Precomputed List of Next Best Offers = Bad Idea
By Michel Adar on Jan 28, 2010
It is all about context. Any precomputed offer list can not possibly take into account the context of the interaction between the customer and the company. Examples of attributes that can not be taken into account in a prebuilt list:
- Call Reason
- Recent and Last Transaction
- Exact state of the account
- Time of the interaction
- User Agent (iPhone, Computer, Phone, etc.)
- Call center agent answering the call
It has been my experience that in Real Time Marketing implementations in call centers the actual agent answering the call is always in the top 5 predictors that influence the selection of the best offer. Similarly, the call reason and the time of the call tend to be very good predictors.
It is important to understand the difference between inbound and outbound marketing. In addition to the obvious difference in the attitude of the customer and their openness to interact with the company, there is a fundamental difference from the point of view of the customer data. In outbound marketing I can compute the best offer for a customer and then call them a few hours or days later and there is no reason to assume the customer's data would have changed significantly in most cases - only the statistically regular changes apply. In contrast, in inbound marketing I am assured that the customer's data will have changed by the time I am ready to make an offer at the tail end of a call, after all, 100% of those callers decided to call the company for some reason.