Home > Columns > Executive Interviews

Sprinklr Executive Interview

Arun Pattabhiraman, Chief Marketing Officer, Sprinklr

Sheri Greenhaus, Managing Partner, CrmXchange, conducted a Q&A with Sprinklr's Chief Marketing Officer, Arun Pattabhiraman, to discuss their customer experience managment platform.

What does Sprinklr do and what is your role at the company? 

Sprinklr is a provider of enterprise software for customer experience management. With advanced AI, Sprinklr's unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM) platform helps companies manage marketing, advertising, research, customer care, sales and social engagement across 30+ channels. Sprinklr provides a unified view of everything your customers are saying publicly on these channels — and the real-time AI capabilities to turn that data into actionable insights.

As far as my role goes – I’m thrilled to be the new Chief Marketing Officer at Sprinklr at a crucial juncture in the company’s journey. I joined in May to help scale Sprinklr’s marketing and grow the brand to meet the massive opportunity and need for unified customer experience management.

Please tell our audience about Modern Care Lite and Sprinklr Modern Care – what do these products do and who are they for?  

Sprinklr Modern Care Lite is an out-of-the-box customer support solution that is a simplified version of Sprinklr’s enterprise-grade Modern Care suite. The product is targeted to companies of all sizes that need to quickly centralize service for multiple social media, messaging, email, and voice channels on a simple, AI-powered dashboard. Companies can get access to Modern Care Lite for 30 days with a free trial. After the trial ends, they can keep their access to Sprinklr Modern Care Lite's premium features with a subscription.

Sprinklr Modern Care is a comprehensive Contact Center as a service (CCaaS) that is different from traditional CCaaS vendors in a number of ways:

1. From the very beginning, it’s been built for digital channels like social media and messaging. With a proprietary AI engine, Sprinklr analyzes billions of conversations across the social, messaging, in-app, live chat, email, and voice channels. It then identifies intent and sentiment of these conversations, and routes them to the right customer support agent — all in real time.

2. We provide a single platform for brands to create personalized experiences across every customer-facing department – marketing, advertising, customer support, sales, social media engagement. All departments can share the same Sprinklr instance with a single customer view.

For example, let’s say you buy shoes from a well-known brand and you’re so happy about them, you post a picture on Twitter with the comment: “I love my new shoes. They are so comfortable, but I think I should have bought them in blue instead of black.”

If that brand is a Sprinklr customer, they will be able to use image recognition from Sprinklr Visual Insights (one of our AI capabilities) to find this Twitter post and define it as engageable from a brand perspective. Marketing, social media engagement, sales, and customer support teams would all be able to see this post in one Sprinklr dashboard.    

Is the message engageable from an advertising perspective? Can the information be used if the customer visits their digital store? Should we proactively reach out to the customer on Twitter and ask if they’d be interested in a free exchange with a blue pair of the same sneakers?

Nobody else can do this right now – truly enabling all customer-facing teams to collaborate on the same Sprinklr instance to answer these questions and respond to the customer appropriately.

What customer support problems does Sprinklr Modern Care solve?  

To answer this question, let me start from the perspective of today’s customer. And this is not valid for just millennials, it’s valid for almost every customer worldwide for most businesses: every customer journey starts digital and this is true for customer support as well.

We have seen during the last few years – a major shift on what customers expect in terms of customer support. And volume has not decreased. On the contrary, it has increased dramatically.

As inbound volumes continue to explode across digital channels, organizations face pressure to effectively listen to customers, understand them, and take action no matter where they get a customer support request. Customers expect instant resolutions to their questions, and have zero tolerance for businesses that make solving problems difficult. At the same time, the need to drive efficiency among agents working remotely is at an all time high. Agents need to boost their productivity but are challenged with the volume of messages they receive and an inability to sift through messages to find high-priority support issues.

Sprinklr Modern Care solves customer support issues before they escalate, reduces costs, and boosts agent productivity.

How is the technology able to listen across different social media channels in order to route issues for quick response? 

From the very beginning, Sprinklr was designed to handle a massive scale of unstructured data -- all the conversations and comments people make on social media and messaging platforms. Sprinklr is channel agnostic – it can easily connect to an endless number of social media and messaging channels and works the same on every channel. This is critical for helping companies cope with new channels and explosions of customer messages without having to exponentially increase costs to deal with customer service requests.

Sprinklr Intuition (our AI engine) includes industry-specific AI models that span 75+ languages across 150 countries to process petabytes of unstructured text, audio, video, image, metrics, and time series data. Sprinklr Intuition analyzes the data to filter out irrelevant messages, predict sentiments, and deliver actionable insights. For example, Sprinklr helps brands like Microsoft separate the statement “I have a question about Windows 11” from “I have a question about the windows in my house.”

How is your solution able to assist in first contact resolution? 

First contact means self-service customer care for us. If customers do not find a good answer, then they will probably reach out on a digital channel or call customer support.

Sprinklr’s AI and self-service capabilities make first contact resolution simple. Sprinklr’s self-service technologies such as bots on Facebook Messenger and Sprinklr Modern Care’s advanced Community management software helps customers find answers to FAQs on their own. For example, Sprinklr is helping the World Health Organization (WHO) deliver accurate information on COVID-19 by making the WHO Health Alert interactive service available on Messenger from Facebook. 

What should companies consider changing if they have a high amount of customer churn? 

There could be millions of reasons why a customer churns. It could be because the product support is not as good as customers expect. It could be because the product support is too expensive. Or, it could be because the brand’s products are not what the customer expected. The list is endless.

To tackle churn, businesses need to have a holistic view of the customer’s experience. If marketing, social, advertising, sales, and customer service departments use different solutions and all customer data is siloed, then businesses cannot act intelligently.

A unified customer support approach is the only valid solution to address today’s customer churn challenges.

What should they be changing if there is high agent turnover? 

When we look at brands providing great support that makes customers happier, they have one thing in common: they have invested in people both on the business side as well as on the technical side. They take social customer support seriously and resource it appropriately.

Clearly define training resources, SLA's and agent expectations. Additionally, using chatbots to handle routine issues can help alleviate agent volume and pressure to respond to all messages, while AI prompts such as Sprinklr’s Smart Response Recommendations help agents deliver the best responses for each conversation. 

Anything else to add? 

Sprinklr believes that in three key principles that influence and shape the way we think of customer support:

The best care experience is when your customers don’t need any customer support. A great example is product teams using insights to identify product issues and predict when the issue will cause a call volume spike in their contact center. Send out proactive WhatsApp messages, telling them you have a fix for the product and include a step by step workflow on how to solve the problem themselves. This prevents the alternative – where 3 weeks later the call center is inundated with unhappy customers.

The second best experience is when customers can help themselves. We all do it, when we have a problem we search for an answer. SEO optimized knowledge base or search results pointing to a community where peers and others offer advice is super critical for a care organization to reduce costs.

The final experience is when agents are empowered to solve issues in the first customer interaction. To achieve this goal, you need to ensure that agents have a single screen where they get the complete context of the customer conversation. Any action they have to take in external systems should be codified in the same screen using guided workflows, so that they don’t have to go to multiple systems.