The infrastructure of intelligent experiences

  • Posted on June 27, 2018
personalized customer experiences

This article was originally written by Avanade alumn Chuck Ingram.

Personalized attention to detail is a common success factor in great customer experiences, but one that is hard to replicate consistently at scale, especially for consumer-facing companies that aren’t digital natives. The first instinct of legacy businesses seeking a response to threats from digitally-born competitors may be to grasp for radical business model changes. While that may be a necessary course of action, it is risky and not an immediate solution.

Near term, it is possible to level the playing field in a more direct way: transforming the way the company guides customers through a buying journey that reliably attends to individualized, nuanced details. Fortunately, the infrastructure to execute such experiences uses technology that is ready to go, right now.

The retail banking industry is beset by a fresh influx of tech savvy competition so let’s take a look at how this “transform the customer experience details,” insight marketing strategy can be realized. Digital native banking services like Acorns, Ally, Movens and Simple are outflanking traditional banks by satisfying increasingly tech-savvy audiences with fresh, flexible business models. For instance, open banking - which asks institutions to use open APIs - opens the doors to digital entrepreneurs like Mint. Meanwhile, too many traditional banks have very disconnected sales, marketing and customer service systems that hamper the customer experience. I personally know of a major bank that has 38 different CRM systems across their enterprise. Integrated, updated systems only bring banks so far…what’s needed to compete are intelligent enterprises with systems that are cloud based, A/I and machine learning powered, and purpose-built for mobility.

Over the past several years, a series of interlocking collaborations have led to the integration of Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 and Adobe Marketing Cloud solutions with Avanade’s insight marketing and intelligent experience skills and Accenture’s digital marketing services and industry knowledge. The convergence of Adobe’s digital marketing platforms with Microsoft’s cloud-based, integrated enterprise technologies provide the most powerful infrastructure for intelligent customer experiences: it is infrastructure that lets businesses market based on insight, not just instinct. The resulting infrastructure provides a ready-to-implement way for banks to start leveling the playing field and, even, tilting the field back in their own favor.

To prove how retail banks can use this integrated infrastructure to compete now, Avanade recently demonstrated a solution that addresses the difficulty faced by retail banks in providing consistently positive customer experiences at scale across multiple generations of customers who have significantly different communication and technology preferences and skills.

In the demo, a bank representative staffing his institution’s booth at a conference, encounters an executive wishing to discuss his banking needs. Upon scanning the executive’s business card, the system uses Azure machine learning to check whether or not the visitor is already a customer of the bank and to develop an initial profile of the person through additional information pulled from LinkedIn. The solution then further enriches the prospect profile with publicly available real estate and financial data. The resulting profile allows the bank to match the prospect to a persona similar to the bank’s key customer types and determine the prospects propensity to be interested in various bank offerings. Finally, using Adobe Campaigns, the insight marketing engine automatically and intelligently deploys custom communications based on that prospect’s likely interests across a range of media and locations. The system matches a personalized message, service offering and call-to-action to the specifics of the individual prospect.

We have all been in situations where we had our business card or conference badge scanned or signed up for something and didn’t get a response. Or worse, we got an odd response like - “Hey, would you like to be a customer?” - when we already are a customer of that company. In the solution we have created, bank customer experience is improved because they get a prompt response and an offer that is contextually appropriate and meaningful to them. It is also communicated with language that fits their unique situation and is delivered to their device of choice.

On the backend, the bank’s marketing and sales executives can rapidly review all campaigns – across both physical and digital channels – to identify responses and to drive additional intelligent experiences that further cultivate customer relationships.

personalized customer experiences

The Infrastructure of Intelligent Experiences Supports and Connects the Entire Customer Journey

Of course, the retail banking industry isn’t alone in facing existential challenges from digital competitors. While legacy businesses identify long term responses, an immediate focus on superior execution of the customer experience using existing technology is a smart move to make right now.

“Sweat the details,” says the old adage. These days, gain can be gotten without so much pain. The infrastructure of intelligent experiences provides consumer-facing businesses in any industry a scalable way to deliver individualized customer experience details without sweating them.

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