Real-time decisioning: adding the oomph to CX


Let’s talk a bit about what using real-time decisioning can do for the customer experience.

You know how some people seem to lack a filter between what happens in their brain and what comes out of their mouth? In Finnish there is a saying that more or less translates to speaking “whatever the spit brings to your mouth”. It can be entertaining for a while, but only spitting out nonsense quickly turns boring and often even embarrassing. Repetition and completely useless information usually dominate the monologue.

The situation above, in a marketing and customer communication environment, could be called real-time communication, but is totally lacking the decisioning-component of the interaction. Technology uses only a minuscule amount of information before spitting out reactions to whatever happens.

My grandfather.

Moving forward to the next analogy: my grandfather is 99 years old. He is fantastic. He was born the same year Finland gained independence. Just imagining what he has been through and how the world has changed during his life blows me away. Nowadays, however, speaking with him has become more difficult. He doesn’t hear too well, and his short term memory is not that good anymore. He does remember stuff from the 40’s to an astonishing detail, though.

This situation, again, depicts circumstances where there is a decisioning component involved in the interaction, as he talks about what he knows and remembers, but the real-time component is lacking since the hearing is not that good and he doesn’t really remember what I did yesterday or an hour ago.

What if you could combine the two?

All too often when interacting with companies today we encounter either one, or both, of the situations above. Communication from the company is either irrelevant, hence lacking in the decisioning part, or outdated, hence lacking in the real-time part. Both can be annoying and certainly do not improve the customer experience or customer satisfaction.

The fact is, real-time decisioning will improve many aspects of customer experience, and the range of application of the discipline is quite wide. The world today is revolving around online, mobile, and other digital channels where real-time is, or at least should be, the norm. Decisioning, however, is not always based on the whole range of information available, a bit like my grandfather. In the digital world decisioning is usually based on short-term memory, which revolves around the particular session and information gathered right then and there. Long-term memory, which can be translated into off-line data, is more difficult to apply to the digital interaction, because this demands a bit more from data, among other things. Applying this data in a real-time environment to the mix would, however, add a significant amount of value for both customer and company.

Real-world example

Let’s take remarketing (or retargeting) as an example. A commonly used tool for remarketing is Google AdWords. The tag associated with AdWords only allows companies to connect with website visitors who saw a specific page or product, which means the targeting options are limited. We use only part of our memory in the real-time decisioning. With real-time decisioning we can add information and analytics to the mix and make the retargeting much more sophisticated, using all available information, and relevant for each customer.

If we want to add an element of pricing to the interaction, the price can also be personalized based on the identified customer and offline data, so that each given price is optimal for the customer. We can also decide to retarget only customers belonging to a e.g. high-value group by inserting real-time decisoning into the remarketing campaigns. In the same manner real-time decisioning can be used in claims situations, fraud detection, credit applications, mobile package pricing and offering, and much more.

There are a number of companies out there in the world who already are reaping the benefits of real-time decisioning in their customer facing processes. Take a look at Telenor, and with a bit of a different flavor, VISA.

Previous blogs:
The What, Why and How of Customer Analytics and Marketing Analytics
Marketing today - easier or more difficult?
Roll up your sleeves: We are now venturing into the marketing analytics practice!


About Author

Tomas Estlander

Sr Industry Consultant

Tomas Estlander on Senior Business Advisor SAS Instituten pohjoismaisessa markkinoinnin osaamiskeskuksessa (Center of Excellence). Tomas Estlander is Senior Business Advisor for Customer Intelligence in SAS Institute Nordic Center of Excellence.


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