Deciphering Vendor Speak, Part 1: ‘Better Understand Customers’

Whether you’re shopping for customer relationship management, customer engagement, business process management, or a customer insights platform, you’re bound to come across similar vendor promises. “We’ll help you better understand customers. Improve the customer experience. Increase productivity.”

These are all desirable outcomes, of course, and they may even rank high among the reasons you’re looking for new technology. The challenge is deciphering the meaning behind the promises. What do they really mean to the vendor? What do they mean for you?

The only way to know for sure is to seek more information. Read their marketing material. Frame your RFP questions to dig for detail. Ask for a demonstration that shows concrete examples and then take it a step further with a Proof of Concept using your data and use cases.

That said, let me explain what we mean by

  • Better Understand Customers
  • Improve the Customer Experience
  • Increase Productivity

Better Understand Customers

At NexJ, we believe the only way to truly deliver personalized sales and service is to base it on the totality of your customer relationship. Advisors, bankers, and relationship managers need to have access to comprehensive and accurate information about the client – their professional and personal interests, relationships, preferred method of interaction, products, services, holdings, transactions, and more. We put this information at the user’s fingertips by integrating all sources of customer information from back office systems, CRM, and streaming sources like social media into a single, easy-to-use view of the customer. No combing through multiple systems looking for information. Just one unified view that enables users to quickly personalize interactions, recommendations, and service activities.

But there’s more to this comprehensive customer view than informing the user. This information is critical to accurately understand customer value and tier them for loyalty programs. For example, a young customer with a small portfolio and minimal trading activity might not rank as a top tier customer on his own but, when you factor in his relationship with a wealthy client – his mother – it suddenly makes sense to provide him with a superior level of service. It will please his mother and will hopefully ensure her assets stay with your company when they’re passed down through inheritance.

The same idea works for corporate and commercial banking. Understanding complex company relationships can help you identify new opportunities within your existing client base and increase share of client wallet.

A complete view of the customer enhances virtually all sales and service activities, in fact. This information can be used to improve the effectiveness of campaigns, find the right attendees for events, prefill KYC and other forms, tailor research distribution, provide reasons for non-financial touches, drive cross-sell and upsell, and more.

And now, thanks to developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning, the term ‘better understand customers’ takes on an even more exciting meaning! Firms can feed their data into machine learning to more minutely determine customer value and create tiers of one. They can identify patterns of behavior, such as propensity to churn, next best action or product, most appropriate collateral for social touches, etc., and create decision models to improve the effectiveness of sales and service processes. Finally, they can deliver the results of machine learning back into initiatives to enable continuous improvement of decision models and they can embed the resulting intelligence in CRM to enable users to work smarter, faster.

And there it is. ‘Better understand customers’ in NexJ-speak means having access to the most current and complete customer information, being able to anticipate their needs, to recognize their drivers and spheres of influence, and to tailor interactions to their unique circumstances. It’s a lofty goal but we know we can deliver it.

Stay tuned for future blogs, where we decipher terms like ‘Improve the Customer Experience’ and ‘Increase Productivity’. Any other terms you’d like to hear NexJ’s take on? Let me know in the comments below.


Written by NexJ Systems Inc.

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