Tell us about your role at InMoment and the team/technology you handle.
As InMoment’s VP of CX Strategy, I’m responsible for designing, deploying, and consulting on CX programs for global Fortune 1000 companies. InMoment is a pioneer in experience intelligence, an advanced form of both Voice of Customer and Employee Experience technologies, which helps the world’s largest and most successful brands effectively manage what, where and when they engage in dynamic conversations.
Our technology collects, integrates and analyzes multiple millions of data points per day from complex data sources, including voice, video, images, text and structured data. We leverage sophisticated data science to drive more intelligent conversations, make that data richer, and transform it from simple metrics such as OSAT or NPS to meaning that can inform better decisions across the enterprise, as well as more profitable relationships with customers and employees.
What is the State of Voice of Customer (VoC) in 2019? How could branding teams leverage VoC to better reach their audiences?
At its most fundamental level, VoC is the process of capturing customers’ perspectives and expectations. Most marketers understand VoC as a common research technique involving elements such as simple surveys, focus groups and ethnographic studies. Voice of Customer or Customer Feedback Management technology platforms such as InMoment are less familiar to most marketers. The most basic output from these platforms are metrics such as NPS and OSAT scores. But that’s just scratching the surface.
The more sophisticated systems can ingest a huge variety of both qualitative and quantitative data, perform both automated and human analysis, and produce insights on everything from which demographic groups are most like to churn or become advocates, to which marketing campaigns are succeeding or failing. The top-tier providers can go beyond the what, who, where and when — answering the why. And some can even prioritize findings by business impact and recommend specific action — the what next. These platforms work in real-time, all of the time; a necessary addition to large-scale market research studies, which can take months and look at only a time-bound slice of data.
Marketers can use this type of intelligence to inform and tune their campaigns, identify new audience segments, and understand opportunities for up-sell and cross-sell. While it’s accepted as gospel that retaining and selling to existing customers (not to mention leveraging as advocates) is exponentially more cost-effective than acquiring brand new customers, the large percentage of most marketing budgets is focused on getting newbies into and through the sales funnel. So far, VoC technology is a vast and largely untapped source of intelligence for long-term customer relationship.
What are the core tenets driving InMoment’s CX technology?
At InMoment, two things drive our technology: our customers’ needs and our own creativity and innovation. Just as we encourage our customers to put their customers first, we do the same by listening to what our customers need, and then designing solutions that don’t just meet those needs, but deliver exponential value beyond the necessary.
Generic surveys where every customer gets the same questions — regardless of their relationship or experience with the brand, don’t even begin to scratch the surface. Not only are response rates for traditional surveys falling, but they actually destroy data in the process of collecting it by limiting responses to whatever the brand chooses to ask versus what customers actually want to say. If brands truly want the most valuable customer feedback, they need to move away from one-size-fits-all surveys toward more intelligent, targeted interactions, as well as collecting the full range of organic and facilitated conversations in their native forms — from video and audio, to social posts, chat logs, contact center transcripts, community conversations and more.
How does VoC further refine CRMs?
VoC and CRM should be connected and complementary. CRM is useful for collecting and storing customer data and tracking interactions. VoC should be linked to provide insights and analysis into what kind of experiences your customers are having, and most importantly, why.
A CRM can demonstrate basic, necessary customer information like a preferred email address, what products one has purchased and more, but it can’t demonstrate what exactly a customer finds memorable or valuable about a brand. CRM is also commonplace to record customer concerns. VoC solutions can capture and analyze the nuances surrounding brand interactions, and can also provide essential case management functions to ensure that individual customer concerns are addressed, and the root causes of those concerns are identified and solved.
Which geographies and industries are better suited to leverage VoC?
VoC isn’t limited to a specific set of geographies or industries. Every company, no matter its location or industry, can benefit from a solid customer experience strategy. InMoment, for instance, has a global footprint, with physical offices in Canada, the UK, the US, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. We serve nearly 450 enterprise brands across multiple industries, including auto, finance, retail, travel & hospitality, telecom and more in 95 countries and in 90 different languages.
How do you work with data science and AI/ML for CX platforms?
InMoment embeds data science (including AI and ML) across our entire platform. Our AI-powered conversation helps to create richer data — and a better, more personalized experience for customers. We use data science to enrich all data that we both collect ourselves, and ingest from other sources — from other VoC and survey vendors, to social posts and online reviews, to operational and financial data from our clients.
We have a proprietary analytics engine with the ability to perform the full range of analyses, including descriptive, diagnostic, statistical, predictive and prescriptive. Machine Learning is infused across our platform, creating a system that continuously gets more and more intelligent.
Would GDPR impact CX models and personalization?
GDPR is already impacting the way brands interact with their customers. And unfortunately, if a brand hasn’t already developed a trusting relationship with their customers, they run the risk of being unable to obtain the data they will want or need in the future.
GDPR is an indication that the age of transactions is over, and we are now living and working in “the era of the relationship,” meaning that brands can no longer just ‘manage’ the customer experience, or claim to “personalize” interactions while instead using customers’ data to the benefit of the brand. Customer-brand relationships need to have reciprocal benefits, with companies knowing and delivering what customers truly find valuable.
An important first step for brands operating in the post-GDPR world is transparency. Consumers are smart, they know when companies are demanding unnecessary data, and when they’re not using it to their benefit. To avoid being perceived as creepy or downright abusive, brands need to be clear about exactly how they’re planning to use customer data to inform a more memorable and valuable customer experience.
Thank you for answering all our questions!
Andrew Park is VP, Customer Experience Strategy at InMoment. He was previously Sr. Client Advisor at Mindshare Technologies.
InMoment, the leader in customer experience (CX) intelligence, arms enterprises with compelling insights to fuel high-value action and relationships with both customers and employees. The company’s industry-leading Customer Feedback Management platform, the CX Intelligence Cloud, leverages a proprietary, AI-based analytics engine to power a full suite of Voice of Customer (VoC), Voice of Employee (VoE) and Employee Experience technologies. InMoment provides innovative solutions and related support services to more than 400 leading brands across 95 countries.