Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) is the foundational metric of customer centricity. However, calculating lifetime value is a real challenge.  Even if you have an LTV solution, calculating it on an individual per-customer basis, and doing it QUICKLY so that this intelligence is actionable when it matters is extremely difficult.  This is what we have solved at Crooked Chimney, and here are five applications where this insight can be valuable to call centers:

  1. Inform Care Agents.  Let’s start with the simplest use case.  When a customer calls in to a care center, the agent is likely to first look-up the customer’s account.  LTV is one piece of information that would be valuable to an agent empowered to make decisions that may impact the future value of that customer.  If Jane Doe calls care requesting $10 back for a bad experience, and the care agent can see that Ms Doe is worth thousands in future net value, then it is an easy judgement to refund her $10 and keep the customer relationship.
  2. Create Scalable Guidance for Agents. Next, let’s accept that all customers do not represent the same value to your company.  Instead of displaying each customer’s predicted LTV as a dollar figure, display her value percentile instead to convey context relative to other customers.  Go the extra mile for a 98th percentile future value customer, but be more conservative with a 5th percentile caller.  Prepare agents with unique guidance based on different percentile ranges.
  3. Prioritize Callers. Different customers are not worth the same cost of care.  If you have the ability to predict LTV per customer as in the case of #1 above, then how about making decisions based on that before the agent even takes the call?  Use a customer’s CallerID to look-up his LTV.  If the caller represents a high-LTV customer, route the call to the front of the queue with top-tier agents.  If the caller represents a low-LTV customer, route the call to your lower-cost call center.
  4. Push the Right Offers.  At the end of many service calls, the agent often makes a push for some new service or special offer.  Use predicted LTV of the customer, perhaps along with his/her likelihood of attrition, to help in selecting the best offer for that person.  Measure the outcomes by any change in LTV trajectory for the customers that accept these offers.
  5. Measure Agent and Call Center ROI.  Aggregate the LTV for the segment of users that call into a care center in a given month.  Measure the total change in LTV for those callers from before that call month and then after that call month.  Segment further by call center or even down to an agent level.  This will tell you the true ROI of your call centers and help you identify your top and bottom performers.

Customer lifetime value metrics enable entirely new opportunities for automation logic and informed customer care outcomes.  Let us know if you think of any we’ve missed, and we may add them here.