ANALYTICS: SHAPING THE RIGHT CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

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1 EMV Technology: Deploying Soon in the U.S. ANALYTICS: SHAPING THE RIGHT CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE 2010 Mercator Advisory Group, Inc. Clock Tower Place, Suite 420 Maynard, MA phone: 1(781) July 2015

2 CONTENTS Introduction...3 Customer Experience in an Omnichannel World...3 The Customer Experience Analytics Solution...6 Analytics, Experience, and Competitive Advantage...8 2

3 Introduction The maxim know your customer has always been important in business. Today, however, it is taking on new meaning as the delivery of a superior customer experience emerges as a key competitive battleground. To successfully provide a good experience, companies need to understand their customers on a deeper and more individualized level and then use that understanding to offer the type of experience their customers want. This is now a fundamental reality for companies involved in the payments ecosystem, including merchants and financial institutions (FIs). Payments are, of course, a critical part of the customer experience. But just as important, they are key source of information that can enable the effective use of analytics to know the customer better than ever. The use of analytics tools to drive a quality, targeted customer experience is rapidly becoming a key capability in business. To make the most of these tools, merchants and FIs need to take a comprehensive approach that draws on a wealth of payments information and other data about customer activities and works to shape the right experience across channels, both online and offline. Ultimately, merchants and FIs can use analytics to stay close to customers in a changing environment which is key to success in today s competitive environment. Customer Experience in an Omnichannel World Today s customers are exposed to a wide variety of new buying experiences driven by the evolving retail and channel strategies of merchants whose business models have both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce components. Firms such as Apple, Best Buy, Macy s, and Nordstrom have led the way strategically by introducing novel products and services. One result of this is that customers have constantly rising expectations for a superior experience. They expect to find what they want, when and where they want it, and to be served quickly and effortlessly. Today, a good customer experience is widely recognized among merchants as a critical key to increasing customer loyalty and revenue. Indeed, researchers have found that the ability to deliver such an experience typically brings significant value to companies. Financial institutions (FIs), too, have discovered how important an outstanding customer experience is to their customers, and they have a growing understanding of how such an experience can help expand relationships and boost loyalty. Payments are an important part of a good customer experience. Consumers expect payments to be handled quickly, reliably, and securely, with minimal hassle. Increasingly, merchants and FIs and their customers see payments not as a separate function, but as something that needs to be integrated and coordinated with other aspects of the overall experience. At the same time, payments data is a highly valuable source of information about consumer preferences and behaviors. 3

4 The growing number of channels used to interact with customers is creating challenges and opportunities on the customer experience fronts. Electronic commerce channels are routinely used by consumers, and mobile payments while still relatively small in payment volume are becoming more widespread in use. Similarly, FIs are finding that more and more customers are using online banking tools. In short, electronic channels are playing a larger role in customer interactions, and they need to factored into companies plans for delivering the right customer experience. Today, merchants and FIs operate in an increasingly omnichannel environment. Consumers not only have more channels to choose from when dealing with a company, they also tend to use them all. That is, they move freely across channels from the in-store point of sale to online shopping. What s more, they often use various channels in conjunction with one another. This is evident in the use of showrooming, in which customers in a store comparison shop online using their smartphones and often end up making their purchases at a competitor s online or physical store. Mercator research has found that about half of smartphone owners use such showrooming techniques. And an FI customer may well shop online for a loan, but then go to brick and mortar bank branch to actually sign up for a product and even check other banks rates via smartphone while waiting for the loan officer. As more channels emerge, customers do not simply embrace the new and abandon the old they use both. The traditional brick-and-mortar store remains key for merchants, and shopping in a store still accounts for an estimated 90% of all retail sales. So, the physical store is by no means being left behind but it now needs to coexist with the merchant s online presence. When the online and offline channels work together and are in sync, merchants can be in position to meet customer expectations for a seamless experience. This crosschannel integration also helps drive sales in both channels. As for FIs, the research shows that contrary to the all-too-frequent comments about the impending demise of the branch channel, branches are still important and relevant. Mercator Advisory Group found that personal contact and interaction with a branch representative yields the highest level of satisfaction among all communication channels for banking customers, indicating that full-service interaction is important to ensuring a superior customer experience. While this doesn t necessarily mean that all customers want to visit a teller or other representative for all transactions, it does suggest that consumers want to have the option to speak with a knowledgeable representative when they desire. 4

5 Today, the right customer experience needs to reflect this omnichannel reality. The movement from storebased traditional retailing to a seamless brick-and-mortar and online presence has been under way for some time, but it has been gaining attention as major retailers have transitioned from traditional, single-channelbased enterprises to multichannel and then omnichannel retailing. Similarly, leading banks and credit unions are leading the way from multichannel to omnichannel banking (See Figure 1). Figure 1: The Transition from Traditional (Monochannel) Retailing To Omnichannel retailing and Banking Traditional Retailing Customer interaction primarily through inperson, brickand-mortar experiences. Omnichannel Retailing Seamless customer experience between brickand-mortar and online presence Multichannel Banking Coordinated customer experience between brickand-mortar and online presence Omnichannel Banking Seamless, real-time, 360- degree view and awareness of the customer, with deep integration and/or native interoperability with core, back office, CRM, customer and predictive analytics Source: Mercator Advisory Group 5

6 The Customer Experience Analytics Solution As this evolution continues, the ability to deliver a good customer experience consistently, across channels becomes increasingly critical. When customers move freely across channels, and essentially make use of all channels, they will quickly notice differences in prices, promotions, and payment options and any problems in transferring seamlessly from one channel to another. When such problems arise, customers are likely to be dissatisfied and take their business elsewhere. Analytics can play in important role in avoiding such problems and help ensure that merchants and FIs are delivering the right experience to customers. Companies can gather data about consumer preferences and behaviors from across channels, analyze it to understand the customer more deeply, and then use that understanding to shape customer-facing programs and the overall customer experience. Today s analytics tools often make it possible to predict customer needs and desires and to create a tailored experience for the individual customer in real time. A merchant, for example, might use analytics to offer individualized promotions, delivered via smartphone, based on a customer s purchasing history, for example, or even on his or her physical proximity to a specific store. To be effective that is, to truly enable a deep understanding of customers wants, needs, and likely behaviors analytics programs need to draw on a wealth of information from across channels, and ultimately develop a 360-degree view of the customer. The proliferation of electronic interactions from the traditional point-of-sale transactions to mobile payments and online purchases not only makes this cross-channel view a necessity; it also means that there is a growing stream of data that companies can use to drive analytics. (See Figure 2) Figure 2: Banking Customers Many Data Sources Source: Mercator Advisory Group 6

7 The analysis of this data can help companies understand the kind of experience that will resonate with customers how, why, when, and where they want to engage with the merchant or FI. With their predictive capabilities, analytics can help companies recognize customer needs, even when those needs are unspoken or unknown by the customer. Overall, merchants and FIs can use analytics to deliver increasing levels of service and value over time, as they continue to understand more about customer needs, and move beyond simple data to information, insight, and enlightenment. (See Figure 3) Figure 3: Understanding The Banking Customer By Moving Beyond Simple Data Historic Views Current Views Future Views/ Projections Information (Knowledge derived from various sources ) Enlightenment (Internalization of customer wants and needs to ensure a superior customer experience) Insight (Analysis and synthesis of processed information) Structured Data (Database and data warehouse fields) Unstructured Data (Social media, text-based data, etc.) Source: Mercator Advisory Group 7

8 Achieving this level of understanding requires a strategy that goes beyond historic reviews of weekly or monthly transactions to encompass the constant gathering and analysis of data, as well as the ability to put the resulting insights to work to tailor the customer experience. This in turn requires more than an isolated technology solution: it calls for an amalgam of various capabilities, which Mercator Advisory Group calls an analytical customer experience (ACE) solution. An ACE solution is not a product set per se, but rather a coordinated approach to identifying and understanding customer wants and needs. An ACE solution will include an integration layer that pulls information from various customer-interaction channels and feeds them into enterprise marketing and analytics systems. It will also tie into core application and database systems, as well as into legacy systems with customer records and histories, as necessary. Overall, it will provide a complete solution that allows the company to increase its understanding of customers and predict their needs and then use that understanding to create a real-time or near real-time customer experience across channels. An increasing number of systems providers and implementers are offering these kinds of capabilities. The commercially available products that fit the ACE description do not usually include the words customer experience in their names. They also approach ACE from different perspectives, such as core and back-office capabilities, extended outreach from channels systems, or an enterprise and analytics perspective. But in general, the key to a successful ACE solution is having robust integration and/or native interoperability closely coordinated with predictive analytics capabilities. Drawing on the Power of Merchant DataPlace Delivering relevant customer experiences depend on access to quality data not only about customers, but also about merchants. And solutions have emerged to help ensure that this data is readily available. Discover now offers Discover Merchant DataPlace (MDP), a platform that provides easy access to a robust, cleansed, and validated database supporting location and branding information on millions of Discover accepting merchants. Updated daily, MDP contains a unique Merchant Identification Number, combined with corporate brand relationship, geo-location details, acceptance attributes (EMV, NFC acceptance) and metadata (store hours, contact information). MDP can be used by issuers, merchants, digital wallet and publishers for effective targeting and attribution. For example, it can enable the pushing of offers to customers who are near a given store, the sending of post-purchase confirmations to customers, and the ability to track the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Publishers and merchant advertisers leverage MDP to obtain an accurate MID-to-Brand match for true attribution. MDP can be a valuable data asset for companies that want to drive deeper insights to create differentiated customer experiences. Analytics, Experience, and Competitive Advantage Analytics has proven to be an effective tool for providing business insight in a range of industries and markets. Today, it has great potential for helping merchants and banks leverage their payment data and other customer information to deliver the right customer experience. And when done right, that type of experience can be a powerful competitive differentiator. 8

9 For merchants, an effective analytics capability can help increase customer loyalty and sales in an environment where customers have unprecedented choice and control, and where the pressure from competitors in the form of both online and physical stores is relentless. For FIs, it can help deepen customer relationships and profitability. It also provides a weapon to counter competitors who are offering new ways to purchase banking products and services. The key to achieving such benefits lies in creating a holistic, coordinated, omnichannel approach to the customer experience. Analytics can play a vital role in doing so and they will be especially effective when based on a comprehensive ACE solution. Indeed, without such a solution, companies are likely to find it difficult to deliver a good experience across channels that meet and exceed customer expectations. But with one, they can position themselves to keep meeting and exceeding customer expectations over the long run. Copyright Notice External publication terms for Mercator Advisory Group information and data: Any Mercator Advisory Group information that is to be used in advertising, press releases, or promotional materials requires prior written approval from the appropriate Mercator Advisory Group research director. A draft of the proposed document should accompany any such request. Mercator Advisory Group reserves the right to deny approval of external usage for any reason. Copyright 2015, Mercator Advisory Group, Inc. Reproduction without written permission is completely forbidden. 9

10 About Mercator Advisory Group Mercator Advisory Group is the leading independent research and advisory services firm exclusively focused on the payments and banking industries. We deliver pragmatic and timely research and advice designed to help our clients uncover the most lucrative opportunities to maximize revenue growth and contain costs. Our clients range from the world's largest payment issuers, acquirers, processors, merchants and associations to leading technology providers and investors. Services include Banking Channels, Credit, Commercial and Enterprise Payments, Debit, Emerging Technologies, Global Payments, and Prepaid practices, which provide research documents and advice; CustomerMonitor Survey Series, which report and analyze primary data collected in our biannual consumer surveys; and Consulting Services, which enable clients to gain actionable insights, implement more effective strategies, and accelerate go-to-market plans; offerings include tailored project-based expertise, customized primary research, go-to-market collateral, market sizing, competitive intelligence, and payments industry training. Mercator Advisory Group is also the publisher of the online payments and banking news and information portal PaymentsJournal.com. Visit About Discover Financial Services Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a direct banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States and has grown to become the third-largest payments network in the world. The company issues the Discover card, America's cash rewards pioneer, and offers home loans, private student loans, personal loans, home equity loans, checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit and money market accounts through its direct banking business. It operates the Discover Global Network, which includes Discover Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the nation's leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories. For more information, visit 10

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