Very soon, Exchange Solutions will be rolling out an improved version of our customer engagement platform that will facilitate our data-driven approach to individualized offers faster and more effectively than ever before!
Brenda Higuchi, SVP of Analytics and Optimization, along with Exchange Solutions’ optimization and technology teams are currently working to create the “third generation” of our core customer engagement platform, using the most cutting edge, rigorous, adaptive algorithms available today. The new and improved optimization techniques will not only create a positive impact for our clients and their customers, but will have a bar-raising effect on the customer engagement industry at large.
In this article, Brenda talks about how we are seizing opportunities in technological developments and how our clients will benefit in the future.
Q: Brenda, your team has an extensive background in machine learning and algorithms. What made you decide to merge this expertise into your current optimization capabilities at Exchange Solutions?
A: At Exchange Solutions we want to move our clients beyond the typical CRM approach which is based on historical customer behavior patterns. Our philosophy is that your best opportunity to communicate with the customer is right now while they are already engaged – so how can we facilitate that real-time interaction with the best information possible?
The team is passionate about building algorithms that can learn from real-time and past data and act optimally. To do that, you need the support of a methodology like machine learning to facilitate real-time optimization.
Q: What exactly is “machine learning” and what are some of its implications for the customer engagement industry today?
A: Machine learning is a field in computer science that involves development of rigorous adaptive algorithms that can learn and make decisions from data. It requires a solid knowledge of statistics, linear algebra, as well as fundamental concepts in computer science.
A lot of analytics today are based on a predictive approach – focusing on what customers have done in the past in order to determine how to motivate them to do more of the same thing. Our big difference is that we use analytics to look for what behaviors people aren’t doing. We focus on discovering more about those people on the low propensity side – customers less likely to do what we want them to do – and then using individualized offers to encourage them to act. Our main focus with machine learning is optimization – so we produce the most optimal experience for the customer, as well as the most optimal outcome for our clients.
Q: In what ways will this new approach improve Exchange Solutions’ core product offering?
A: Our platform was designed to facilitate value exchange optimization (VEO) – the right message, in the right channel, with the right incentive, to drive the right behavior – and the optimization engine will help us do that better and faster and more effectively. What we’re doing today is pretty great – we’re getting fantastic results for clients, but this will make it even better.
Q: How will this new approach help Exchange Solutions to further enhance client results?
A: Our end goal is trying to achieve that win-win-win – where the client’s customer sees value because they get a relevant incentive (thanks to VEO), our client sees value in a more valuable customer, and we realize the benefit of helping the client achieve that.
Q: How will the work being done to enhance your customer engagement program impact the customer engagement industry?
A: In this big data world, we have a lot more knowledge about the interactions that happen before and after a transaction, to the point where they have become more relevant than the transaction itself. And at the end of the day, this real-time data available in the moments of customer interaction means a lot more than what that customer did yesterday, or last week, or last year.
So when we talk about customer engagement as an industry, that’s what we need to be focusing on now. Engaging the customer isn’t about observing a bunch of stuff and then reacting to it – it’s about what’s happening in the moment. I don’t think the industry’s quite there yet. I think that’s where companies like Exchange Solutions are leading the charge.
For even more insights from Brenda about our improved real-time optimization techniques and their impact on the customer engagement industry, check out the full article here.