BACKGROUND: Based in San Francisco, California, CustomerLinx (formerly known as Plus Communications International) is a knowledge-based marketing services company providing multi-mode customer analysis including inbound and outbound fax, IVR and Internet response services. Based on analysis of customer behaviors across all channels, the company provides effective customer-centric marketing solutions for different industries including telecommunications, retail and e-commerce.

PLATFORMS: CustomerLinx runs Decisionhouse on UNIX.

PROBLEM SOLVED: To address the problems of customer acquisition and churn, CustomerLinx developed an innovative cross-channel analysis solution that is customer centric. At the core of customer-focused marketing is the ability to tailor the offer, message or channel to individual customer needs, a technique that requires effective segmentation of the customer base. It is, therefore, imperative that marketers are not limited by customer data from a single channel, but are able to look at behavior from different dimensions. By bringing in Decisionhouse, we have been able to access and analyze clients' customer databases across all channels and profile customers with the highest propensity to buy a client's products or services, significantly increasing one-to-one customer management. Decisionhouse's knowledge-based, cross-channel analysis capabilities target the right customers at the right time, enabling CustomerLinx to increase a recent campaign response rate from 0.8 to almost four percent.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Decisionhouse visually transforms data into easily understood 3-D graphical representations, enabling us to quickly recognize behavior patterns in models of customer data. Powerful interactive visualization capabilities through multidimensional graphics help define the impact of what has happened and what may happen for increased effectiveness of database marketing campaigns. Decisionhouse allows analysts to build and view all necessary customer data and create predictive models all within one process and then deploy results within business deadlines. The software takes those aspects of segmentation, OLAP, reporting, statistics, query, data mining and visualization necessary for the whole customer behavior management process and incorporates them in a single, integrated package for business users. Decisionhouse is also able to interface with ODBC-compliant data sources, allowing it to load data automatically. As a result, CustomerLinx can analyze the data while the campaign is still running to refine and redirect resources rather than wait for results from one campaign to improve the next.

STRENGTHS: Decisionhouse truly builds a superior knowledge-base of customer behavior by its ability to process and analyze extremely large amounts of data. Decisionhouse's ability to process hundreds of megabytes of data rapidly enables a customer profile to be built in 25 percent of the time required by competitors. The ease with which Decisionhouse interfaces with data sources and then delivers analytical results is one of the reasons for CustomerLinx's unique success with our clients. The speed and productivity of Decisionhouse allowed us to implement the unique "in-campaign modeling" process, administering constant improvement in the ability to isolate the more important customer prospects. This program also allows CustomerLinx to analyze data results within the campaign and tailor campaigns to a variety of needs, including maximizing revenues and profitability.

WEAKNESSES: Decisionhouse creates a large number of files which, in turn, uses a good deal of disk space. The large number of files created by Decisionhouse makes it difficult for the untrained professional to keep track of which files are needed and which can be deleted.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We selected Quadstone's Decisionhouse because of its ability to look at many different customer dimensions and deliver the results in an interactive graphic visual format. The product's capability to analyze whole customer bases across different channels quickly is a major advantage.

DELIVERABLES: Decisionhouse offers multidimensional visualizations of customer behavior, cross tabulated reports, decision tree segmentations and response models, customer behavior data available across multiple channels, mailing and control cell lists, and ability to analyze clickstream data.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Quadstone's pre- and post-implementation support is excellent. The skilled staff offers positive and extremely helpful advice and training.

DOCUMENTATION: Decisionhouse documentation includes a comprehensive product walk-through/tutorial as well as a detailed reference manual. All of the documentation is available in hard copy or online via a Web browser.

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