SOURCE: Portrait Software

Portrait Software

November 09, 2010 09:32 ET

Call Centers Without Advanced Real-Time Decisioning "at Risk From Insight Gaps," Warns Portrait Software

Research Shows Real-Time Decisioning Key to Identifying New Sales Opportunities and Customer Retention

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - November 9, 2010) -  Call centers that do not have advanced real-time decisioning (RTD) engines are suffering from 'insight gaps' compared to competitors that have already adopted the technology, according to research findings unveiled today by Portrait Software, a leading provider of customer interaction optimization software and now a part of Pitney Bowes Business Insight (PBBI).

The independent research, conducted by Loudhouse Research, found that 75% of businesses with advanced RTD capabilities* believe they are "good at identifying customers who can be persuaded to consider new offers." This compares to just 35% of organizations that have not yet installed this technology.

A further 83% of RTD-enabled businesses believe they are "able to make use of customer insight to retain customers they might otherwise lose," whilst just 55% of respondents without RTD believe they are able to do so. In addition, 61% of RTD enabled businesses say they are effective at "re-establishing profitable relationships with former customers," compared to just 42% that have only installed interaction-based systems.

US vs. UK variations for real-time decisioning
The research also found that approaches to real-time decisioning technology vary by country. Organizations in the UK are more likely to have one of the more sophisticated decisioning options (29% vs. 24% in the US), and US call center agents are more likely to receive no prompts at all (36% vs. 23% in the UK). However, the research also found a degree of polarization in the US responses -- one fifth (20%) of US respondents have the most sophisticated level of decisioning support compared to just one in ten (11%) in the UK.

"The volumes available for outbound customer communication is limited and the effectiveness of traditional marketing communications has declined as ad fatigue continues to take hold," says Luke McKeever, CEO, Portrait Software. "These factors make real-time decisioning, particularly through inbound marketing, an essential part of any B2C organization's customer interaction strategy.

"Our research indicates that those organizations that have so far failed to implement such technologies face a clear 'insight gap' in comparison to competitors that have adopted this approach to customer engagement. As a result, they are far less able to identify which customers to target with specific offers, find it harder to retain customers that are planning on leaving and find it harder to re-establish relationships with returning customers. In an age where every interaction counts and establishing trust with customers is key, it is those organizations using advanced real-time decisioning that are primed for success."

For a full copy of the report, go to Customer Insight Research 2010.

Notes to Editors:
The Portrait Software Customer Insight Research report was conducted in August and September. CATI (computer-assisted telephone interviewing) was used to speak with a sample of professionals in strategic decision-making roles in in-house call centres of 50 seats or more. 65 interviews were conducted with managers of centres in the UK and 70 were conducted in the US. The research was conducted by Loudhouse Research, an independent research consultancy based in the UK.

*A real-time decisioning engine based upon data from the customer interaction history, analytically derived propensity scores as well as the current interaction context, delivers prompts to frontline agents.

About Portrait Software
Portrait Software is now part of Pitney Bowes Business Insight (PBBI).

Portrait Software enables organizations to engage with each of their customers as individuals, resulting in improved customer profitability, increased retention, reduced risk, and outstanding customer experiences. This is achieved through a suite of innovative, insight-driven applications which empower organizations to create enduring one-to-one relationships with their customers.

Portrait Software was acquired in July 2010 by Pitney Bowes to build on the broad range of capabilities at Pitney Bowes Business Insight for helping organizations acquire, serve and grow their customer relationships more effectively. The Portrait Customer Interaction Suite combines world leading customer analytics, powerful inbound and outbound campaign management, and best-in-class business process integration to deliver real-time customer interactions that communicate precisely the right message through the right channel, at the right time.

Our 300 + customers include industry-leading organizations in customer-intensive sectors. They include 3, AAA, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, Dell, Fiserv Bank Solutions, Lloyds Banking Group, Merrill Lynch, Nationwide Building Society, RACQ, RAC WA, Telenor, Tesco Bank, T-Mobile, Tryg and US Bank.

Pitney Bowes Business Insight (PBBI) is a division of Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE: PBI). 

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