can foster stronger customer relationships, improve advisor productivity, ensure stronger adherence to compliance and eventually increase assets under management.
Are You Ready For Next Best Action?
Financial organizations that recognize the implications of Next Best Action use Business Process Optimization to derive the maximum benefits of what it can offer. Here are a few things to consider to ensure readiness:
- Dynamic process optimization
Next Best Action is an integration pattern that uses analytics to drive agile responses within and across an organization’s process infrastructure.
- Monitoring of customer channels
This should operate continuously along with back-end orchestrations to deliver on recommendations made to a customer.
- Decision models
These are intelligence templates that allow an organization to perceive, organize, and manage the business logic behind a business decision. They can improve corporate performance, monitor spending patterns to understand customer behavior or test the impact of changes in pricing or packaging on sales.
NexJ leverages AI to automate time-consuming tasks and best practices. By doing so, we help firms drive recommendations in real time and prompt for Next Best Action. We are always curious about how financial organizations consider data management, machine learning, and decision models, and how they react to customers in the most appropriate manner. Tell us how you do it, or ask us questions about how you should. We’re always ready to recommend the, um, Next Best Action.
Originally published on nexj.com on October 5, 2018.
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