For companies looking to invest in customer service solutions today, it is important that the offerings are both targeted and solve specific business issues. Arguably, two of the larger ones are customer retention and improving the customer lifetime value. It is this pair of business initiatives Chordiant looks to help businesses improve upon quickly with two modular solutions: Cx Retention and Cx Cross-sell/Up-sell.
According to Raymond Gerber, chief technical officer at Chordiant, these are the first two breakout solutions we can expect from the company's decision management technology. He explains that retention, cross-sell, and upsell opportunities are top-of-mind with his clients now. "First, our customers need to solve the retention problem," he says. "The next conversation ... we need to provide an opportunity to increase the lifetime value to us as a customer."
The solutions are stand-alone to cater to companies not willing to rip or replace entire systems during this time. "By selling our solutions in smaller pieces we can have companies up and running in three-to-four months, compared to nine months or up to two-and-a-half years for an entirely new contact center platform," he says.
Features of Cx Retention and Cx Cross-sell/Up-sell include:
- "Next-Best-Action" decisioning that predicts and adapts to customer behavior in real time;
- using individual business cases in real-time to determine retention budgets for each consumer based on lifetime customer value;
- the ability for agents to make proactive retention offers based on the predicted likelihood of the customer defecting; and
- enabling the creation of personalized deals with multiple products, components, and discounts.
These are the first of at least four solutions that will continue to come to market. Gerber says this is a land-and-expand approach. According to information provided by Chordiant, these solutions will become available in the second half of 2009. "We're driving toward creating a multichannel intelligent conversation environment," Gerber says.
Michael Maoz, research vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, says this is in response to an overarching market trend that companies want to work on incremental value. "It's about who you are and what you need," he says. "The idea of breaking your solutions down into more consumable parts is a much more customer-friendly approach."
Maoz goes on to explain it's about being more "finegrained and loosely coupled." "Chordiant isn't saying it's all them or nothing at all," he stresses. "If you have an IBM, SAP, or someone else's financial data solution, that's fine. Chordiant can hook in using service-oriented architecture tools to allow companies to have a heterogeneous environment, yet get best-of-breed capability. It's going to be a good approach for [the vendor] to take."
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