Real-time decisioning tools critical to meeting increased customer expectations: Study

Study finds decisioning tools can play a pivotal role in improving customer experience in a post-COVID world

Real-time decisioning tools critical to meeting increased customer expectations: Study - CIO&Leader

Real-time decisioning technology can play a critical role keeping customers happy, reducing churn, and improving the customer experience in the face of ever-increasing expectations, according to new research by Pegasystems. The global study, conducted by research firm Savanta, surveyed over 3,500 decision-makers in 11 countries and across six industries on their approach to customer experience and real-time decisioning.

Although the study found real-time decisioning tools are now more important than ever, it also highlighted that some barriers still exist to both widespread adoption and maximizing the technology’s potential. 

Key findings include:

  • Real-time decisioning can help make business priorities a reality: 68% of respondents said that keeping up with increasing customer expectations was their top priority – a challenge given that 46% of organizations reported a high rate of customers don’t engage with communications, and 43% see a high rate of customer churn. In addition, 49% of businesses admitted to high numbers of customers raising complaints and issues. However, those already using real-time solutions reported happier customers (63%), reduced churn (61%) and even an increase in the acquisition of new customers (55%).
  • 1:1 engagement and real-time solutions are both becoming more important: 82% of all respondents familiar with real-time decisioning agreed that COVID-19 has made the use of real-time decisioning technology more important. Meanwhile, 77% of businesses agreed that to be successful, they must engage customers individually based on their behavior and preferences (up slightly from 75% when a 2019 Pega study asked the same question). 63% agreed that mass marketing to customers is a thing of the past (compared to 60% in 2019), suggesting a sustained move towards engaging with customers individually.
  • People, not technology, are the biggest barriers to adoption: When asked what the challenges were to their company implementing real-time decisioning, 78% of those not currently using real-time tools cited issues with people. This included 31% who cited a lack of employees adopting the necessary technologies and process, 30% who pointed to a lack of people with the necessary skill sets, and 29% who felt a lack of support or sponsorship from senior business leaders. Meanwhile, 58% of those not currently using real-time decisioning cited technology or operations issues as a challenge to adoption, with 29% pointing to a lack of data or analytical capabilities. 26% cited regulatory and/or compliance constraints and 23% blamed poor or outdated technology as an obstacle.
  • Many businesses are not making the most of real-time decisioning tools: Of companies currently using real-time technology, only 38% were re-scoring and re-decisioning on a real-time, continuous basis. This means that although they were seeing some benefit from decisioning, they were not fully maximizing its potential. By using the technology in real-time and not hourly, daily or weekly, organizations could start to see far more tangible benefits.

“The world’s getting smaller and more digital every day, and organizations have to work hard to provide a customer experience that stands out in an increasingly crowded marketplace,” said Rob Walker, general manager, 1:1 customer engagement, Pegasystems. “Moments of opportunity can open and close in a second or less, and real-time decisioning tools can help grasp them by taking into account a customer’s immediate context and using it to significantly increase relevance where it’s needed most. The time to tear down implementation barriers and embrace real-time decisioning is now. Companies will be rewarded by staying one step ahead of the competition and providing a hyper-personalized experience that will delight customers by being relevant.”

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