Data Mining On the Fly
"We monitor results daily and tweak and redesign the script as necessary in the first couple weeks," says Branda. "Once we have a champion, we build a new challenger to see if we can beat that champion."
Tweaking may be a matter of testing premiums, offers or approaches. Partners First might customize its rewards program to offer a specific category of rewards to a defined segment. For example, an offer may include airline or travel partners based on a segment's redemption and usage data.
In addition to using call monitoring to track rep performance and tweak scripts, FutureCall offers clients a high-tech product called ScriptPath.
Says Sandra Alexa, FutureCall's vice president of marketing, "All of our scripting is online, so ScriptPath is able to mark the path the TSR takes on any given call. It tracks rebuttals and questions and answers. You can see how the script is being used, and see which questions are being asked most often. You see how effective the script is, and what kinds of objections customers are raising. It takes script analysis to the next level."
Partners First and FutureCall monitor script performance on a daily basis, and, like the response model they use, can change the script at any time. Still, while the tool is helpful, Branda still finds that technology can only improve results so much. "It's the marketer who knows what rebuttals to give or what strategy to take," he says.
Finding benefits and communicating them still is the province of human beings, not machines. After all, although data mining helps identify likely prospects, personal day-to-day decisions determine customers' behavior.
"The goal of credit card marketing is really to get people to reach for your card first," Branda explains. "Position one in the wallet is what everyone strives for."