There’s no denying the use of internal business intelligence (BI) initiatives, but too many CIOs don’t recognize the amount of double-think involved with most BI. CIOs want to treat their customers with respect, but, at the same time, internal BI leaves customers in the dark, treated with a sensation that the company thinks it knows what’s best. It’s important not to overlook the most essential part of respecting consumers: to provide them with the key data points that they need in order to make an informed decision.
The most salient example is health insurance. Many Americans don’t support a universal health care system, believing that it would be a drain on the population and too much of a burden for the federal government. They believe this despite the fact that the U.S. spends more of its GDP on health care than any other nation and that the U.S. is accruing a higher per-capita health care cost than almost every other Western country. Despite all of this, the U.S. doesn’t even make the top 25 list in the world for life expectancy.
It wouldn’t be difficult for insurance companies to provide their customers with the information that they need in order to make an informed decision. Why shouldn’t customers be provided with basic statistics like their benefit per dollar spent, the difference they would have seen with a different plan, what the results of their claims were, and what physicians in their network have the best ratings? These small details would allow customers to have a clear snapshot of the product that they’re investing in and give them the power they need before making an investment.
But it’s not just insurance companies that are less than transparent. Almost every industry fails to provide the kind of data that wealth management companies show their customers to prove the performance of their products and help them see how they might better invest.
When customers can’t directly see how their relationship with a company is benefiting them, all they have to rely on is their memory, and, more often then not, they’re likely to remember bad experiences before the good. The solution is simple: don’t simply distribute BI to the C-Suite; distribute it to the public as well.
By making business intelligence external, companies can nurture their customer relationships, fostering trust and creating incentives for further investment. A little trust goes a long way.