Forrester CXNYC 2019 Review
As the first twenty years since the millennium have zipped
by, the concept of customer experience has evolved from a hypothetical notion into
a vital and expanding set of proven practices. Businesses of all sizes have
learned to size up their opportunities to benefit in both the long and short
term, utilizing technological tools that encompass everything from improving
the employee experience to deploying advanced analytics — all with the goal of
better servicing customers to build market share.
While all the elements are in place for disruptive
innovation, businesses need to take the necessary steps forward to propel the
customer experience to the next level by leveraging technology, behavioral
economics, and innovative ideas.
The curriculum at Forrester’s CXNYC Forum explored the
solutions, strategies and human aspects of achieving true CX excellence. Industry
leaders had access to documented research in areas such as customer journey mapping,
behavioral analytics, determining the most relevant metrics, VoC/VoE insights.
A series of keynotes addressed how to walk the increasingly fine line between
personalization and privacy.
Presenters included Forrester analysts and industry-leading
speakers from top b-to-b and b-to-c companies from a variety of business
sectors. Speakers discussed strategic initiatives now in progress at financial
institutions such as American Express and Navy Federal Credit Union, retailers
including Bob’s Discount Furniture, and CVS Health, media giants such as the
USA Today Network, even entertainment groups like the Schubert Organization and
many others. There were breakout sessions and partner presentations, some with
end users describing the impact of technologies employed in CX initiatives as
well as summits, workshops and more.
CRMXchange spent time with sponsors in the exhibit hall to
learn more about emerging solutions, recent releases and product upgrades.
“No one seems to focus on the ‘C’ in CX,” said Bob Hale, CEO of real-time CX
specialist Alterian. “While visioning
and orchestrating the journey are the X factors, the big question for companies
is understanding what the customer wants to know about them.“ Alterian believes
that customers define their own journey and offers software that easily
recognizes and charts the ‘natural’ path they have chosen, detecting where
customers are within the context of their journey at any point. The solution spotlights
pivotal ‘break points’ along the way and ‘moments of truth’ experienced as
customers get closer to achieving key goals. The solution can influence customers
via rules-based decisioning and AI to help individuals sidestep break points,
leverage time-sensitive opportunities, and enhance every interaction to
increase customer satisfaction leading to greater loyalty.
The Alterian platform enables businesses to adapt a message
and set different interactions for each unique customer while identifying next
best actions across concurrent channels which integrates customer service
across all touchpoints which is particularly useful customers have multiple
purposes. For example, a potential renewal candidate might also be trying to
resolve a service issue. It records and contextualizes every interaction
measured against stringent KPIs, customer engagement metrics, actual voice of
customer (VOC), NPS, and employee satisfaction. Alterian can be integrated with
existing systems, avoiding the need for costly ‘rip-and-replace’ projects.
Operating on the philosophy that a good user experience
makes a significant difference in business results, the company uses its research
expertise to design in-depth UX research programs. AnswerLab evaluates
varying approaches to achieving improve customer engagement, such as
determining the viability of specific approaches and communication channels.
The company works with a variety of industries with a diverse range of products
to bring customer insights to their customer experience initiatives.
According to Tanya Bashaw, Director of Marketing for
AnswerLab, “The first step is understanding the unique challenges faced by a
specific business, then learning what stakeholders are seeking in the users they
talk to and why they want them. We look at the situation, identify the
experience they are seeking to deliver and prioritize what steps to take to
achieve it. We draw from the most robust UX research toolkit on the market to provide
the insights that help companies meet and exceed their goals, tailoring services
to match their needs” The solution is
agnostic to existing systems and focuses on planning and optimizing long-term
digital strategy as well as monitoring and empirically measuring results to deliver
the Intelligent Contact Center, which powers contact centers at numerous
organizations across the globe. It’s a PPM (Portfolio Project Management)
platform, backed by a case management solution that builds on top of existing
systems for easy integration. It provides a unified view of the customer to
drive rapid resolutions. The focus is on moving the needle to meet or exceed
KPIs that are most critical to a company’s success, such as increased CSAT,
improved service levels and agent productivity, reduced handle times, lower
cost and a diminished rate of agent turnover. The Intelligent Contact Center limits
contact center complexity, eliminating the need for agents to open multiple
screens to resolve issues, providing a total view of a customer’s history, what
their current needs are and the status of their current transaction.
Upon the initiation of a transaction, agents can launch a
front-line screen from which they can verify information, confirm actions, and
quickly pull data. Dynamic case management, AI, RPA and other intelligent processes
help guide agents to handle any situation, offering universal routing to
provide added efficiency and speed in true omni-channel environment. Voice, SMS,
chat email, social media and co-browsing are all integrated into a single
interface for seamless customer engagement. Chatbots are also employed in
appropriate situations, with automation enabling live agents to spend more time
Dalai Lai, Senior Solutions Consultant for Appian, notes
that it is a fully customizable cloud-based application, running on the Amazon
Web Services (AWS) infrastructure. The company also offers the Appian
Guarantee, establishing an accelerated 8-week project at a fixed price for
implementing the low-code platform. It also guarantees that anyone with a
technical background can be trained as an Appian developer within two weeks.
The Moxie Concierge KBot helps guide customers through
digital journeys with no human assistance. It analyzes and anticipates the
unique needs of each individual consmer, providing automated solutions to
common questions, navigating customers through points of struggle, while
building loyalty and preventing sales abandonment. “For example,” said Tara
Sporrer, VP of Marketing for Moxie, “a customer might be trying to make a
purchase with an expired coupon code and growing frustrated with the process. The
KBot Concierge recognizes the error and proactively issues a valid code.”
Businesses have the capability to create workflows based on their engagement
rules, with KBot waiting to jump in and help, just as an employee might do in a
brick-and-mortar retail establishment.
Automated contextual guidance provides customers with timely
assistance with no agent involvement. Live
agents are free to concentrate on critical issues that require their expertise.
KBot is the most significant element of the Moxie Concierge Suite, which
includes live chat, email that utilize skill-based routing to get it to the
right agent as well as real-time management dashboards, agent SLA timers,
categorization capabilities, automated responses, managed escalations, and QA
monitoring to ensure that communications standards are consistently being met.
In addition, Concierge Suite also features Moxie’s Knowledgebase, a robust
knowledge management solution that integrates across Moxie’s digital channels
to improve customer satisfaction scores and boost operational efficiency.
The InMoment Experience Intelligence (XI) platform collects
and analyzes data from a variety of sources and has the capability to use recognize,
correlate, and synthesize disparate information from omnichannel customer
feedback to close intelligence gaps and turn data into actionable intelligence.
The scalable solution incorporates data science to adapt to the diverse needs
of businesses, whether they are just getting off the ground in implementing a
customer experience program, optimizing an existing one, or updating an
The platform allows organizations to collect and analyze
data from three critical lines of intelligence: customers (CX cloud), employees
(EX Cloud) and the market MX Cloud) to provide a comprehensive understanding of
the overall experience. They can be used individually or in combination. CX
Cloud enriches customer data employing advanced data science techniques such as
sentiment, tagging, translation, and more to enable it to be analyzed at a more
According to Mariah
Pollock, Marketing Campaign Manager at InMoment, one of the key factors in
their success in gathering feedback is to avert “survey fatigue” by keeping
their questionnaires short, many with no more than three questions. Thanks to
their ability to analyze both structured and unstructured feedback, they have
been able to dramatically cut back on survey abandonment. Customer data is more
than just post-IVR surveys. inMoment also gains insight from chats, call
transcripts, social media, online reviews and more.
Resonate is a consumer intelligence platform that helps build strong relationships between people and brands, agencies and political entities. Since its founding in 2008, the company has been driven by simple guiding principle to develop a better understanding of people. Resonate empowers organizations with deep consumer intelligence that helps create enduring relationships through better connections, more meaningful engagement and a compelling customer experience. Their goal is to reveal the Human Element—a holistic understanding of a person that starts with what makes us the most human—our values and motivations. The company aspires to explain the “what” that drives the “why” in people’s decisions whether to choose, buy, endorse or abandon. Carly Gessin Napoii, Director Solutions Engineering for Resonate, noted that they conduct the U.S.’s largest consumer survey and combine that data with behavioral data as well as using machine learning and AI, which can deliver the deepest understanding of 200 million U.S. adults. The idea for Resonate started when one of its two founders was asked by communications guru John Brady, and President George W. Bush’s former White House political director, Sara Fagen, to develop a business plan for online advertising focused on people’s values. While their scope has expanded to consumer products and services (they still do political projects), their mission remains unchanged.
The Resonate Platform allows its customers to segment consumers by applying a relevant mix of any of their 12,000 separate attributes, spanning a vast range of interests and pursuits. For example, they can look at a group like avid golfers, break them down by subgroup like demographics, geography, lifestage and even personal values and see what drives them (no pun intended) and how to make their message or experience resonate. They can help brands determine why consumers might abandon a purchase in midstream and suggest ways to enhance relationships, optimize messaging and measure whom it reaches.
Thematic is an international company that works to improve retention, boost CSAT and NPS while
diminishing customer churn with actionable insights from feedback. Their AI
allows companies to make smarter data-driven decisions, draw from surveys,
reviews and complaint data to produce usable information within days. It
employs fast free-text analytics to bypass time-consuming manual analysis. Comparison
tools let you quickly see the relative importance of each theme and subtheme
and compare the differences between two segments of data.
According to Co-Founder Nathan Holmberg, the solution
produces results right out of the box. Thematic has driven measurable impact
with its Fortune 500 clients, such as Vodafone New Zealand which uses Thematic
to identify specific themes in NPS measurements through customer verbatim and
customer sentiment. Vodafone experienced double digit improvement in their tNPS
(touchpoint Net Promoter Score) over a relatively short time.