Some of Australia’s largest enterprises, including the big four banks, will soon have access to customer empathy metrics in their customer engagement and decisioning software.
Pegasystems, an enterprise software company best known for its process automation and CRM, will add new empathy tools to its decisioning platform at the end of the year.
The goal of the new tool, which will display by default in Pegasystems dashboards, is to put organisations “in the shoes of customers” by providing customer empathy metrics like relevance, suitability and value to the customer in addition to traditional financial and retention measures already available.
Pegasytems use artificial intelligence to allow enterprises to analyse millions of data points before the software recommends several the “next best actions” through its “Customer Decision Hub”. One of the most popular use cases is banks using the hub to support customer service and sales agents by providing data in real time while they interact with customers.
The Commonwealth Bank has used the tool for years, saying it has helped improve customer experience and operational efficiencies. Pegasystems also counts the three other major Australian banks as customers.
The information supplied by the Pegasystems’ hub helps agents with customers’ history but can also be used to give an estimated likelihood of accepting an offer, allowing organisations to put some hard data into sales opportunities.
Pegasystems believes by adding empathy metrics organisations can create more valuable long term relationships with mutual benefits even if that means sacrificing short term sales. Pega customers have been able to use its tools to gain the empathy insights themselves in the past but the company will now include them by default.
During PegaWorld in Las Vegas this week where the new tool was announced, company executives pointed to the Commonwealth Bank, as an example of organisations using the empathy measures even if it meant a short term hit to the bottom line.
The technology is behind CBA’s automated upcoming fee reminders which CEO Matt Comyn said last week will cost the bank over $400 million in potential revenue.
But CBA and its apparent willingness to forego revenue in the name of customer empathy may be an unusual case. Australia’s largest bank has been under pressure to correct its history of putting profits ahead of customers, as was exposed in the recent Royal Commission and APRA inquiry.
Whether other organisations actively use Pegasystems new tools when they release at the end of the year remains to be seen.
Dr Rob Walker, Pegasystems vice president decisioning and analytics told Which-50 he expects the tool will change some of the decisions being made by organisations and help “shame” themselves some into action.
“I think this will have an effect [on decisions] because it’s not like it’s an effort [to access the empathy metrics],” Walker said.
“You can also ‘shame’ companies, I think in a way, especially with empathy. I don’t think companies are, specifically, very aware of [empathy metrics]. So the fact that we’re measuring [and] letting them see, it’s really in your face.”
From a technical standpoint the tools are not a great leap, Walker said, noting some customers had been measuring similar empathy metrics using Pega tools already of their own accord. Promoting empathy metrics to all customers has become important now because of the increasing commoditisation of AI, Walker said.
“AI will become a commodity. And we see Pega as sort of the arbitration engine on top of [AI]. So these meta level things like transparency, authenticity and empathy are good things to focus on in the future.”
Walker said several Pegasystems customers had also asked for the new tools as a standard.