NBA – A Jedi Mind Tick?

Next Best Action (NBA) is all about working out what might be the next best “action” for your customer or potential customer, it involves applying “science” to decide if the next best action is to consider a product related to ones already purchased/viewed or maybe just collecting some additional information that might give you a marketing opportunity further down the line.

Simple! NOT?

Automated NBA can require a complex decision hub to calculate the possible NBAs and to select the most likely option based on a potentially complicated set of rules. The rules might include reviewing recent purchases, customer volunteered information (CVI) and considering any events which may influence a purchase.

NBAs offered on web site banners, direct mailing etc, probably do need some complicated science behind them. But inbound phone calls are both more productive for NBA and a very different beast. On inbound options exist;

1. Use a Jedi mind tick to read your customer’s thoughts and decide what they might like to do next. (Possible, but maybe only in the mind of Mr Lucas!)

2. Design a complicated CRM solution to offer up a number of options to your telephone operator to mention. A rapport generator! In some circumstances this might be needed, for example: when using an off shore call centre who might not identify with the desires of your customers.

3. Train the operator! The cheapest and possibly most effective approach to NBA is good old fashioned customer service.  First of all ensure your CRM gives the operator a full view of the customer’s interactions and product holdings. Once you have accomplished this provide intensive and ongoing training to the operators on how to make the most out of each moment of truth. (Think of the McDonalds line “Would you like fries with that?”)

Option one (Jedi) is “possibly” a flight of fantasy, which some marketing executives are prone to!

Option two is costly but if you operate a high volume organisation and wish to have a truly joined up multi channel approach, get your cheque book out!

Option three, might be the less technical maybe even old fashion. But if it isn’t broken don’t change it. Give all staff the information they need and then train the hell out of them to offer the best service possible.

The old quote that “people buy from people” is as true as ever, a CRM system serving up random options can never beat a well trained customer service agent. But a CRM solution providing 360 picture and therefore helping the operator suggest the “right” options can provide a real competitive advantage. (With a modest budget.)

Before you spend thousands on consultants to define a NBA decision hub, just consider what 50% of the investment in agent training might deliver …….

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