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Real Time Personalization

Overheard at PegaWorld iNspire: Real-time personalization dominates the conversation

Tara DeZao,
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PegaWorld iNspire 2021 wasn't just Pega's signature event gone virtual. This year, we set out to showcase what the next generation of customer engagement looks like as marketers prepare for the next phase of a tumultuous couple of years. We still aren't sure how our world will look as the pandemic fades. Sure, how we work has changed, but what's changed even more is the way that marketers interact with customers. And with the deprecation of third-party cookies just over the horizon, the marketing landscape is finally accepting that successful marketing has morphed into delivering an amazing one-to-one customer experience and away from broad audience engagement strategies.

But don't take our word for it. Brands lined up to talk to the audience about what they struggle with, how they solve those challenges, and what their plan for the future is. Senior leaders across analytics, marketing, and customer experience revealed how, together, we are reinventing engagement – tearing down the barriers to deeper, more sustainable customer relationships and making marketing truly about individual customers, not segments. Spoiler alert: They talked about real-time decisioning, customer empathy, and true one-to-one personalization converging to get them there.  Here’s what they had to say.

Finding, converting, and retaining customers is a universal challenge for brands, regardless of which industry your organization falls into. But each organization has specific challenges and specific customer needs to address. We heard from Jason Barbrow, Vice President of Customer retention from Sirius XM, whose audio properties reach more than 100 million audience members each month. As the leading audio content provider in the U.S., they field 12 million calls per year at offshore call centers where they have integrated Pega's Customer Decision Hub™.

A core challenge that Jason and his team face are that SiriusXM’s customer-facing tool is easy to use, but behind the scenes, there are multiple price points, term lengths on subscriptions, and various payment options that cause complexity in their business and customer retention strategy. What's more is that the COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on operational capability and in some cases is not able to scale to meet customer service needs.

SiriusXM has been able to mitigate these challenges and realize improvement in customer retention and revenue acceleration with transparency and connectivity across channels utilizing the Pega Customer Decisioning Hub. By unifying data across webchat, text messaging, customer care, and intelligent virtual assistant channels, SiriusXM has been able to tailor its retention strategy to individual customers.

According to Jason, "We've seen improvements in survival rate when customer engagement is treated with Pega versus when they aren't. At the same time, those relationships have generated higher revenue outcomes. Combine more customers with higher revenue and those metrics become very meaningful."

For example, if a customer feels they want to cancel their service because they can't justify the cost of their subscription, they can utilize data to take the next best action and offer additional channels to their customers to engage them and drive more value for their customer and their organization.

No consumer wants to be served an irrelevant message at the wrong place and time.

We're all inundated with them ­– the average person encounters more than 6,000 advertisements every single day and most of them are irrelevant. Great customer engagement isn't just about figuring out how to communicate when you have something relevant to say, it's about knowing when the customer is ready to hear it and what channel is ideal to speak to them on.

In his PegaWorld keynote, Giles Richardson, Head of Personalization at Wells Fargo, underscores how challenging it can be to drive relevant, meaningful conversations in an organization with 70 million customers, 4600 branches, and 32 million mobile app users. That adds up to billions of interactions across a spectrum of channel types, both digital and in-person. "Any large organization will have diverse views on what are the most important channels and conversations to start with – it is a bit like compiling a list of the best songs ever made. Consensus may be impossible, but you can go for a majority." But a truly successful customer journey can't be driven by what marketers think customers need.

For Wells Fargo, it's paramount that defining needs is customer-led and, in a pandemic, situationally appropriate, "For us, we went with channels important to our customers, so mobile-first was a clear choice. We also wanted a people channel, such as branches or call centers, and an outbound channel, such as email or app push. And, as people have had to change the way they bank over the past year, our list included a lot of digitization messages. To help those perhaps suffering from financial hardship as a result of the pandemic, we also included financial health conversations."

Once Wells Fargo defines the channel, the adaptive models they have built-in their Pega Customer Decision Hub leverage data from all their connected channels to determine which conversation they should have with that customer, at that specific moment. Giles’s team evaluates their Pega Customer Decision Hub and the channels, plus data it brings together to measure success by asking "Is it working? Is it learning? Is it better?" So the real question is: Is it? Giles sums it up, "Well, better is a continuum. But we've already seen engagement rates increase by 3X, even 10X, almost immediately. "

As we discussed above, the customer journey is noisy. And in almost no industry is that more evident than telecommunications. It's a hyper-competitive market with a finite amount of customers to take market share from. Vodafone Spain was challenged with low Net Promoter Scores (NPS) and how to articulate their brand differentiation in a meaningful way.

Their team strategized to overcome these challenges by reducing silos across their organization, shortening lead times, and going from engaging their customers with limited context to delivering hyper-personalized, relevant, and meaningful experiences. Ivan Lastra, Marketing, Commercial, and Analytics Manager at Vodafone Spain, detailed, "We had to completely rethink our approach to deliver more omnichannel, contextually relevant, and personalized one [experiences], and that charter matches perfectly with the capabilities of Pega. They have given us the main ingredients we needed to create a magic recipe to move from product-oriented to a customer-centric approach." Those ingredients are pulled together inside Pega Customer Decision Hub.

Vodafone is now able to move faster because they no longer have to pull in IT for promotion development. They moved from weekly and daily reporting to real-time reporting to guide their decision-making. And they were able to move from a campaign-based approach. which they planned 40 days in advance. to a daily cadence of inbound marketing. Through this, they have achieved 24% incremental revenue growth quarter over quarter. Ivan ended by saying, "The path forward is clear, moving to deliver the next level of experiences depends on automating front-end operations as much as possible to allow our channels to articulate one-to-one personalized offerings."

The message from the PegaWorld stage was a clear one: Real-time decisioning produces real results.

Our customers articulated to us what we truly believe, which is, when you put AI at the center of everything you do and unify your data, analytics, and channels into a single connected experience, you can make every customer experience relevant, and meaningful, without exception.

Visit to learn more about how our clients are injecting meaning and relevance into customer experience.


Area prodotto: Customer Decision Hub Argomento: Esperienze clienti personalizzate Argomento: IA e processo decisionale Industry: Intersettoriale Sfida: Customer Engagement

Informazioni sull'autore

Tara DeZao, Pega’s Product Marketing Director for AdTech and MarTech, helps some of the world’s largest brands make better decisions and get work done with real-time AI and intelligent automation.

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