Winners: 2017 CX Vendor Excellence Awards

Congratulations!

Temkin Group announces the winners of its 2017 Customer Experience Vendor Excellence Awards:

Clarabridge, Medallia, Qualtrics, Rant & Rave, and Root.

 

Here are excerpts from the winners’ submissions:

  • Clarabridge’s CX Suite helps companies understand and manage the customer experience. Customer feedback is taken in and analyzed, using Clarabridge’s advanced text analytics and sentiment analysis capabilities. The meaning of the text is analyzed, and the underlying root causes of each trend, complaint, and compliment is identified.
  • Medallia strives to be a single source of truth across all customer touchpoints and to make real-time customer feedback available to employees across the organization. Medallia’s core differentiation lies in our ability to drive thousands of active users to our application rather than depending on centralized CX teams to interpret customer feedback and share periodic reports.
  • Qualtrics’ XM Platform™ provides human-factor data–the beliefs, emotions, and sentiments that tell you “why” things are happening. The predictive intelligence layer within the platform allows companies to not only respond to the experiences they have delivered in the past, but also predict how changes will influence customer satisfaction in the future.
  • Rant & Rave helps businesses profit from customer sentiment, turning customers into Ravers by reacting and responding to their emotions and feelings in realtime. Whilst traditional CX vendors continue to rely on the collation and reporting of feedback through lengthy surveys and market research, we provide our clients with a disruptive engagement model, which delivers industry-leading response rates.
  • Root Inc.’s Customers for Life process includes defining a customer-first culture at the leader level, empowering managers to make customer-focused decisions, and providing the front line with coaching and tools to deliver an authentic customer experience. This approach engages employees at every level so they can internalize their specific role in driving the customer experience and how they impact big-picture outcomes.

Below are the first two sections from the winners’ nomination forms, Company Overview and Make The Case

The full nomination also includes descriptions of five client case studies and a listing of client contacts that we subsequently contacted to incorporate their feedback in the scoring. These two sections were only edited for formatting and, in some cases, truncated:

Clarabridge

Company Overview:

Clarabridge is a SaaS customer experience management solution provider. We help

hundreds of the world’s leading brands put customer feedback to work. Clarabridge offers the most comprehensive solution for omni-source listening, accurate customer, and text analytics, and real-time, guided action. That’s why leading brands trust Clarabridge to power their CX programs and drive a customer focused strategy. The result: better customer experiences.

Make The Case:

Clarabridge provides the tools that help large enterprises put their customers first. Being customer-centric means that a company listens to customers, stays engaged in the conversation, and then acts based on the customers’ needs.

In addition to being dedicated to educating companies on the principles of customer experience management through our blog, content assets, and frequent webinars, Clarabridge is the only vendor who offers omni-source listening, best in class customer analytics, and real-time, guided actions for fast front-line response.

The Clarabridge CX Suite includes:

  • CX Analytics. An industry leading tool that lets companies listen to their customers everywhere, accurately interpret feedback, scale to their business needs, and put feedback to work.
  • CX Social. This social engagement platform allows social media marketing and social customer care teams to use social data both strategically and for rapid, cost effective front-line response.
  • CX Survey. This is a full-featured hosted survey tool that also includes adapters to other popular survey solutions.

The entire CX Suite helps companies understand and manage the customer experience. Customer feedback is taken in and analyzed, using Clarabridge’s advanced text analytics and sentiment analysis capabilities. The meaning of the text is analyzed, and the underlying root causes of each trend, complaint, and compliment is identified. That lets companies take data-driven action to improve business processes, make strategy decisions, and drive customer satisfaction. Clarabridge helps companies put their customer feedback to work.

Medallia

Company Overview:

Medallia makes software that improves the customer experience. The software enables companies to capture customer feedback everywhere the customer is (including web, social, mobile, and contact center channels), understand it in real time, and deliver insights and action everywhere—from the C-suite to the frontline.

Medallia helps companies create close connections between employees and their customers, so that companies can deliver better customer experiences. By improving CX, Medallia customers can better differentiate and drive business impact such as higher margins, better retention rates, and lower operating costs. Medallia is trusted by hundreds of the world’s leading brands across multiple industries.

Make The Case:

Medallia wants to create a world where companies are loved by their customers and employees. We do this by creating a human connection between employees and their customers. Regardless of whether companies share this aspiration or are simply driven by a business need to use CX for sustainable differentiation or business impact (e.g., higher margins, ARPU, retention rate), Medallia believes customer experience strategies need to be embedded into the company DNA to create meaningful impact and drive culture change.

We strive to be a single source of truth across all customer touchpoints and to make real-time customer feedback available to employees across the organization. Ultimately, we want the voice of the customer to be as pervasive as email. Medallia’s core differentiation lies in our ability to drive thousands of active users to our application rather than depending on centralized CX teams to interpret customer feedback and share periodic reports. For example, tens of thousands of employees at industry leaders like Apple, Verizon, and Marriott log into Medallia daily. The feedback is in real time and jurisdictionally appropriate, with tailored reporting for each role. As a result, employees not only become more connected to the customer experience but also more accountable, empowered, and innovative in their efforts to improve the customer experience.

The secret to operationalizing feedback lies in the ability to map to and stay mapped with an organization’s ever-changing hierarchy. The moment the wrong feedback is sent to the wrong employees or non-relevant data inundates users, adoption and trust in the program break down. Medallia OrgSync is a dynamic hierarchy management tool that maps and maintains organizational and user structures. Unlike platforms that require manual intervention and cannot handle complex structures, Medallia OrgSync accurately reflects complex structures and keeps them up to date automatically so that you always get the right information to the right person, right away. Without comparable capabilities, companies have struggled to maintain programs through organizational changes.

Another secret to driving employee engagement and addiction to customer feedback is to decrease the friction involved with connecting to the information. Medallia’s mobile app is the only app in our space with hundreds of thousands of active users. A popular Silicon Valley mobile metric is to gauge daily active users (DAU) as a percentage of monthly active users (MAU). This gives a sense of how sticky and addictive the app is. For example, Facebook’s ratio is 65%. Medallia’s current DAU/MAU is 42%— among the highest of enterprise software companies! By comparison (according to Pew Research and Mobile Action), Salesforce.com’s figure is approximately 23%, Evernote’s 16%, and Dropbox’s 24%. Medallia, as a more social application with incoming customer feedback, has distinct advantages over other enterprise software providers. The combination of tapping intrinsic curiosity with customer feedback, getting the right information to the right people, and delivering as frictionless an experience as possible drives this engagement.

To make the customer voice even more pervasive, Medallia recently released a second mobile app, Medallia Voices. Medallia Voices gives executives and senior leaders an easy way to stay in touch with customers and employees. Each day, Voices delivers a set of randomly selected comments from across the business to an executive’s mobile device. The executive can swipe through the day’s “headlines” to quickly get a sense of what customers are saying and take action such as praising an employee or sharing feedback to spark new conversations. With an engaging user experience and simple actions that fit into the day, Voices brings executives closer to the voice of the customer and spreads customer-centricity from the top down. Voices also works with Apple TV so companies can stream live customer feedback throughout their offices.

Qualtrics

Company Overview:

Qualtrics is a rapidly growing software-as-a-service company and the leader in experience management. More than 8,500 enterprises worldwide, including more than 75 percent of the Fortune 100 and 99 of the top 100 U.S. business schools, rely on Qualtrics. Our solutions make it easy to measure, prioritize, and optimize the experiences organizations provide across the four foundations of business: customer, product, employee and brand experiences.

Make The Case:

Qualtrics offers the world’s first experience management platform designed to address the growing experience gap––the gap between market, customer, and employee expectations and what organizations actually deliver. Similar to how Salesforce and Workday have defined the evolving CRM and HRM categories, Qualtrics is creating the experience management (XM) category. The first solution in this space, the Qualtrics XM Platform™, helps companies measure, prioritize, and optimize the experiences companies deliver across the four foundation aspects of business—customers (CX), products (PX), employees (EX) and brands (BX).

The strength of this platform is in tying together the four foundational experiences of business and using data to improve these core experiences.

Instead of relying solely on operational data, which measures past events, experience data from the Qualtrics XM Platform™ provides human-factor data–the beliefs, emotions, and sentiments that tell you “why” things are happening. The predictive intelligence layer within the platform allows companies to not only respond to the experiences they have delivered in the past, but also predict how changes will influence customer satisfaction in the future.

The Qualtrics XM Platform™ leverages Qualtrics’ deep expertise in powering customers’ customer experience, employee experience, and market research programs with the Qualtrics Insight Platform. Now, with a unified backend and expanded PX and BX product lines, Qualtrics will enable the creation of the first full enterprise experience management platform, and will help companies close their experience gaps with true enterprise intelligence. The Qualtrics Experience Management Platform allows companies to holistically understand the full customer journey from awareness to purchase to delivery, and engages both customers and employees with an intuitive technological experience. Lastly, the Qualtrics XM Platform’s RESTful API allows clients to easily integrate with current systems of record to increase engagement, reduce organizational complexity, and drive results.

RANT & RAVE

Company Overview:

Rant & Rave provides sentiment-driven customer engagement solutions with a difference. Created with the belief that fundamentally brands and consumers want the same thing – to deliver and receive great service – half of the FTSE rely on the Rant & Rave Platform to proactively communicate with and gather fast feedback from their customers. By putting sentiment at the heart of their customer interactions, brands are able to improve business performance through return on emotion, and transform ‘Ranters’ into engaged ‘Ravers’ – lifelong advocates.

Make The Case:

At Rant & Rave, it is our mission to help businesses worldwide profit from customer sentiment, turning customers into Ravers by reacting and responding to their emotions and feelings in realtime. Whilst traditional CX vendors continue to rely on the collation and reporting of feedback through lengthy surveys and market research, we provide our clients with a disruptive engagement model which delivers industry-leading response rates. We help brands to become sentiment-driven businesses by engaging their customers in real-time, at the moments that matter.

The Rant & Rave Platform combines Proactive Communication, Fast Feedback and Frontline Engagement to provide our customers with a holistic customer engagement solution. Proactive Communication not only enables our clients to send their customers timely messages but it also allows those customers to respond in real-time, turning broadcast communication into intelligent conversations. Our Fast Feedback solution then immediately captures insight from customers through the channel that suits them, whether that’s via text message, voice recording, or email. Our ‘one score, one comment’ approach allows customers to get straight to the point, and brands to discover what really matters to their customers, without the constraints of leading questions. Our Sentiment Engine technology then uses text analytics (rather than simple keyword matching) to understand every word; this allows themes, threats and ideas to be presented back to the business on a personalised dashboard, alongside the verbatim comments. The Frontline Engagement module then takes all of the elements from Fast Feedback and presents them to frontline staff and agents on their own gamified dashboard. The module allows agents to see how they’re performing from a customer perspective, on topics as diverse as listening, product knowledge and speed, and how they rank against their peers in a Live League Table. This introduces an element of competitiveness that encourages employees to push harder and take pride in their work.

This innovative solution has helped our clients to improve engagement, and boost morale by emphasising the importance of employee satisfaction as well as customer satisfaction. Results seen by our clients have included a reduction in the number of agents on performance plans by 70%, sickness levels fallen to under 5%, and an increase in staff retention.

All three elements of the Rant & Rave Platform were designed to shake up the VoC industry, challenge the way that things have always been done, and put the fun back into feedback. This year, we’ve taken things one step further…

*World’s First Customer Feedback Integration with Amazon Alexa*

Our latest innovation continues our trend of offering our clients access to the latest developments in technology for capturing feedback. We’ve developed the world’s first customer feedback integration for Amazon Alexa, Amazon’s cloud-based voice service. Rant & Rave clients are now able to capture the real voice of their customers through Amazon Echo and other Amazon Alexa enabled devices.

The integration of Rant & Rave with Amazon Alexa means that customers will be able to share feedback quickly and easily in their own words wherever an Alexa enabled device is located, be that a hotel room, retail store or airport lounge. Customers will be asked to score their experience and provide feedback in their own words. Rant & Rave’s Sentiment Engine understands every word in real-time and sends the insight directly to the brand, presenting it either in an online dashboard, or inserting it straight into their CRM system, depending on their preference.

*Next Generation Frontline Engagement*

The conception of Frontline Engagement in 2014 was a first for the industry, revolutionizing contact centre agents’ visibility of the voice of the customer, and presenting it in a gamified way. Never one to rest on our laurels, we’ve held workshops with clients to understand what they value most about the solution and used their feedback to enhance the offering even more to help them stay on top of their game. Specifically, our clients indicated that they wanted to challenge their agents to be ‘consistently great.’ Our next generation Frontline Engagement offering now focuses more on human-to-human interactions by bringing the actual words of the customer and sentiment to the forefront as opposed to just the scores alone. Our research has shown that agents can improve, learn and transform their behaviour much more easily if they understand why they have been “scored” in a certain way as they can see exactly what they did right and where they can improve. The dashboard has been transformed to encourage this behaviour by highlighting key verbatim comments in a word cloud to pinpoint desirable behaviour and enable focused coaching by managers. The screen is designed to be more familiar to future contact centre employees – millennials – with its social comments feed appearance. The screen is split into feedback, agent performance, ranking and comparisons on separate tabs to allow agents to self-coach, own their “score” and compete with each other.

Agents can clearly see how their feedback has improved over time using colour coded visuals and other agents can learn from each other, seeking to emulate the behaviour of colleagues who are performing well. Trends have now also been pulled out into their own feature, allowing agents and management to see if they’re meeting KPIs and company averages. Gamification elements of the dashboard have been visually improved, allowing agents to see how they fare against their colleagues. Notifications have been introduced to allow the agents to be motivated by feedback yet still focus on their main job of looking after the customer.

One of the biggest changes made is the ability for agents to have their own say. Rather than just being able to see comments left by customers, agents can now leave annotations, or rather, feedback on feedback. For example, if an agent did all they could to assist the customer, but they still left negative feedback, agents can highlight this, add their own context and flag the verbatim for management attention. The key benefits to the changes are to not only maintain and drive operational standards, but to increase engagement between agents and customers, driven by the importance of emotional rapport and human-to-human interactions.

ROOT

Company Overview:

Root Inc. partners with the world’s most respected organizations to realize positive transformation through proven, disruptive techniques. By engaging and activating people throughout the process, Root uses a combination of visual methods, innovation, and human interactivity to achieve measurable and sustainable results. Based on research and evolved over 25 years, the company helps organizations achieve meaningful change, leaders to deliver strategic clarity, and teams to close organizational gaps.With a nationally renowned reputation and a bold culture of “whatever it takes,” Root has engaged with a remarkable two out of every three Fortune 50 companies.

Make The Case:

Every organization’s people are the driving force behind bringing a brand to life and they will make or break how a brand is perceived. So those employees need to be at the heart of any customer experience strategy.

Root Inc. works hard to help companies become more customer-centric by empowering them to create Customers for Life. Root’s Customers for Life process includes defining a customer-first culture at the leader level, empowering managers to make customer-focused decisions, and providing the front line with coaching and tools to deliver an authentic customer experience. This approach engages employees at every level so they can internalize their specific role in driving the customer experience and how they impact big-picture outcomes.

By focusing on the people aspect of customer experience strategy execution, Root’s solutions get people to think and act differently to quickly deliver meaningful change that includes higher levels of customer satisfaction and service.

Some of the solutions Root offers companies to help them become more customer-centric include:

  • Strategic Learning Map: Map it out. Visually tell your strategy or your financial, customer, or process to facilitate conversations that create a common understanding, actionable responses, and proven results.
  • Leader and Manager Development Programs: Create the world’s best bosses. Develop new managers and enhance the skills of seasoned leaders with comprehensive programs designed for your business’ specific strategic outcomes.
  • Digital Interactive Solutions: Make learning dynamic. Deliver interactive training solutions in flexible digital formats to support and evaluate strategy execution success through sustained learning and skill building.
  • Insights: Take it to the next level. Excel from insights to results by identifying the everyday behaviors, practices, and routines that drive your high-performing teams and replicating them across the whole organization.
  • Cinematic Storytelling: Connect meaningfully. Create films designed to engage the heads, hearts and hands of your people, allowing them to thoroughly understand your strategy and their role in executing that strategy.
  • Curriculum and Training Programs: Skill up. Build the skills of your people by translating strategic intent into operational change while achieving specific, accelerated results.
  • Customer Experience Programs: Make your customers love you—forever. Create and define a true customer-first culture with proven strategies and flexible techniques that empower your mangers and enable the front line to win lifelong customers.
  • Strategy Create and Alignment: Hash it out. Bring your senior leaders together to define a killer strategy and create a unifying vision that everyone in your organization is passionate about and will lead to successful results.

Whether someone is a senior leader, a manager, or an individual contributor to an organization, Root offers proven, flexible strategies and techniques for winning customers and keeping them for life. It starts with leaders creating and defining a true customer-first culture, enabling managers through specific coaching and training to act like owners and make the right decisions that enhance the customer experience, and empowering the front line in every channel of the business to deliver an authentic customer experience every time.

 

About Bruce Temkin, CCXP
I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

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