Customer Engagement & Interaction
In this age of digital engagement, interaction, and commerce, analysis of customers’ interactional and transactional behaviors with the goal of creating actionable business insights are essential in designing effective, frictionless multi-channel customer journeys.
According to the report’s author, Leslie Ament, SVP and Principal Analyst, “Business intelligence and dashboards are great tools for serving up historical or near-real time guidance and trends, however, transforming massive amounts of customer information (structured and contextual) into actionable insights and utilizing this insight to engage with customers in the moment is THE challenge for organizations of all sizes, across all industries and within all geographies.
Over 566 global respondents with functions primarily in merchandising, marketing, customer service and support, operations, business analysts and IT completed our survey. Company size encompassed: ( 54%) large enterprise with revenues greater than $2b, (44.6%) mid-market and (17%) small enterprises with less than $100m in revenues. Geographic breakdown: (47%) North America, (33.9%) EMEA, (18.7%) Asia Pacific and (0.4%) South America.
©2015 Hypatia Research Group. All rights reserved. Upcoming “How Customer Analytics & Insights Enrich Journey Design Processes: Benchmarks, Best Practices & GalaxyTM Vendor Evaluations.” No part of this research study may be repurposed, distributed, translated or published in any format without the express written consent of the Hypatia Research Group, LLC and its management. Permission to link to this research must be requested in writing. For advisory services or assistance with vendor selection, requirements gathering or business process mapping, contactResearch@HypatiaResearch.com.
Much has changed since Hypatia published the first industry analyst research on Voice of the Customer (VOC) software, services and technologies back in 2011. At that time, leading vendors that supported unified VOC analysis via multi-channel or Omni-channel VOC capabilities comprised 25+ in all.
Now, support of multichannel VOC is considered table stakes in this GalaxyTM evaluation study. In 2014, other vendors have been added–as each has presented us with compelling multichannel offerings that vary based on specific business applications.
In preparation for this update, we surveyed and interviewed over 500 global end-users of VOC technologies. Respondents encompassed:
- North American (35.7%)
- Asia Pacific (34.7%)
- European respondents (28.8%)
- Middle East & Africa (~1%)
We found that sophistication, maturity levels and the ability to create effective closed loop business processes varied widely across industries, company size and geography.
What has changed significantly is the volume and number of data sources and channels, inclusive of mobile device, kiosk, point of sales (POS) and tablet that are able to feed into the analysis of contextual VOC information via enabling VOC software, services and technologies. While our evaluation of VOC has always included both contextual information (qualitative) as well as structured information (quantitative), the sophistication, complexity, and expertise required to design an effective enterprise-level VOC program is still lacking in a majority of organizations.
For business return on investment justification, case studies and maturity models, see our latest study: “Operationalizing Enterprise Voice of of the Customer: 2014-2015 GalaxyTM Vendor Evaluations” ©2014-2015 Hypatia Research Group. All rights reserved. No part of this research study may be re-purposed, distributed, translated or published in any format without the express written consent of the Hypatia Research Group, LLC and its management. Permission to link to this research must be requested in writing. For advisory services or assistance with vendor selection, requirements gathering or business process mapping, contact Research@HypatiaResearch.com.
When customer relationship management (CRM) software first debuted, it was a miracle. For the first time, companies didn’t have to build a database of prospects and customers to track their preferences and purchases. There it was, efficiently organized. With analytics, companies could see who patronized them the most, and who generated the most profit. That’s why, along with ERP software, CRM software has become one of the few successful enterprise software mainstays.
There’s only one problem: it’s a silo. It’s hard to exchange information with other applications. If enterprise vendors knew how companies were actually going to use products like CRM, they would have built them with better application programming interfaces (APIs). CRM vendors focused on solving one problem – the lack of a great customer database – and accidentally created another one: how to make that information seamlessly available to other applications, and make information from other applications seamlessly available. Customer data, after all, doesn’t just live in a CRM application; it lives throughout the enterprise.
Across all industry sectors and business models—B2B, B2C and the marketing two-step B2B2C–businesses strive to know more about their customers. How old are they, where do they live, what channels of communication do they prefer and why? What products, services and content interest them, and what influences them to purchase or recommend certain products or brand?
This is by no means an easy task in today’s multi-channel environment. Just a few years ago, data-driven executives combined retail point of sale (POS) data with behavioral, demographic and lifestyle (persona) information purchased from a third-party supplier in order to create customer profiles or micro-channel segmentation. Oftentimes this was done prior to interacting with customers through their preferred channel of communications using rules-based scoring, trigger dimensions or predictive models in an effort to improve market basket value or individual customer profitability. Push campaigns typically included trade promotions, online discount offers, and loyalty programs sent via email, mobile device, in-store at check-out, catalogue and via online pop-ups.
By and large, data-driven executives focus on what type of interaction increases annual customer profitability, share or value of each market-basket transaction and ultimately–impacts top-line or bottom- line results. Organizations that adopt social tools, combined with best practices for rules-based business process workflows are empowered to utilize their social channels as decision support and customer engagement for value creation. Our analysis reveals that “customer experience” is an intangible metric. True customer engagement has a higher probability of tangible outcome. Effective usage of social media technologies may well create a differentiation for early adopters.