It’s unusual that a software company gets a plug in a story in a national business magazine, but there was Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure on Fortune.com earlier this week marveling over achieving an historic low in customer churn rate and crediting a new software program.
That program is Customer Decision Hub, a predictive analytics suite Pegasystems is rolling out to the general market today. The CRM package links together marketing, sales, and customer service in a machine-learned system that, the company maintains, enables users to automate customer engagement to achieve high acceptance rates and low levels of churn.
“In test, we saw up to 300% increases in offer acceptance among some customers,” claims Don Schuerman, CTO and VP of product marketing at Pegasystems. “It’s about using real data from the customer to make real predictions about customer engagement. We call this next best action, real-time decisioning for taking the best action at a given time.”
The technology behind Decision Hub sprang from its 2010 acquisition of Chordiant, a customer experience software provider. The version being introduced today was honed to hook self-learning models into all channels of a marketing operation so that marketing, sales, and customer service operatives would not be making on-the-spot decisions independent of each other.
“Our customer service solution has from day one been focused on intelligent guidance to the rep. Rather than say to her, ‘Here’s all the data we know about the customer,’ we’re saying, ‘Here’s what we think this customer is calling about,’” Schuerman says.
Pegasystems, along with Teradata and SAS Institute, was identified as being in the vanguard of a new movement called Real-Time Interaction Management (RTIM) in a Forrester Wave report issued by analyst Rusty Warner in July. Warner defined this burgeoning martech segment as “enterprise marketing technology that delivers contextually relevant experiences, value, and utility at the appropriate moment in the customer lifecycle via preferred customer touchpoints.”
While RTIM is used by most leading marketing software vendors, many including Adobe, IBM, and Salesforce anticipate customer behavior and suggest suitable content beforehand, Warner wrote. Innovators in RTIM, he said, arbitrate multiple offers and manage two-way interactions across inbound and outbound channels simultaneously.
“We think it’s crucial to have the ability to bring algorithms to bear in real time at the point of interaction with the customer,” Schuerman says. “Not everybody is doing it or, if they are, they’re doing it in isolated ways.”