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Leading banks illustrate the benefits of customer intelligence

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A recent customer intelligence (CI) business breakfast hosted by SAS
Institute in Johannesburg revealed how ABSA and Nedbank have used the SAS
customer intelligence software to improve customer profitability and
satisfaction.

The breakfast played host to delegates from a variety of industries
including banking, auditing and telecoms. Featuring speakers Simon Marland,
CIO retail banking for Nedbank and Anthony Hlungwane, GM analytics and
sector information officer for ABSA.
"We look to analytics to help us create the capacity to understand hidden
truths about our customers," says Hlungwane.
"ABSA really recognises that its customers are its most valuable assets, our
customer intelligence solution has helped us improve our customer
satisfaction resulting in staff motivation."
In the financial sector specifically, customer analytics software strives to
achieve three main goals, namely to acquire customers, to retain more
customers and to increase customer profitability. However, apart from the
business and ROI benefits customer analytics allows banks to better serve
their customers, knowing what they want and being able to give it to them;
resulting in improved customer satisfaction.
"It really comes down to implementing client centric activities based on
your analytic models, and giving the customer tailored solutions," says
Marland.
Banks like Nedbank and ABSA are often required to store around ten years of
data, which results in large amounts of customer knowledge for them to work
with. However, as both speakers highlighted at the conference, implementing
the software is only the beginning for them, the true value of CI tools lies
in how you implement solutions based on the analytics and models that you
derive from your data.
"To get true value from any analytics software, the key is to follow through
with models and implement changes in the frontline. This can be done by
empowering your call centre agents and sales staff by giving them the
information they need when dealing with your customers on a personal level,"
says Marland.
SAS is holding a further three CI events between July and December with the
next event falling on the 25 July 2008 at the Westcliff hotel in
Johannesburg. It will feature international customer intelligence expert
Phil Winters, the Managing Senior Partner, at CI Agenda who will be
presenting on how to maximise the return on your marketing investment.
"Our CI events are designed to let users educate users, by supplying a
platform for our clients to speak on their own experiences with our
solutions we are supplying an independent impression and allowing the truth
to reveal itself through their own customer intelligence experiences," says
Gerrit van Wyngaard, SAS Customer Intelligence.