How AI, Analytics and Good Data Are Powering Real-Time CX

Sprinklr’s Paul Herman discusses how data and technology work toward a unified approach to customer experience management (CXM).

Customers are connected on social media and digital channels, empowered and in control. How they talk about a brand and their purchase decisions are shaped by one thing — their experience, which is every interaction they have with the brand.

“People are constantly swiping, liking, sharing, tapping and giving information, and they expect a real-time reaction and human customer service across digital channels,” said Paul Herman, VP of Customer Engagement and Market Intelligence at Sprinklr. They’re also influenced by other brands, sources and channels, which means that companies are no longer setting their own customers’ expectations – their competitors are.

To retain customers and build brand loyalty, Herman says organizations need to take a unified approach to customer experience management (what Sprinklr calls Unified-CXM) and rethink their tech stacks to become truly data driven. Herman spoke with CMSWire to discuss how companies can power exceptional real-time Unified-CXM by using technology, data and AI to harness the right data in the right ways.

A Unified Experience Through Centralized Tech

In an omnichannel environment, consumers aren’t making the distinction between different channels, departments or divisions. “They don’t see brands as a combination of different entities or silos — they see a single brand,” Herman said. As a result, poor performance on any channel can have oversized effects on consumer perceptions of your company.

Companies must now align their brand identity, voice and standards across every single digital touchpoint — a concept Herman calls “unifying the digital edge.”

To do so, companies collecting customer information from a variety of sources need to find a way to build a 360 degree profile. “Point solutions all offer a single facet of a consumer – a unified view means bringing these various facets of the consumer together,” he said, adding that it needs to be done in a transparent and customer-driven manner. Once a company has this unified view, they can execute a Unified-CXM strategy.

The easier way to achieve this is through a unified CX platform, yet according to a study from Sprinklr and Forrester, 93% of CX management professionals said they were missing features from their CX platform. Further, nearly half felt their current tools failed to provide them with a unified view of the consumer. As a result, Herman says companies are beginning to move away from point solutions toward more unified tech suites. Having a strong core platform with the ability to bolt on peripherals if needed tends to create a smoother process than trying to “glue” together disparate pieces. In Herman’s words, “an integrated system is way better than a system of integrations.”

Navigating an Ocean of Data With AI

Despite the wealth of data that the right technology can provide to companies, Herman says that they’re still confused by the concept of customer feedback, and fail to find ways to translate quantitative data into any kind of learning or actionable insights. According to research from Harvard Business Review, it’s not because they aren’t trying, but because they lack the right tools to analyze qualitative data that reveals more valuable information about the customer.

While structured customer feedback systems have their place, they don’t provide real-time insights. Companies need to be able to move beyond this type of data, which typically centers on existing customers and harnesses behavioral data from consumers.

“Social media and publicly available digital sites give us the opportunity to look into the data about the unknown and the potential,” Herman said. “[Brands] can go into the market and understand what consumers are saying about them before they’re even in the market yet.”

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