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The power of Customer Decision Management


A few weeks ago Rob Brosnan wrote a nice piece on the Forrester blog – Is it time for Customer Decision Management? It’s a great piece and he described Customer Decision Management applications thus:

Customer decision management applications are tools that tailor the content, products, offers, and next actions presented to individual customers based on analytical processes applied to that individual’s profile and context and from the continuous learning accrued from other customers’ interactions.

Customer decision management, of course, is one of the prime reasons companies build Decision Management Systems as I describe in my recent book. And if you look at Rob’s characteristics of CDM applications you can see clearly how closely aligned our thinking is:

  • CDM applications are decisive – Principle #1 is that Decision Management Systems begin with the decision in mind, focusing on taking action not just presenting knowledge. As Rob points out this requires that CDM applications are also analytic and Principle #3 is that Decision Management Systems are predictive not reactive, using analytics to make decisions in the light of what is likely to be true in the future.
  • CDM applications are goal-driven and self correcting – Principle #4 is that Decision Management Systems are adaptive. They test, learn and continuously improve. As noted in my recent research on the capabilities you need for building Decision Management Systems, this involves both the effective management of decision logic (to support experimentation) as well as the use of automated analytic model tuning.
  • CDM applications are experimental and rules driven – Principle #4 again plus Principle #2 that Decision Management Systems are transparent and agile thanks to being rules-driven.

Like Rob I believe that Customer Decision Management, a focus on decisions to ensure that the action you take each time you interact with a customer is the right one, is an approach whose time has come. 4 years ago I wrote a series of posts on using Decision Management for a 21st Century customer experience but few examples existed. Now companies are really building the kind of Customer Decision Management applications Rob discusses – Decision Management Systems for customer treatment.


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