Unlocking the Value of Your Customer Data (TAWPI Conference)

by Erin McCune on April 17, 2008

in BI and Performance Management

[I am in Las Vegas for the TAWPI Payments in Transition conference – these are my notes from one of the sessions. An index of all of the sessions and links to the rest of my notes is here. – EMc]

Keynote: Unlocking the Value of Your Customer Data
Malcolm Netburn, Chairman and CEO of CDS Global

[program blurb] This keynote general session will show how billers can reposition the lockbox to capture more client data to see a 360-degree view of their customers. Having a consolidated view of customer relationships helps to better understand a customer’s buying habits and tendencies, and allows organizations to create greater brand value and generate new revenue opportunities. This data can also trickle up through an organization, feeding specialized, departmental information management systems – helping organizations become more predictive, intuitive and proactive about their customers.  Perhaps most importantly, billers are able to make sound, confident marketing decisions, knowing that your data is fresh and accurate. 

My notes/observations:

I have been looking forward to this particular presentation as it is the most relevant to my B2B focus and efforts to help companies leverage their transactional data to drive better decision making company-wide. As the speaker's business is concentrated on magazines (a subsidiary of Hearst) most of the comments are geared toward consumer customers. But there are still implications for B2B.

Success for most organizations is driven by the quality of their customer relationships, in a multi-channel, complex environment. Customer information is key to driving marketing efforts, influencing strategic decisions, and determining success and failure of individual projects/products/acquisitions/initiatives.

Yet most organizations are not able to effectively collect and take advantage of the data available to them. Challenges include:

  • departmentalized, silo'd information management systems
  • paper and electronic data inputs in parallel, inconsistent processes
  • global, multi-channel commerce
  • various payment types
  • various methods of exchanging media (data)

Diversity of channels, payment methods, interactions are necessary to satisfy customers. But there is tension between ever increasing diversity and the need for cohesive data to make more effective decisions

Manual processing is not only inefficient, but leads to poor customer service. Information is cluttered, scattered, incomplete, often unused, or lost entirely.

Richer customer information, and more comprehensive understanding of needs, leads to more profitable relationship.

Solution: capture more complete data as processing (paper documents and electronic transactions). Why?

  • more accuracy
  • faster
  • 360 degree view of customer
  • higher availability and usability of information
  • drives enterprise systems
  • enables proactive customer service (at all touch points, departments across company)

AIIM Survey reveals undervalued opportunities (slide 6). Efficiency and productivity consistently ranks high, yet what about leadership/competitive advantage and enhancing profitability? These are undervalued as rationales for implementing scanning and capture technologies yet they have the most strategic impact.

Hierarchy of customer data collection, deployment, and use:


  • Orders/Invoice processing
  • Remittance
  • Customer database

Most companies are capturing valuable data during the order process: customer and transaction level. But what can be done with this information? Personalize communications and measure effectiveness, develop tailored offers/programs/features, understand purchasing habits/patterns, and make better corporate decisions to enhance marketing, build new revenue streams (new ways to add value), and identify cost saving opportunities.


  • Analytical databases
  • Web traffic (and implications)
  • Customer service

Ever increasing utilization of the web and proactive – rather than responsive – customer service. Analytical databases include data sources that are both traditional (orders, remittance) and nontraditional (e.g, surveys, partners, demographic data, web traffic, data gleaned from customer service preferences/patterns )and significantly drive better decision making and identify cross-sell and up-sell opportunities. Web traffic (navigation choices) reveals interests, preferences, and shopping/buying habits of of consumers and B2B customers as they visit your site.  Utilize advanced level data to further customize customer contact and promotions/offers, cross channel identification of customer needs, partnership and promotional opportunities.


  • Social networking
  • Interactive communication
  • Emerging channels (e.g. mobile)

Social networking is not just about MySpace and Facebook. Does your company have a blog? A wiki? Discussion board/forum? Do you communicate with customers via text message? Instant message? Do you have an interactive, two-way relationship with your customers? How can you offer information, tools, products and services to your customers via these new channels? Interactive communication offers insight, new customers (thru social networking exposure to your customers network), an opportunity to strengthen brand and tap into new generation of customers. New channels allow enhanced integration and synchronization of applications and data.

Examples of how CDS Global is unlocking value embedded in documents

Detect handwriting on document (see examples below)



Classification Keying to drive business rules/workflow. Eliminates manual sorting and maintains accurate and consistent application of business rules. (see example below)


Recommendation Systems

Based on analytic data, prompt customer service reps to make tailored offers (up-sell and cross-sell). Generates scripts on the fly, based on how the conversation progresses. Also utilized for outbound email and web-store interactions. For example, use email confirmation of order to up-sell/cross-sell.

Visually depict metrics (e.g. why offer accepted?) via dashboards in real time, informing decision making at all levels of the organization. (see example below)


Print on demand application that creates customized collateral/reports for individual customers based on variable data collected in database. Particularly useful for Financial Institutions developing material for risk management, asset allocation, etc. Customer perceives that great effort was made to customize information just for them. Deliver as either PDF over web or printed in color and delivered via mail (allow customer to choose).

The Future

  • Increasing complexity
  • Traditional (non-marketing driven) companies will become more marketing focused as services become increasingly commoditized.
  • Shift from "document management" to "customer information management"

>> Return to index of TAWPI conference sessions

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