How Can Reporting Tools Help Us Increase Customer Insight?
Organizations may have a collection of applications and tools that can help provide customer insight. Each tool typically maps to different business processes and functions within an organization.
Posted Feb 23, 2004
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Organizations may have a collection of applications and tools that can help provide customer insight. Each tool typically maps to different business processes and functions within an organization, so they are most likely seen by different users groups: Business Performance Management (BPM) applications leverage the concept of portals, dashboards, and scorecards. These highly graphical tools allow managers and supervisors to evaluate specific situations, identify problem areas, and correlate metrics with business conditions. Much of the ROI from BPM tools comes from cost reduction or enhanced profitability, because they enable companies to detect problem situations (a bad campaign, an unprofitable service level) and reallocate investments. Conversely, they identify programs performing well, which can leads to increased investments, revenue, and/or retention. Business activity monitoring (BAM) provides the infrastructure necessary for real-time access to the key performance indicators that run and monitor the business. It is an extremely valuable tool that organizations can leverage to react to customer issues, monitor product delivery, and provide continuous improvement of their customer-facing business processes. Mainstream BAM is still down the path for many organizations, as most are not ready for its real-time and organizational impacts. It needs enormous organizational support, process definition, and training to be effective. Companies ready for advanced customer-intelligence programs like BAM are typically trying to solve the following business issues:
  • cost reduction through process improvement
  • visibility into the health of the business
  • responsiveness to changing competitive, customer, and supplier conditions
  • customer retention
  • risk management
  • product customization General ad-hoc reporting tools dig deeper into the details of trends and anomalies uncovered by BPM and BAM applications. As questions and issues are raised by these applications, ad-hoc reporting tools perform deep dive analyses and help companies determine root causes and opportunities for action. Predictive modeling technology helps organizations predict certain behavior based on historical and contextual information. These technologies may look at past purchasing behavior or responsiveness to marketing offers to help companies understand the likelihood of impacting future behavior. Predictive modeling software can decrease costs by ensuring programs are targeted at the right customers. For example, predictive modeling tools may enable companies to increase the profitability of their marketing campaigns by helping them determine and contact only the most likely respondents. Likewise, companies may be able to gain revenue enhancements through cross-selling by detecting customers most likely to buy new products and services.
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