In today’s competitive economic environment, customer analytics distinguishes leaders from the laggards. It plays a crucial role in enhancing marketing effectiveness, optimizing contact strategies, and improving customer experience. Leaders frequently and extensively test new segmentation approaches and revenue enhancement strategies and invest wisely to increase campaign response and ROI.
Despite the multitude of benefits that customer analytics deliver, resources in this field are increasingly scarce. Given the difficulty to find, hire, and retain these resources, companies are looking outside their organizations for support.
While companies have an array of vendors to choose from, there are five important factors that every company should consider to facilitate a successful relationship.
1. Look for industry experts. Each industry has its distinct challenges, language, and flavor of data types. Companies risk having to educate a vendor on the nuances of their data unless the vendor has prior industry experience. But beware: Experience in a single industry could lead to a “cookie-cutter” approach to every problem. How can you see past the vendor spin? Evaluate client rosters and speak to vendor references.
2. Evaluate the available skills and resources. Analytic techniques range from basic predictive modeling and segmentation to advanced techniques such as bayesian methods, neural networks, and econometric models. Firms that heavily favor one approach may not have the breadth of skills to solve companies’ needs. Companies should inquire how firms determine the right approach and beware of “we know best” answers.
3. Review the company’s approach and process. Without strong project and scope management, analytic engagements get delayed, meander off track, or wind up costing more than originally planned. Buyers should probe on areas like project management, requirements...