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 CaseRead More …

2015 Temkin Group CX Vendor Excellence Award Winners

1503_CxVE_AwardBadge

Today we announced the results of the 2015 Temkin Group CX Vendor Excellence Awards. Once again we had a great group of nominees, making the scoring difficult for the judges. Congratulations to this year’s winners:

Confirmit
Clarabridge
NICE Systems
Qualtrics
Rant & Rave
ResponseTek
Walker

In its third year, these awards recognize companies that provide products and services that help companies improve the customer experience they deliver. Nominees are rated based on their capabilities, results, and client feedback.

The CxVE Awards were judged by five noted customer experience experts: Mila D’Antonio (Editor-in-Chief at 1to1 Media), Desirree Madison-Biggs (Customer Experience/NPS Programs Director at Airbnb.), Rick Meyreles (VP – Global Voice of Customer, World Service at American Express), Jen Rodstrom (CX Transformist at Temkin Group), and Bruce Temkin (Managing Partner & CX Transformist at Temkin Group).

This year’s crop of candidates was quite competitive. With growing capabilities aimed at improving their clients’ customer experience, thoughtful strategies focused on long-term growth, and exciting road maps that promise innovative enhancements and product launches in the coming months, the vendors that participated in the Temkin Group Customer Experience Vendor Excellence Awards prove that customer experience excellence is at the forefront of technology design.” – Mila D’Antonio

Watch this blog and my Twitter feed for an announcement about the 2016 CX Vendor Excellence Awards in January 2016.

I’ve included the first two section of the nomination forms submitted by the seven winners. Read More …

2014 Temkin Group CX Vendor Excellence Award Winners

Watch this blog and my Twitter feed for an announcement about the 2015 CX Vendor Excellence Awards in January


CEVendorAward_logoToday we announced the results of the 2014 Temkin Group CX Vendor Excellence Awards. Once again we had a great group of nominees, making the scoring difficult for the judges. Congratulations to this year’s winners:

Allegiance

Clarabridge

Verint

Also, congratulations to the finalists: Confirmit, Enghouse Interactive, Mindshare Technologies, Qualtrics, and Walker.

In its second year, these awards recognize companies that provide products and services that help companies improve the customer experience they deliver. Nominees are rated based on their capabilities, results, and client feedback.

The CxVE Awards were judged by five noted customer experience experts: Mila D’Antonio (Editor-in-Chief at 1to1 Media), Denise Bahil (CX Transformist at Temkin Group), Desirree Madison-Biggs (Director of Customer Experience Insights & Advocacy at Symantec), Rick Meyreles (VP – Global Voice of Customer, World Service at American Express), and Bruce Temkin (Managing Partner & CX Transformist at Temkin Group).

I’ve included the first two section of the nomination forms submitted by the eight winners and finalists. Read More …

Analytics from Mark Cuban to Text Mining

As I mentioned in a previous post that analyzed sports enthusiasts in the U.S., I recently attended the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. The event was fantastic! I enjoyed all of the sessions that I attended that included a who’s who list of people in the sports world such as: Mark Cuban, Scott Boras, Drew Carey, Eric Mangini, Jeannie Buss, Jeff Van Gundy, Jonathan Kraft, Mark Shapiro, Michael Wilbon, Bill Simmons, Steve Tisch, and the grandfather of sports analytics Bill James (who deservingly was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award).

I also just got back from attending the Clarabridge Customer Connections at the Doral in Miami where I gave the opening keynote speech: What Makes a Good Voice of the Customer Program? Interestingly, it was also the location of this week’s World Golf Championships so there were PGA people all over the grounds.

Given how much I enjoyed those two events, I’ve decided to list out 10 things I learned, observed, and/or enjoyed:

  • #10: It’s good to be Mark Cuban. Mark missed a couple of the sessions, but showed up for his one-on-one interview with Bill Simmons (ESPN). He was great, totally relaxed, even smacking Bill on the back of the head as he walked on stage. He talked about the NBA lockout as “...lockout bullshit. You talk about a whole lot of time on a whole lot of nothing.”  And he went onto say that the NBA stands for “Nothing But Attorneys.” In his tweets, Cuban referred to the event as the dorkapalooza. I’ve added “hang out with Mark Cuban” on my list of goals in life; he seems like a lot of fun.
  • #9: The NBA is an analytical hotbed. Cuban said that the stats that you read in the box scores for NBA games “are pretty useless.” So the Mavericks have four people at games logging information that they use to make in-game decisions. The Mavericks won the award at the event for “Best Analytical Decision” based on the team’s decision to move J.J. Barea into the starting line-up at last year’s NBA championships. In addition, the winning presentation in the “Evolution of Sports” track was titled “From 5 to 13, Redefining Positions in Basketball” that used cluster analysis to identify 13 unique types of players instead of the guard, forward, center model used in the past. Also, we heard that many NBA arenas are putting three cameras on each end of the floor so they can track the X/Y/Z coordinates of players and ball movement to fuel more advanced analysis.
  • #8: Taking action on insights is precious. I started my keynote speech by getting the audience to do a chant: “Feedback is cheap. Actionable insights may be valuable. Taking action on insights is precious.” My speech was all about how to focus voice of the customer efforts in a way that they add business value. As a part of my speech, I also discussed how many existing market research practices are obsolete. And, I ended my speech as I started it, with the chant: “Feedback is cheap. Actionable insights may be valuable. Taking action on insights is precious.”
  • #7: Big analytics vendors are missing from sports. As with most conferences, the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference had its trade show full of vendors. But, surprisingly to me, there weren’t any of the big guys like SAS or IBM SPSS at the event (at least with high visibility). All of the vendors were sports-specific providers like EDGE10, StarStreet, and Team Rankings.
  • #6: Making people believe is critical. One of the sessions at the sports analytics was “The Power of Belief in Sports.” It examined some research about how athletes can improve their performance. The study that was discussed examined what happened after giving athletes performance enhancing things (like caffein or acupuncture). By doing a study with placebos, the researchers found that the level of improvement was not determined by whether or not the athlete received the enhancements. It was much more driven by whether they believed they received the enhancement and how much they believed that it would help them.
  • #5: I’m a proud Sloanie. As a Sloan alumnus, It was great to see the MIT Sloan School lead such a great event. One of the co-chairs of the event was Daryl Morey, General Manager of the Houston Rockets, who is also a former MIT Sloan grad. There were also about 50 other Sloan students who were active in planning and running the event. Nice job Sloanies!
  • #4: Parking in Boston is a mess. We drive into Boston on the first day to attend the sports analytics conference at the Hynes Center. There are no obvious signs as to where to park, so we ended in the main Prudential Parking lot. It’s a huge labyrinth of parking sections. After finding a spot, we walked aimlessly for a few minutes trying to figure out where to walk to get out of the parking lot — there weren’t any signs. All that was just for the honor of paying $30 for parking.
  • #3: You’ve got to speak the right language. Scott Boras discussed how different parties have different languages and you need to speak their language. Players are typically kids in their 20s who come to the ballpark every day and just want to perform better. They discuss things like weight shifts and batting stance and care about optimizing what amounts to be a pretty short tenure as a professional athlete for most of them. Managers need to figure out line-ups every day that will give them the best chance to win. Owners want to win and make money, with a different emphasis across owners. I used this point in my speech, because its critical that analytical insights are translated into the language of the people that you want to use them. A store manager does not have the same needs as a product manager, so trying to show them the same voice of the customer insights and data in the same reports won’t be effective. You need to customize what they see to the decisions that they are going to make with the insights.
  • #2: The Seattle Sounders are customer-centric, who knew? I was surprised to see Drew Carey (the actor) on the agenda at the sports analytics conference. But it turns out that he is an owner of the Seattle Sounders, a soccer team in the MLS, and a funny guy who is comfortable swearing on stage. The club has adopted some very customer-centric practices like having an advisory board of season ticket holders that provide feedback on strategies and decisions and even has the power to replace the general manager. These fan-centric efforts have really worked, as they get about 40,000 people to attend their matches. Here’s what Drew said about what they’re doing at the Sounders “If I owned a Costco, I’d do it [the same practices] there.” The Sounders appear to be a good business case to study.
  • #1: Text analytics is a requirement. For several years I’ve been advising companies to look into text analytics as a way to tap into a myriad of wasted insights from call center interactions, sales notes, social media, and open-ended comments on surveys. I even wrote a post a couple of years ago called It’s Time For Text Analytics and have listed “unstructured data appreciation” as one of the key customer experience megatrends. Clarabridge and other vendors in the space have fine-tuned the technology to serve many key customer experience use cases. I really liked some of the new capabilities that were highlighted at the event: Automatic theme detection, root cause analysis, and collaboration. Other than the price tag, there’s no reason for any large company not to have some text analytics efforts under way.

The bottom line: I really enjoy combining sports and analytics

Kana Buys Overtone; Sign Of Bigger Trends

Kana announced that it has acquired Overtone, a key social media and text analytics firm. While this acquisition seems like a good move for Kana (I’ll have more thoughts when I get a full briefing next week), it’s more significant as a sign of bigger trends.

My take: This acquisition is best understood in conjunction with a couple of other acquisitions by software companies that support customer-facing processes and channels:

Last year I published a report called the Eight Customer Experience Megatrends which provided my forecast about how these eight megatrends will play out in 2011:

The HiveLive/Radian6/Overtone moves are clear signs of two of these megatrends:

  • Unstructured data appreciation. All of the acquired vendors provide some amount of text analytics capabilities. The acquisitions link these capabilities with a lot of enterprise data — helping to push the envelope on where and how companies will extract insights from unstructured data such as sales notes, emails, and call recordings.
  • Social media assimilation. In the long run, it makes no sense for social media to be treated as its own channel (see my post: How Much Does Social Media Matter?). The acquiring vendors will help their clients link social media with other customer-facing processes and channels.

What’s next? I expect to see acquisitions by big vendors like Oracle, SAP, IBM, and Microsoft. A few interesting targets: Clarabridge, Attensity, and Nexidia.

The bottom line: Customer experience management remains an evolving field

8 Customer Experience Trends For 2011

Download report for FREE

It’s the time of year when prognosticators drag out their crystal balls and divine about next year. Well, I’m not too different. But instead of a crystal ball, I’ll tap into the 8 customer experience megatrends that I outlined earlier this year. They remain the key trends that I think we’ll see in 2011.

Here are the 8 megatrends along with my thoughts about how they’ll play out in 2011:

1. Customer Insight Propagation. Most decisions in companies are made without any real customer insight. Companies will increasingly recognize that they need to integrate a deeper understanding of their customers throughout their company. That’s why Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs represent one of the most popular customer experience efforts. A new cadre of vendors are making it easier to collect, analyze, and share customer information broadly across just about any organization.

2011: I’ve written a lot about VoC programs this year. Companies are beginning to figure out how to better use the insights and an emerging set of vendors have deployed customer insight and action (CIA) Platforms that can help considerably. But there’s still a long way to go. In the research report The State Of Voice Of The Customer Programs, we found that only 1% of large companies are “Transformers,” which is the highest level of maturity. In 2011,  I expect to see many companies move up on the VoC maturity scale as this continues to be an increasing area of focus next year. Don’t be surprised to see CRM players like Oracle and SAP acquire some of the CIA vendors.

2. Unstructured Data Appreciation. Deep feelings that customers have about a company often get truncated into a 5-point, 7-point, or even 11-point multiple choice scales; making it difficult to understand “why” things are happening. New text analytics applications can quickly process thousands of pieces of unstructured data and discern what’s making customers happy or what’s making them upset; pushing a dramatic rise in companies analyzing rich unstructured data like comments on surveys, call center verbatims, or social media discussions.

2011: As I said in a blog post earlier this year, it’s time for text analytics. I’m working with many companies on strategies for getting deeper customer insights and just about all of them involve a component of text analytics. In 2011, I expect there to be twice as many text analytics pilots as in 2010 and a lot of companies touting success stories at conferences. I expect IBM to make a big push in this area next year with SPSS and I would not be surprised to see Big Blue acquire either Clarabridge or Attensity.

3. Customer Service Rejuvenation As companies do touchpoint analyses and customer journey maps, they often find that customer service is a key “moment of truth” for customers. Unfortunately, the cost-cutting in this area over the last several years has created many poor experiences. Companies are recognizing that poor customer service is creating a very negative perception of their brand and will increasingly make investments to improve these experiences.

2011: During customer service week in October, I discussed how companies sometimes seem to care more about saving $1.50 in transaction costs than they care about $60 worth of business. But, I am seeing some changes. I’ve actually been working with a number of contact centers that are transforming the service they deliver. In 2011, I expect to see more contact centers drop average handle time (AHT) as a core metric and revamp quality measures based on customer feedback.

4. Loyalty Intensification. Over the last several years, many executives have realized that shareholder value is not an objective; it’s actually the outcome of building stronger customer loyalty. As companies starts using measures like Net Promoter Scores (NPS) to track loyalty, more firms will elevate these metrics to their executive dashboard; pushing companies to think and act more strategically about loyalty.

2011: Many companies are developing loyalty metrics and infusing them into their management dashboards. We found that 45% of companies tie compensation to some customer feedback metrics, but don’t push too hard, too early with compensation.  We also found that only 25% of respondents think their senior executives are willing to trade-off short-term financial results for longer-term loyalty. In 2011, it will become much more common for companies to balance loyalty metrics with financial ones. And many companies will evolve beyond fixing problems that cause dissatisfaction and start designing experiences that inspire advocates.

5. Interaction iPod-ization. QWERTY keyboards help make PCs so universal. But a keyboard-based QWERTY device is not the ideal interface for the next generation of digital devices. Fortunately, Apple’s iPod (and iPhones, iPads) are doing the same thing that QWERTY did over 100 years ago, teaching myriads of people how to interact with a touch-screen. As a result, a new wave of touch-pad based applications will emerge.

2011: Add Nooks, Android, and Windows Phone to the list of devices that will be teaching people how to touch, drag, shake, pinch, and tap to get what they need. In 2011, Mainstream PCs with a keyboard and mouse will seem even more like relics’ as people increasingly transition to iPad (and iPad-like) devices.  I also expect to see more voice interfaces emerge.

6. Social Media Assimilation. Social media is a hot topic. But Social Media is not really a new thing for companies; it represents just another interaction channel with customers. Companies will increasingly fold Social Media activities into the core activities of the company; especially within customer service.

2011: I created a term called “Social Schizophrenia” which describes companies that provide levels of service in social media that differ significantly from service levels in other channels. That still describes a lot of companies. In 2011, focus on social media will continue to grow but I expect much more mature approaches as the tools and processes are evolving.

7. Digital/Physical Integration. Consumers increasingly go online with their cell phones while they are doing activities like walking through a mall or eating at a restaurant. At the same time, iPhones have introduced consumers to the notion of task-specific application downloads. In this environment, companies can no longer think about online as a separate and distinct channel. They will start designing more experiences that blend together online and offline interactions.

2011: Mobile applications will increasingly take advantage of location-awareness to provide services and capabilities that are specific to the store, restaurant, hotel, ball park, intersection, or wherever you are. In 2011, we’ll also see more adoption of recognition-based services like Shop Savvy that can scan barcodes and Google Goggles that recognizes landmarks, text — pretty much anything you can take a picture of with your phone. Given the capabilities, I think we’ll see a bunch of integrated digital/physical offerings in the second half of the year.

8. Cultural Renovation. Companies are increasingly recognizing that “unengaged employees can’t create engaged customers” which is one of my “6 Laws Of Customer Experience.” That’s why many firms are starting to focus on the culture of their firms; trying to align employees with the vision, mission, and brand of the company. Cultural change takes several years to take hold; so significant changes won’t show up in companies immediately. But when change happens, it will very difficult for competitors to replicate.

2011: It’s great to see many executives ask for help building a customer-centric culture. I often compare customer experience to quality, which is captured in my manifesto: Great Customer Experience Is Free. I also like usurping this quote from the quality movement: “Great customer experience is the result of a carefully constructed cultural environment. It has to be the fabric of the organization, not part of the fabric.” We gauge customer-centric culture with Temkin Group’s Four Customer Experience Core Competencies. Our assessment of 144 large firms showed that only 3% are customer-centric. In 2011, I expect many companies to put in place the foundations for improving their customer-centricity while a few will revert back to their old ways; this stuff is not easy.

The bottom line: Hopefully you’re ready for 2011!

It’s Time For Text Analytics

After my previous post about Goofy, I feel the need to get a bit more serious about text analytics. This is a capability that ALL large organizations will need to deploy within the next couple of years.

At the Clarabridge event this week, I got to spend time with many executives from large companies that were thrilled with the results from their text analytics efforts. While most companies were still in relatively early stages of their deployments, the ROI of their efforts were already compelling. The business results for using text analytics came from areas like:

  • Reducing warranty costs by spotting quality issues much faster
  • Identifying underperforming franchisees that need training
  • Cutting operational costs of manually categorizing customer comments
  • Quickly identifying the impact and severity of service issues
  • Understanding “why” metrics like NPS are going up or down

I was also able to see Clarabridge’s new product release which improves on the product’s linguistics, usability, and reporting (including a cool integration of Google’s motion chart gadget). But I don’t want this to sound like a Clarabridge advertisement. There are other vendors like Attensity and Overtone that also provide excellent text analytics offerings.

These vendors are making it easier than ever to extract huge value from previously ignored unstructured text. That’s why my #1 trend in Voice Of The Customer (VoC) programs is “Tapping into unstructured and unsolicited feedback” which I show like this:

vocdomain_vsmall1

Businesses are full of unstructured text like customer comments on surveys, notes and verbatims from contact center conversations, inbound emails, online chats, social media sites, customer feedback comments, etc. This information represents immense untapped value that I expect companies to start unlocking.

The bottom line: What’s your plan for text analytics?

My Text Analytics Panel Got All Goofy

What happens when you mix together a panel discussion on text analytics with Goofy? Here’s the answer…

Yesterday was a busy day at the Clarabridge user group meeting in Orlando (at the Disney Yacht Club). I started the morning giving the keynote speech and ended the day by moderating a panel called “Introducing your CFO to your Customer – Lessons Learned in CEM Funding.” (Believe it or not, that’s actually an interesting topic :-))

As you can see in the video, Goofy walked in on us as the panel was coming to an end. I knew it was going to happen (thanks Keri), but the attendees and panelists didn’t know he was coming. It turned out to be a very appropriate ending to the first day of an event at Disney!

The bottom line: It’s okay to add some Goofyness to a business meeting.

Congrats to VoC Winners: Experian, Progressive, and Vanguard

Well, it’s been a wild day; the Grand Hyatt was hopping today as we kicked off our Customer Experience Forum.

My opening keynote speech seemed to go over really well. I weaved the story of the customer experience journey together with the story of Dorothy’s journey in the Wizard Of Oz. I actually ended my speech with a rewritten version of the song “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” I also showcased some data from my new report that went live today called “Customer Experience Boosts Revenue.” I’ll talk more about my speech and that research in future posts.

For now, I want to congratulate the three winners of Forrester’s 2009 Voice Of The Customer (VoC) Award: Experian, Progressive, and Vanguard. We received 40 strong nominations, so these winners did a really great job. They all were adept at the four key elements of a VoC program: Listening, Interpreting, Reacting, and Monitoring and were able to identify significant business results from those efforts. You can download their nomination forms from Forrester’s customer experience blog.

There were so many outstanding nominations, that we named 11 finalists:

  • Cardinal Health
  • CIGNA
  • Experian
  • Gaylord
  • Hyatt Place
  • iRobot
  • Logitech
  • Oracle
  • Progressive Insurance
  • Symantec
  • Vanguard

Voice of the customer is a critical component for just about any customer experience effort. And the trends indicate that VoC will become even more important in the future. A lot of the advances in VoC are coming from innovative work from a number of vendors. That’s why one of the questions we asked was: “What technology vendors or service providers are critical to your success?”

Here’s a shout out to the vendors that were mentioned by the 11 finalists:

Bain and Company, Burke Research, CAHPS, Clarabridge, Cognos, Convergys, ECHO, Healthways, iModerate, JD Power, Lotus Notes, M/A/R/C, Medallia, Microsoft, National Committee for Quality Assurance, NICE, Opinion Lab, Oracle, Radiano, RightNow Technologies, Satmetrix, Somentics, TeaLeaf, Vovici, and Webtrends.

The nominations were loaded with great insights, so I’ll be writing a lot more about what we found.

The bottom line: Congratulations to all of the winners, finalists, and the vendors that helped!