Congratulations to the 2013 Customer Experience Vendor Excellence Award Winners!

Customer Experience Vendor Excellence AwardsCongratulations to the 2013 winners of our Customer Experience Vendor Excellence Awards:

Allegiance

NICE Systems

Walker Information

In addition to those three winners, seven other companies were named as finalists: ForeSeeIpsos LoyaltyMattersightMedalliaRapideTeamSupport, and Waypoint Group.

We received 24 strong nominees, which highlights the strengthening ecosystem for supporting customer experience efforts. Here’s what a couple of the judges had to say about the nominees:

Kate Woodcock: “The breadth and depth of capability shown by all the submissions bodes very well for our still-maturing industry.  We’re in good hands – with help from these organizations, companies that choose to commit to and adopt customer-driven change can expect to differentiate themselves in their industry and reap the rewards.”

Mila D’Antonio: “The winners and finalists demonstrate a real commitment to integrating their clients’ voice of the customer data across channels, and helping their clients enable customer-focused cultures. Their customers show proven results that a focus on the customer experience can directly correlate to financial benefits.”

Nominations were judged on rhe following criteria:

  • Capabilities. What products and/or services do you offer that are uniquely able to help companies improve their customer experience?
  • Results. How have you helped companies improve their customer experience and overall business results?
  • References. What do clients say about your work?

For more information about the awards, visit the CX Vendor Excellence Awards page.

If you want to more information about the winners and finalists, I’ve included the first two sections of their nomination forms (“Company Overview” and “Make the Case”)  below.

Allegiance

1) Company overview: Provide a short description of your company. 

Allegiance provides systems that enable organizations to significantly reduce customer churn and increase revenue. Our voice of customer intelligence (VOCi) software collects customer feedback from across channels, combines it with other business data, and delivers relevant insights to the people who can take action – all in real time. This allows employees across a company to monitor and manage the customer experience to retain and grow customers. Our approach and technology have been validated by leading customer-focused brands from American Cancer Society to JetBlue to VMware and have made us one of the fastest growing companies in the US.

2) Make the case: Why is your company a great candidate for this award? Describe the specific products, services, and/or capabilities that you want the judges to consider in this nomination. Focus your description on a few highly differentiated items.

Allegiance differs from other CX-related vendors in a few important ways that make us a great candidate for this award.

First is our results-oriented philosophy. At Allegiance, we believe that acting on the voice of the customer to improve the customer experience is a means to an end. Our true objective is to help our clients achieve their business goals – namely reducing customer churn and increasing revenue. Accordingly, we help our clients connect their VoC and CX efforts directly to their business goals. Our software integrates easily with other systems like CRM and ERP so that decision-makers can see the connections between customer experience, operational performance, and business results. This ensures that employees act on what actually matters, not just what customers say matters. It also enables VoC and CX leaders to prove the value of the actions they initiate by measuring the relationship between changes in customer feedback and changes in business metrics. Without this results-focused philosophy and approach, VoC and CX teams struggle to earn a seat at the executive table and drive significant change.

Second is our straight-to-the-answer software. Traditionally, customer insight practitioners have spent most of their time finding insights and very little time driving action. This imbalance has frustrated practitioners for years and has limited their strategic value in companies. Allegiance has invested in building software to tip the scales in the other direction. Our innovative Spotlight data mining module turns mountains of data into laser-focused insights in seconds and frees practitioners to spend more of their time driving change. According to JetBlue’s Justin Thompson, “Spotlight is a big breakthrough. It’s allowing us to focus less on turning data into insights and more on turning insights into actions. That’s exactly where we need to be.” Many other clients and industry thought leaders have taken notice as well. Upon seeing Spotlight for the first time, Temkin Group’s own Bruce Temkin tweeted, “#CX practitioners deserve tools like this to uncover customer insights in datasets.” Spotlight has since earned recognition from several third-party organizations such as TMC Labs and the Customer Experience Professional’s Association (CXPA).

Spotlight uses a patent-pending data mining algorithm to exhaustively but efficiently analyze every possible pattern in a dataset and surface only “smart” results that make business sense and represent significant opportunities to improve key metrics. It flexibly handles operational data alongside customer feedback, and it allows users to examine any key metric identifiable in their data. Unlike traditional analysis tools, such as cross-tabbing or correlation, Spotlight evaluates every possible combination of data points, not just individual relationships between drivers and outcomes. That makes results more focused and reduces time-to-action. In addition, Spotlight makes the power of data mining accessible to average business users by offering an easy three-step setup process and delivering results in clear business terms.

The Allegiance platform also offers several other capabilities that enable practitioners to spend their time more strategically. For example, our Bonfire survey builder allows survey designers to easily collaborate with other stakeholders right inside the product, ensuring they collect the right data from the outset. Bonfire’s social sharing feature also helps to amplify customer advocacy by sending customers who provide positive feedback to broadcast their thoughts on social sites, creating immediate value. In addition, the Allegiance platform fully integrates text analytics functionality from both Attensity and Clarabridge – the two leaders in customer feedback text analytics – which allows clients to benefit from the best tools on the market without adding vendor and systems management complexity. Similarly, slick integrations with systems like Salesforce.com and Adobe Marketing Cloud make it easy to get all the right data together so practitioners can focus more of their attention to generating value.

Third is our flexible, scalable engagement model. Most CX software vendors engage with their clients in either a managed service model (where the vendor implements and manages the software) or a self-service model (where the client administers the software directly). The managed service model requires a high level of vendor involvement throughout the lifetime of the relationship, and it forces clients to pay and wait for every change or expansion of their programs. The self-service model gives clients more direct control and flexibility, but it leaves clients to flounder as they get up and running. Allegiance offers the best of both worlds to balance long-term success with short time-to-value. The CX leader at a large financial advisory firm recently engaged Allegiance to design and implement a few areas of her VoC program initially to deliver quick results, but she will gradually bring more administration in house over time so she can scale up her program without increasing her costs.

Fourth is our contribution to industry thought leadership. As an emerging discipline, customer experience needs nurturing. Allegiance works hard to contribute. In addition to our regular blogs posts and whitepapers, we have published three full-length books featuring thought leadership and advice from successful practitioners, consultants, and academics. We regularly contribute content to industry events such as the Next Generation Customer Experience event and the CXPA Members Insights Exchange. We also conduct our own events to connect leading practitioners and advance the discipline. Our VoCFusion conference brings together hundreds of practitioners and thought leaders from across industries – and largely from outside Allegiance’s client base. We also host intimate Executive Forum sessions with leading practitioners and influencers. Lastly, to further the credibility of VoC work specifically, we now offer a formal VoC Professional Certification.

Most important is the success of our clients. Allegiance has helped launch and support many of the world’s best VoC and CX programs. For example, we currently support award-winning programs at American Cancer Society (recognized by Forrester), Avnet (recognized by Forrester), Frost Bank (recognized as an elite Customer Service Champ by JD Power), JetBlue (recognized by Temkin Group and Forrester), Nicor National (recognized by JD Power), and Symantec (recognized by 1to1 Media and Forrester). Other clients regularly earn recognition for their customer focus and business results as well. For example, VMware recently earned kudos from The Wall Street Journal and Wired for its VoC-initiated move away from an unpopular pricing policy.

Foresee

1) Company overview: Provide a short description of your company.

As a pioneer in customer experience analytics, ForeSee continuously measures satisfaction across customer touch points (in-store, Web, mobile, contact center, social media, etc.) and delivers critical insights on where to prioritize improvements for maximum impact. Because ForeSee’s technology and proven methodology connect the customer experience to the bottom line, executives and managers are able to drive future success by identifying and optimizing the efforts that will achieve business and brand objectives. The result is better business for companies and a better experience for consumers. Visit http://www.foresee.com for customer experience solutions and original research.

2) Make the case: Why is your company a great candidate for this award? Describe the specific products, services, and/or capabilities that you want the judges to consider in this nomination. Focus your description on a few highly differentiated items.

ForeSee Background

The customer experience is at the heart of ForeSee’s business. Its technology, research, consultations and – of course – results all underscore a strong commitment to helping companies across industries understand the needs of their customers and consequently bolster satisfaction. Since its founding in 2001, the company’s raison d’être has been to help organizations improve the customer experience – and translate those improvements into tangible business results.

With scores of satisfied customers – excited about their own happy customers – and all with strong ROIs to report, ForeSee accomplishes its mission on a daily basis and remains committed to further innovation. The company has conducted nearly 90 million (and counting!) random yet representative customer satisfaction surveys on behalf of its clients. It marries those results with an accurate and predictive methodology that ultimately gives companies a roadmap for boosting customer satisfaction and bottom line performance. As you’ll see in the subsequent sections (case studies), ABC recently applied ForeSee’s insights to improve its iPad app. In addition, Marriott used ForeSee to make improvements to its Web and mobile presence – and as a result of these changes, the hotel chain not only scored big with customers, but also recognized over $400 million in undiscovered site revenue.

ForeSee works with 40% of the Fortune 100 (including nine of the Fortune 10), more than half of the top 100 retailers, six of the top 10 banks, 200 federal agencies and departments, and more. Within the last year, its customer base has seen expansive growth in industries such as consumer goods, healthcare, government, retail, manufacturing, media & entertainment, travel and utilities. New customers include Alaska Airlines, Clorox, Hyatt, Medicare.gov, MTS, the National Cancer Institute, philosophy, SuperMedia, the state of Hawaii, Stream Energy, the U.S. Department of Education and many, many more.

These organizations are all challenged by the need to understand what drives customer satisfaction as a whole. Business strategies can sometimes be polarizing, and feedback typically comes from extreme ends of the spectrum – most often, those who are highly dissatisfied and (slightly less frequently) those who have had a wonderful experience. This leaves the silent majority unrepresented – but as that majority holds major purchasing power, failing to seek out what satisfies and dissatisfies them can be dangerous.

ForeSee’s Customer Experience Analytics

ForeSee’s technology-driven methodology provides a true, random and representative measurement of consumer sentiment as a whole, and across all channels – creating a complete picture of a consumer’s brand experience. For the purposes of this application, we’d like to highlight ForeSee Satisfaction Analytics – which analyzes the customer experience across channels/customer touch-points to help companies identify and prioritize improvements. ForeSee’s analytics are predictive – quantifying the impact of changes to the customer experience before they are made, so business leaders can manage their organizations based on predictive, not reactive, feedback.

ForeSee provides:

ForeSee Satisfaction Analytics for Web – helping companies increase the effectiveness of their online initiatives, identify and meet the needs of first-time and frequent visitors, profile various visitor segments, identify what may be impeding online purchasing, etc.

ForeSee Satisfaction Analytics for Mobile – quantifying the impact of a company’s mobile site and/or apps on customers, how the mobile experience contributes to (or detracts from) total brand impression, who (demographic) mobile users are, how their mobile experience impacts loyalty and purchase intent, etc.

ForeSee Satisfaction Analytics for the Contact Center – showing how individual agents and contact centers as a whole perform, the primary issues that drive customers to a contact center, how services in a contact center can better align with other channels, how the contact center experience can impact retention, etc.

ForeSee Satisfaction Analytics for Stores – answering questions for companies about who visits their stores, where companies might be falling short in expectations (an associate’s performance, the condition of the store, policies and procedures, something else?), how the in-store experience may trigger activity in other channels, etc.

ForeSee Satisfaction Analytics for Social Media – helping companies assess the value of social media initiatives, how/whether customers’ social media experiences tie into their overall impression of a company, whether social media users ultimately make purchases (and through which channels), whether social media initiatives reach audiences underserved by other channels, etc.

Geared toward elevating customer satisfaction, ForeSee’s analytics show organizations if individual channels are supporting, triggering purchases or even undermining strategies in other channels. They give a complete picture of today’s information-driven, multi-channel and multi-device consumer. What may – ostensibly – be a failed interaction via mobile could actually lead to an in-store purchase – data that ForeSee is able to capture, as the company provides a holistic view of customer activity and preferences.

Mobile’s Growing Importance

Chief among customer preferences these days is interacting with a company, conveniently, via mobile devices. Smartphone and tablet purchases are skyrocketing – with smartphone sales having recently outpaced those of PCs.

An important standalone channel, mobile also plays a key role as a companion channel – giving consumers the ability to price compare, read reviews and even pull up product videos while in a physical store. As companies leverage mobile capabilities, it’s critical they are able to understand the drivers of customer satisfaction, as well as turn-offs.

To that end, last year, ForeSee launched the industry’s first and only on-exit deployment technology to capture how consumers view their mobile interactions, and how those behaviors impact behaviors in other channels. The technology helps companies measure success, areas for investment and improvement efforts. Companies including Ask.com, Autotrader.com, AT&T, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Comcast, DTE Energy, Kohl’s, Macy’s, NASA, Nordstrom, Target and Zillow.com, among others, rely on ForeSee to strengthen customer satisfaction and results for their mobile sites and apps.

SessionReplay

One way to truly understand the customer is to get in their shoes – and ForeSee’s SessionReplay technology affords companies that opportunity. With SessionReplay, companies have the ability to view visitors’ experiences on their website – not just screenshots, but actual videos (mouse moving, page scrolling, etc.) of the customer experience. This brings user feedback to life – showing what actually drove purchases, roadblocks in navigability, etc. By speeding up problem identification, SessionReplay likewise expedites – and validates – improvements to the customer experience.

Industry Research

In addition to its technology and surveys conducted on behalf of clients, ForeSee has also long been regarded as a top resource on customer satisfaction leaders and triggers across industries. ForeSee conducts 20+ industry research reports annually – covering retail, government, financial services, luxury brands, mobile, etc. – with the publicly available rankings serving as important and well-regarded industry benchmarks. In 2012, ForeSee launched the ForeSee Mobile Satisfaction Index: Retail Edition, creating a landmark mobile experience benchmark for customer satisfaction. ForeSee’s data has received widespread media coverage in outlets including Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes, Reuters and USA Today and many more.

Ipsos Loyalty

1) Company overview: Provide a short description of your company.

Ipsos Loyalty is the global leader in customer experience, satisfaction and loyalty research and consulting with over 1,200 dedicated professionals located in over 80 countries around the world.  We are a recognized thought leader in the customer loyalty field and our papers are cited more than 2,900 times by scholars.  Our creative solutions build strong relationships which lead to better results for our clients. This has made us the trusted advisor to executives across industry sectors in B2C and B2B on all matters relating to measuring, modeling, and managing customer and employee relationships.

2) Make the case: Why is your company a great candidate for this award? Describe the specific products, services, and/or capabilities that you want the judges to consider in this nomination. Focus your description on a few highly differentiated items.

Ipsos Loyalty is distinctive and differentiated in three key fundamental ways – market leadership, thought leadership and technology leadership.  We wrap these leadership positions with a client service culture focused on embedment and facilitation of real client change and business improvement.  Going beyond products, we do truly believe in the very human aspects of our business of customer experience professional services and we differentiate our firm by the caliber of professionals that make Ipsos Loyalty what it is.

Market Leadership: Ipsos Loyalty is the largest dedicated specialist customer experience, satisfaction and loyalty professional services firm with revenue of over $340 million and client service staff of over 1,200 located in 80+ countries in every region of the world.  This scale and scope of operations allow us to serve the largest multinational companies on global engagements as well as the freshest start-up companies in markets all over the planet.  Our products in the areas of customer understanding, performance improvement and organizational alignment are market leading and incorporate the latest innovations in applied behavior economics, neuroscience, and customer experience management.  Lastly, we believe our organic growth rate which allowed us to more than double our business in the past five years indicates the strength of our client relationships and the premier status of our market position.

Thought Leadership: Ipsos Loyalty is the proven reference for thought leadership in customer experience and loyalty research.  We are winner of more prestigious scientific awards for our research than all comparable companies combined.  We are authors of some of the most influential books in the field and our peer reviewed journal articles and other papers are cited more than 2,900 by scholars.  We published a top 20 article written in the past 25 years (by the INFORMS Society for Marketing Science) and were awarded Best Papers in the Journal of Marketing (TWICE), Managing Service Quality (TWICE), and Journal of Service Research.  We have published recently in the Harvard Business Review and are actively working with professors from 15 top academic institutions including Harvard, Northwestern, Fordham, Norwegian School of Management, and Goethe University.

Technology Leadership: Ipsos Loyalty maintains a relentless commitment to delivering world class technologies to clients.  From the latest Customer Information and Action (CIA) systems to neuroscience, biometrics, and eye scanning technologies to social media, engagement communities and applied behavioral economics using customer journey mapping, Ipsos Loyalty brings to market the latest and greatest technologies.  We are experts in using technology to capture, integrate, analyze and present a wide variety of active and passive components of customer feedback.  We are leaders in creating and understanding communities, and their impact on quality, satisfaction and loyalty perceptions.  Our CIA systems include important client demanded functionalities such as: real time, mobile enabled, structured and unstructured data capture, analysis, and reporting, predictive and cross data set “Big Data” analytics, and closed loop action management capabilities.  These CIA platforms which are growing in importance to our clients across sectors are continuously developing in terms of scale, scope, and functionality and allow the right information to get to the right internal stakeholder at the right time, all enabling program embedment into our clients’ organizations.

Lastly, we have a culture of embedment and deep experience facilitating real client change and business improvement.  We viscerally understand that the success of any customer experience program is not in data, research, or feedback by itself, but in the ability of the client organization to embed customer information and insight into policies, processes and operations as well as institutionalize a customer centric culture.  To achieve this truly lofty goal we insist on working with our clients’ internal teams (e.g. front line staff, communications, training, operations, coaching) to champion and build the spirit of positive customer experience into their policies, programs and processes.  In fact, we regularly embed Ipsos Loyalty personnel on-site at client locations for the period of time required to facilitate customer centric change and regularly partner with our clients on multinational “road shows” to communicate and embed the program into field operations.  As part of being embedded within client organizations, our client service team members expect to be called on to accommodate ad hoc consultative requests on short notice in order to help to meet the myriad of our clients’ stakeholder needs.

Mattersight

1) Company overview: Provide a short description of your company.

Mattersight is the leader in enterprise analytics for customer and employee interactions and behaviors. Our Behavioral Analytics service captures and analyzes interactions, employee desktop data and other contextual information to optimally route customers to the best available agent, improve operational performance and predict future customer and employee outcomes. Our solution is based on millions of proprietary algorithms that apply unique behavioral models while leveraging a SaaS+ delivery model which combines analytics in the cloud. Our analytics, combined with our unique delivery model, enable our clients to See What Matters® in service, sales, collections, customer retention, fraud and back office operations.

2) Make the case: Why is your company a great candidate for this award? Describe the specific products, services, and/or capabilities that you want the judges to consider in this nomination. Focus your description on a few highly differentiated items.

It is undeniable that we all have unique personalities, communication styles and behavioral characteristics. We have all experienced times when we dealt with a customer service or sales agent and the interaction was enjoyable, whether or not our issue was resolved or we made a purchase – this a positive behavioral connection. By contrast, a behavioral mismatch can result in a less than optimal customer experience, even if a service issue is resolved or sale is transacted. Mattersight’s Behavioral Analytics platform is the only solution available that can decode every second of captured human interaction to provide the enterprise with actionable insight to improve employee-customer interactions and drive positive business impact.

Our customers utilize these insights to:

1. Automatically connect each individual caller with the available employee best suited to address that callers needs and most likely to have a positive connection, increasing the likelihood of a positive customer experience and beneficial business outcome.

2. Predict likely outcomes for customer-employee interactions and device programs to address business needs

3. Understand the behavioral characteristics of the best and least performing agents to coach and reduce variability.

The results speak for themselves. A recent study by Forrester (commissioned by Mattersight) reported a 704% three year ROI and 4.1 month payback period. These impressive results were delivered at companies in diverse industries including financial services, healthcare, property and casualty insurance for contact center business applications including sales, customer care and collections.

Other notable results from a variety of Mattersight Behavioral Analytics customers include:

  • Implemented predictive customer satisfaction scoring system, eliminating survey shortcomings and costs and enabling agent-level performance improvement
  • Reduction in service callbacks by 11% after six months
  • Improvement in agent sales close rate of 45% in first year
  • Reduction in average talk time of 29% with no detrimental trade off in other metrics
  • Year over year collections increase of 13% with 5% less phone time

With Mattersight Behavioral Analytics, companies can see and understand their customers as real people. They can interact with their customers taking into account the communication styles, behaviors, attitudes, and perceptions of each individual. No other solution can make such a claim – and back it with results!

Behavioral Analytics consists of three main applications that can be deployed independently or in conjunction with one another and applied to a variety of business needs including sales, retention, service, FCR, customer experience and satisfaction, NPS®, collections, fraud and others. Predictive Behavioral Routing identifies optimal pairing of agent and customer for call routing. Predictive Customer Analytics uses advanced modeling techniques and scores interactions to identify proactive or corrective actions. The Performance Management application decodes 100% of interactions to identify the best specific opportunities for improvement of each employee, supervisor and manager. The case studies were selected to demonstrate deployments of all three primary applications.

Medallia

1) Company overview: Provide a short description of your company.

Medallia is the customer experience management company. Founded in 2001, the company is trusted by the world’s leading brands including Best Western, Four Seasons, Gold’s Gym, Sephora, Sony, and Verizon to improve customer experiences. Medallia provides a cloud-based software platform, which captures feedback across Web, social, mobile, and contact center channels, analyzes it in real-time, and enables companies to take action to drive customer delight.

2) Make the case: Why is your company a great candidate for this award? Describe the specific products, services, and/or capabilities that you want the judges to consider in this nomination. Focus your description on a few highly differentiated items.

With a 98% retention and 99% reference-ability rate, Medallia serves more than 125 of the largest, most beloved global brands, including Carnival Cruises, Four Seasons, LEGO, Mercedes, Nordstrom, Fidelity, and Verizon. Resent additions include Shell, O2 Telefonica, Zurich Insurance and many others.

Medallia provides organizations with the ability to capture, analyze, and act on customer feedback. For Medallia’s users, the crux is action, allowing organizations to go from simply understanding issues, to impacting them through direct actions. More than 150,000 users in Global 2000 companies use Medallia software to take actions every day. Users span the organization, from the C-suite to the frontlines. We do this at scale (we currently have over 8M page views a month) and have “five nines” for uptime.

Our core differentiation lies in our ability to provide a complete suite for CEM. This suite has the ability to manage the often-complex set-up of our customers’ environments that spans organizational hierarchies, thousands of locations, multiple languages and even must adhere to local privacy laws. In order to serve these organizations in a seamless, scalable way, Medallia has chosen to make some of the key aspects of CEM native to our offering (versus something we OEM or partner for.) In addition to world-class survey creation and management, as well as analytics and dash-boarding, our native capabilities include: text analytics, social media feedback and analysis and mobile feedback and engagement.

Medallia goes beyond “scores” to gather textual feedback. In that feedback lies the core issues that drive loyalty and spend. With the Medallia Index Score, we don’t just evaluate the volume and sentiment of these issues, we predict the relationship those issues have to loyalty and provide to business users prioritized actions based on those relationships.

To us, actions and workflows are then the key to impacting experiences. As we collect and automatically analyze feedback, our software then automatically creates alerts that trigger actions based on business rules. Actions are tracked and goals managed. Business users find the application practical and log-in every day to take and manage actions that directly impact experiences.

Finally, Medallia includes both operational and financial data in our application. This allows our business users to really understand if their actions are actually having an impact on business measures, scores and even sales.

NICE Systems

1) Company overview: Provide a short description of your company.

NICE Systems (NASDAQ: NICE) provides software solutions that enable organizations to take the next best action in order to improve customer experience and business results, ensure compliance, fight financial crime, and safeguard people and assets. NICE’s solutions empower organizations to capture, analyze, and apply, in real time, insights from both structured and unstructured Big Data. This data comes from multiple sources, including phone calls, mobile apps, emails, chat, social media, video, and transactions. NICE solutions are used by over 25,000 organizations in more than 150 countries, including over 80 of the Fortune 100 companies

2) Make the case: Why is your company a great candidate for this award? Describe the specific products, services, and/or capabilities that you want the judges to consider in this nomination. Focus your description on a few highly differentiated items.

NICE Systems comes from a long legacy of supporting contact centers with efficiency solutions like quality monitoring and workforce management.  Today, we do much more.  With our cross-channel interaction analytics, customer feedback, real-time guidance, and real-time speech analytics we help enterprises gain insight from customer interactions and take real time action to shape those interactions as they occur.  This improves customer experience directly, as well as improves products and processes throughout the organization.

We at NICE believe that an individual and differentiated customer experience needs to build on four essentials.

  1. Focus on Each Individual Customer Journey – make them feel special. At NICE, we collect all customer interaction and transaction data, as well as customer feedback to understand the preference of each customer and the context of each interaction. We use Big Data technology to build a clear picture about each customer’s needs and help agents address the customer as a single entity across their various interactions. As we collect data across channels and over time, we are able to identify patterns and meaning that enables organizations to be predictive and proactive about meeting customer needs.. For the customer it feels personal, while the business is able to provide differentiated marketing and service.
    We do this every day, across tens of thousands of organizations for millions of customers.
  2. Leverage Real Time Analytics and Actions – be responsive in the moment. NICE combines real-time data with historical data about the customer to identify  when a “decisive moment” is happening and proactive contact is required. We use our real-time capture, real-time analytics and real-time decisioning to drive actions.  These actions may entail changing the context of the current interaction, smoothly moving the interaction between channels, or even proactively engaging the customer and creating an interaction. For example, if a customer with a history of multiple contacts per month across various channels purchases a new mobile device, the provider can reach out proactively to support the customer in setting up service features. This will not only avoid technical issues for the customer, but will also generate high satisfaction and loyalty due to this positive surprising experience.
  3. Manage the Prepared Workforce – empower your staff to succeed. Since many interactions now happen via self-service without a human counterpart, those that do end up with an agent tend to be highly complex and very important.  Customer expectations from front line employees is getting higher and higher.  With our complete Workforce Optimization solution, NICE ensures that the right people are in place at any given moment, with the training and motivation to succeed during these decisive moments. And, our real-time guidance ensures agents will not miss any opportunities to delight customers or capture sales.
  4. Instill Enterprise-wide Improvements Using Inside-Out and Outside-In Data – NICE  collects masses of data: the full journey of each customer multiplied by the number of customers. This overwhelming volume provides a valid statistical representation of the operation which can point to broken processes that adversely affect customer experience.
    In addition, we gather customers’ direct feedback to let us know explicitly what they experienced.
    When internal analysis is combined with direct customer feedback organizations can really understand what is working well and what needs to be improved.

NICE delivers these essentials through the following differentiated capabilities:

  • Cross-channel Interaction Analytics- Analysis of interactions across multiple contact channels using speech, email, chat, desktop and call flow analytics.
  • Real Time Decisioning and Guidance -  Next-best-action recommendations to agents in real time during phone or chat interactions with customers.
  • Real-time speech analyticsanalyzes spoken interactions in real-time as they occur. Enables real-time agent guidance for next-best-action, as well as supervisor alerts for call intervention.
  • NICE Fizzback – Real-time, unstructured customer feedback captured at the point of interaction and analyzed via natural language processes.
  • Mobile Reach – Provides a bridge between mobile self-service and live agents in a seamless, automatic, and personalized manner.

Rapide

1) Company overview: Provide a short description of your company.

Rapide provide customer engagement solutions that drive advocacy to half of the FTSE.

Our proactive communication and fast feedback technology lets our clients increase revenue and reduce churn by listening and reacting to the voice of their customers in real-time.

Because emotions run strongest straight after service delivery our feedback solution

Rant & Rave is there to capture the pure, untainted opinions of customers at Moments of Truth™. Whether they choose to share their views by SMS, MMS, email or even Voice Message Rant & Rave understands it all instantly. Transforming customer experience into business intelligence in real-time.

2) Make the case: Why is your company a great candidate for this award? Describe the specific products, services, and/or capabilities that you want the judges to consider in this nomination. Focus your description on a few highly differentiated items.

Rant & Rave™ – fast feedback

We are all customers, and we respond emotionally, right there and then, to love or dislike a company and its brand. We decide in ‘the moment’. Rant & Rave is there to capture the pure, untainted opinions and words of customers at ‘Moments of Truth’™, the exact points that they’re forming them. Brands have a great opportunity to engage and listen to customers here, and most importantly respond to them. The trick is to make it easy for the customer to tell you. Customers expect to have their needs met and for the experience to be both easy and enjoyable. If this doesn’t happen you risk losing them.

Benefits of Rant & Rave across our clients…

  • 35%+ response rates
  • 50% increase in NPS
  • £1m in additional revenue
  • 36% reduction in complaints
  • 75% more insight

Rant & Rave is designed to allow companies to proactively ask for feedback at the moments that they know are important for a customer, for instance at the end of a loan application or call centre phone call. However it also has what we call ‘always on’ or ‘active’ channels which let customers get in touch whenever they feel the need. While the power of social media is undeniable many companies are struggling to ‘control it’. By the time comments hit the internet it’s too late. Though we do monitor social to identify feedback and trends we encourage our clients to use mobile as a first point of contact, to encourage customers to talk to them directly.

Lots of vendors claim to be able to manage real-time feedback but we have award winning technology to back us up. At the heart of Rant & Rave is the Sentiment Engine™. This uses natural language processing (NLP) and text analytics to understand feedback in real-time.

The major benefit of Rand & Rave is to retain Revenue from ‘Ranters’ and to turn ‘Ravers’ into active advocates to help win more customers and increase revenue. As well as being able to recover situations with customers in real-time the insight gathered also provides suggestions for a business that allows them to improve long term performance around their 3P’s – people coaching and development, process improvements and product changes.

The Rant & Rave Dashboard

When customers are unhappy with an experience Rant & Rave gives Brands a way of recovering the situation with a timely response. When they are happy it allows them to engage them further with up-sell and cross-sell messages and to enable them to become active advocates both through word of mouth and social media.

The Rant & Rave Modules…

Capture, Process, Present & Act – Our core Rant & Rave modules for fast, insightful feedback.

Recover – The workflow and alerting that enables a ‘Ranter’ to be saved by a business.

Discover – Analytics that enable a ‘Voice Of Business’ view using structured comments and analysis from Rant & Rave™ to be correlated against structured customer data from elsewhere in a business, for example a CRM system.

Recommend – The ability to have advocates spread the word about their views into their social network.

Advocate – A way to track an exclusive offer made via a ‘Raver’ to their ‘friends’, as real advocacy only happens when, as a result of their recommendations, new customers are acquired.

Integrate & Export – Allows the analysis, reporting and data distributed and integrated into other systems or parts of a business.

Rant & Rave – 66099 – The world’s first telephone number
to connect consumers and brands!

This is the ‘free’, entry-level solution for ‘Rant & Rave’. 66099 is a mobile short code (shhh it’s the quote marks J) that allows any customer in UK or USA to send a SMS, MMS or make a call, and as long as they mention the agreed company name in their message, they can provide feedback 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to the brand mentioned. In return, they receive an automated voucher from the company. The company can then add that person’s details to a marketing list for further communication and offers.

Recently we launch National Rant & Rave day where we took to the streets of London to capture feedback from public through 66099. In one day we captured over a 1000 pieces of feedback with more than 100 brands mentioned.

Every piece of feedback was sent to the relevant brand with Tesco, Nationwide and Vodafone all responding to the feedback directly with the customer.

 

The Rant & Rave characters during National Rant & Rave day at Piccadilly Circus, London

 

What makes us different?

Time to Value – Brands can be using our free entry-level solution 66099 in 30 seconds (www.rantandrave.co.uk). Our initial client engagement approach uses a value-based methodology where we create a business case that clearly shows how we can maximize business value a deliver a clear ROI.

We get more feedback from more customers than anyone else, because if you catch the customer at the right time in the right emotion, you get great insight.

With Rant & Rave we use active AND proactive channels to capture feedback. That means, we have simple, ‘always on’ ways of getting feedback, to sit alongside our integrated, event-driven capture mechanisms. This is because our philosophy is to let the customer have their Rant or Rave whenever they want to. None of our competition does this at this level of simplicity.

Our proactive communication solution Inform & Interact is an integral part of Rant & Rave. People are sick and tired of not hearing back. Brands find it hard to deal with every specific issue, but that’s why we believe in Broadcast Proactive Communications (with customers and employees) to sit alongside the fast feedback approach of Rant & Rave – The CEO of Barclays Bank sends a voice recording using Rapide’s Inform & Interact to all staff and customers once per month with the top 3 issues that the customer has brought to their attention and what the brand intends to do!

Our Technology. First, we have a unique way of driving actions using the R&R dashboard, with recommendations and suggestions and then with ‘diamonds and icebergs’ (patent pending) an algorithm that looks for the needles in the haystacks to help brands find the really important hidden messages in customer feedback. In addition, our Sentiment Engine™ can find more than one insight (topic with sentiment) in single customer verbatim.

Rapide at a glance…

12 years experience – ½ FTSE put their trust in us
20 countries served & 60 million interactions a year

TeamSupport

1) Company overview: Provide a short description of your company.

TeamSupport (www.teamsupport.com), founded in 2009, is a Web-based customer support suite that facilitates solving customer issues by focusing on communication, collaboration, and knowledge sharing between internal support team members and other constituents within the company. Built by a team of veteran software and service professionals, TeamSupport is a trusted software provider to prominent business clients around the globe. It was named one of the 10 best CSM software suites of 2013 by Info-Tech Research Group and recently won the Bronze Stevie award for both Contact Center Software and Relationship Management Solutions.

2) Make the case: Why is your company a great candidate for this award? Describe the specific products, services, and/or capabilities that you want the judges to consider in this nomination. Focus your description on a few highly differentiated items.

Customer support teams deserve more than “just another ticketing system.” Most support desk systems are best suited for one-on-one, one-time communications with customers and do not focus on the big picture. TeamSupport is different—and that what makes it a great candidate for this award.

As veterans of the software and customer service industries, the founders of TeamSupport shared the same pains as today’s customer service teams do. Over the course of many years of doing their jobs—as CEO, software developers and customer support and Service Desk professionals—the founders watched in frustration as communication consistently broke down within teams and across departments. They knew there had to be a better way.

And that’s why, in 2009, they created TeamSupport, a powerful, yet easy-to-use, Web-based enterprise software. Drawing upon industry best practices honed in numerous workplaces, the founders built a product that today is widely considered one of the best in the field.

The magic of TeamSupport is that it is easy to use—departments can be fully up and running within a matter of days—and it’s highly cost-effective. At the same time, it is highly flexible—users can configure its features to match the unique needs of their respective service team.

Some of TeamSupport’s most unique and acclaimed features include:

  • Ticket integration. No matter whether a customer contacts customer support via telephone, e-mail, chat or social media, TeamSupport assigns each inbound request to a help ticket and keeps all customer communications centralized. Customer support teams benefit from a highly organized, streamlined and fully integrated approach to managing customer requests for help. E-mails will never fall through the cracks again!
  • Screen recording. Customers can record short video clips of their issues (including voice commentary, if desired) to share with customer support representatives. This feature allows customer support representatives to see issues in “real time.” As a result, customer service representatives can immediately see the issue for themselves and jump into finding a solution for the customer, rather than waste valuable time trying to identify and understand the issue. Because they can see it, they can solve it.
  • Ticket automation. Customer support teams can set specific rules so that tickets with certain criteria are treated in certain ways. By way of example, one user created a rule to flag all communications from customers using words like “frustrated” or “angry.” When a customer would contact the support team using words like these, the ticket would automatically get flagged for the company president to address personally. Company leaders at the highest levels would immediately step in to de-escalate and resolve the issue.
  • Knowledge Base. When a customer has an issue or question, TeamSupport’s intelligent Knowledge Base recommends a number of helpful resources that may allow the customer to solve the issue him or herself without involving a customer support representative. As a result, customer support reps can devote their time and effort to resolving higher-level or more complex issues.
  • Wiki. This feature, unique to TeamSupport, allows its customers to create a shared Wiki so that team members can access and update key information and documents in real time.
  • WaterCooler. This feature, an internal social media tool, allows customer service team members to participate in group discussions—in a private, internal forum. Its primary purpose is to bring colleagues together in a protected online space to share information amongst the group to help solve customer issues. But unlike a typical internal forum or “message board,” TeamSupport’s intelligent WaterCooler allows users to link their online conversations to tickets, issues, groups or people as appropriate. The result? Everyone on the team can benefit from shared knowledge, problems are solved, and customers are served with greater efficiency.

During a recent customer satisfaction survey, 97% of TeamSupport users say they would recommend this software suite to their peers. And 99% of customers rank TeamSupport’s service as good to outstanding, demonstrating that when it comes to exceptional service, TeamSupport knows good service from all sides.

Walker Information

1) Company overview: Provide a short description of your company.

Walker is a customer intelligence consulting firm. Helping businesses for more than 70 years, Walker’s diverse team of consultants provides tailored, comprehensive solutions to help companies achieve their business objectives and grow shareholder value. Walker specializes in customer retention and growth strategies, using predictive analytics, cutting edge technology, and expert consultation to deliver results. And it works – Walker clients outperform the market by more than six to one!

Walker’s primary focus is delivering results for business-to-business organizations. Our client list includes dozens of market-leading companies that span a variety of industries.

2) Make the case: Why is your company a great candidate for this award? Describe the specific products, services, and/or capabilities that you want the judges to consider in this nomination. Focus your description on a few highly differentiated items.

Here are several reasons why we feel Walker is an exceptional candidate for the Customer Experience Vendor Excellence Award:

WE HAVE A SHARP FOCUS ON B-TO-B

Not only is Walker keenly focused on customer experience strategies (it is virtually all we do), but we specialize in solutions and services for business-to-business organizations. The challenges for B-to-B companies are unique and we believe our expertise in this area makes a big difference for our clients. Our approach to journey mapping, action planning, and technology tools are all particularly effective in driving action through strategic account managers, channel partners, service organizations, and many other areas.

WE TAKE A COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH

Walker offers a comprehensive range of services to deliver complete solutions for our clients. We aim to provide everything needed to deliver the most effective customer intelligence to drive strategies, action, change, and results. We work within proven frameworks, but also tailor each engagement to the specific needs of each client. We know of no company that offers the range of services we deliver:

  • Comprehensive, tailored consulting – From day one, clients work with Walker consultants to set clear objectives and design programs to achieve them using journey mapping and other methods to establish a practical roadmap. Our experts are involved in every step, guiding clients on program design, execution, communication, action planning, alignment with business strategies, and program validation.

To meet our clients’ specific needs and deliver complete solutions, Walker offers a comprehensive range of services.

  • Technology tools – Walker has developed an unmatched set of tools to accelerate the way customer information is gathered, analyzed, and put to use. Unlike many technology companies that offer a one-size-fits-all “platform,” Walker delivers an integrated set of applications that are designed around the needs of each user group within each client organization.

Walker’s technology applications include sophisticated business intelligence tools, CRM integration, mobile applications for account managers, advanced reporting, and much more.

  • Research models and frameworks – With a strong background in research, Walker is constantly developing and validating methods and models to better understand customer relationships. We don’t rely on a single metric or model. Instead, we determine the right research approach to service the unique needs of each client.
  • Analytic sciences – Walker delivers services to help companies maximize the use of their customer information by integrating all available sources. Our team of experienced marketing scientists deploys advanced analytic techniques to include predictive, longitudinal, descriptive, profiling, segmentation and other innovative approaches aimed at understanding and anticipating customer needs.
  • End-to-end program execution – Often overlooked are the day-to-day tasks of implementing customer intelligence initiatives. Our staff of highly trained project managers and consultants carefully manages each program to ensure that rich, accurate customer information is effectively delivered and put to use.

WE COLLABORATE WITH OUR CLIENTS

At Walker we believe how we work is just as important as what we do. It begins with intelligent, seasoned professionals – our account leaders average more than 16 years experience working with clients on customer-focused strategies. More important than their tenure is the approach that these sought-after leaders take in guiding our clients:

  • Success is defined – Metrics are identified and actively measured and monitored.
  • Executives are engaged – This builds the connection of customer insights into the strategic decision making process of the business.
  • The journey is well-planned – A strategic vision and long-term roadmap is used to architect the process.
  • The process is reviewed and evaluated – Business reviews are routinely conducted and formal input is provided via FOCUS, Walker’s own customer listening process.

WE FOCUS ON RESULTS

Results are what matter. In fact, we track our clients’ collective business performance and compare it to the performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the NASDAQ Composite, and the S&P 500. While we are proud our clients outperform the market by more than six to one, we are just as focused on how they achieve specific business objectives within various groups and departments. Consider these examples:

  • A Fortune 500 manufacturer identified customers who were at-risk and also those who were opportunities for new sales. After taking immediate action on customer insights they estimated a revenue gain of $148 million.
  • Using predictive analytics, a technology company was able to allocate resources to pursue 400 specific accounts that were determined to be primed for growth.
  • By taking action on customer insights, a leader in data storage systems made changes that not only benefitted their customers, but also saved their company $34 million.
  • After gaining a deep understanding of the target company’s customer base, a leading sporting goods supplier was able to earn 10 percent top-line growth immediately after acquiring a company. This also positioned themselves for millions of dollars of new sales.
  • A market-leading technology firm identified ease of doing business as a key driver of customer loyalty. This prompted improved access and navigation to their support website which saved more than $300 million dollars.
  • A leading provider of technology solutions implemented a “hot alert” system to take immediate action on their customer issues. In one year they were able to convert thousands of sales leads into more than $200 million in revenue.
  • By listening to their frustrated customers, a multi-billion dollar bottling company fixed their problem of delayed deliveries and empty shelves, and increased their delivery rate by more than 30 percent.

Several of these examples are outlined in more detail in the section below.

Waypoint Group

1) Company overview: Provide a short description of your company.

Waypoint Group helps B2B companies assemble, prioritize, and act on customer insights that accelerate their profitable growth. Our clients benefit from proven tools, blueprints, and expertise built from over 20 years of hands-on participation in 1000’s of Customer Experience initiatives from 100’s of organizations. Waypoint Group’s consulting and implementation services:

  • Amplify customer and competitive insights;
  • Prioritize the strategies that will deliver the best bang-for-the-buck;
  • Engage and educate front-line employees to improve customer lifetime value; and
  • Embed operational execution with leadership and governance to manage improvement

2) Make the case: Why is your company a great candidate for this award? Describe the specific products, services, and/or capabilities that you want the judges to consider in this nomination. Focus your description on a few highly differentiated items.

Our clients benefit from Executable, Sustainable, and Profitable (“ESP”) programs based on 5 core facts:

1. Gain insight from coverage, not sample.

Customer Experience (CX) programs frequently attempt to drive results by sending surveys and recommending / facilitating actions based on an analysis of customer feedback. There are 2 issues with this approach:

  • First, many programs assume that survey responses can be extrapolated to represent the business overall. However, this assumption rarely proves accurate. It is not safe to assume that customers who respond to requests for feedback are representative of the customer base as a whole. Non-respondents often represent disengaged or “checked out” customers with different perspectives, and our research shows that this group is frequently the most toxic and most likely to churn, and therefore requires different treatment strategies than others.
  • Second, feedback results don’t often represent the business. To drive trustworthiness of CX recommendations and expedite action, feedback must be evaluated according to both current value of the segment and also within the context of strategic business priorities.

Waypoint Group’s approach is built on a foundation of clear business objectives and segmentation with optimal statistical input requirements. We emphasize and educate our clients on clear and effective communications, optimal recruiting, and engagement strategies that provide customers with “What’s in it for me” and achieve response rates of 70%+.

2. Focus on opportunities, not issues.

Many CX improvement programs analyze feedback results to identify low-scoring areas that require improvement. By contrast, we have been able to accelerate results by identifying the areas that are working well and syndicating those best practices throughout the organization that can benefit most. These “Bright Spots” are easier for people to understand and implement, and they also provide opportunities to exceed customer expectations and facilitate their success.

3. Don’t survey customers, engage them:

It is particularly important in B2B environments to continually engage customers in appropriate dialogs that establish the right measures of success and set expectations on both sides of the table. Our approach ensures we aren’t just sending a survey and thanking them for their time, but instead our clients leverage customer feedback to help employees have the right dialogs with the right customers and contacts at the right time.

4. Act on root-causes, not symptoms:

No matter how many questions you might want to add to a questionnaire, we recognize that surveys will never deliver actionable root cause. Customer sentiment comes from a company’s ability to align delivery with customer expectations. And since customer expectations can be set by so many intervening influences, root-causes can only be uncovered and addressed through appropriate dialogs. Our approach leverages customer feedback to uncover and prioritize the conditions and patterns that should be addressed, and enables clients to zero-in with the right follow-up questions that can establish root-cause and implement the right CX strategies.

5. Measure success through financial gains, not scores:

Although customer feedback can often be established as a trustworthy leading indicator of business health, linking feedback with appropriate financials and operational data provides clarity and a simpler way to speak with the business executives who need to drive change. Speaking the direct language of the business drives clarity and adoption.

About Bruce Temkin
I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, marketing, interaction design, customer service, and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

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