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Let’s Talk About Predictive and Prescriptive Technologies

Posted by: Sean Charnock | 04.06.2017

Technology is truly marvelous. Can we all take a quick second to just acknowledge that? With so many new developments emerging every day, it can be hard to keep up with what is possible. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks, etc. have all allowed for exponential growth in human capabilities, and soon will be an integral part of nearly everything we use in our day to day lives.

Buzzwords have always confounded me and how a single word and/or phrase can be used to describe such encompassing movements is almost comical. Ask a group of ten what ‘the cloud’ is and the wide varying responses could be wildly different. In that vein, two techy buzzwords have been circulating recently that have many people a bit confused: predictive and prescriptive. These are two key concepts for the future of automation, yet many are still a bit unsure about what each of them mean. In terms of customer experience, they might be the two most important concepts to know.

Predictive technologies, namely predictive analytics, synthesize data to (as the name implies) predict the future actions of potential customers. Drawing upon such factors as buying history, preferences, contact history, and any other touchpoints that consumers might have with your business, new technologies are able to give customer engagement leaders a clearer picture of how their customers are actually interacting with them. This can dictate what actions companies should take in the future to make experiences quicker and easier for consumers.

Prescriptive technologies, however, are those that takes the same information and uses it to generate offers and make decisions for customers. Whereas predictive technologies are predominantly inward-facing (driving internal decisions), prescriptive technologies are outward facing (using data to drive buyer decisions). I’m sure you’ve seen prescriptive technologies in action, as every time you log on to Amazon there is a rather large “Recommended for You” section, which are customer-facing offers generated by synthesizing past data.

Using these technologies, you can get closer to your customers.
Using these technologies, you can get closer to your customers.

After gaining a better understanding of what these concepts are, you can really start to think about implementing them into your customer engagement offerings. Innovative companies like Amazon, Spotify, and Salesforce are already using predictive and prescriptive technologies in their offerings today, and, as you might expect, they are some of the most well respected brands for user and customer experience. When businesses have the ability to anticipate and meet the needs of their customers, they are able to build more trust and intimacy with their clients. Reducing the effort for the customer means that there should be no barriers preventing them from coming to you for business and staying with you.

Want to put these technologies to work for your business? Talk to us.


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