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CXPA Insight Conference – The Oscars of Customer Experience
CloudCherry | Featured | June 6, 2017
How does one ‘summarize’ 2 days when the best and the brightest of the CX world converged in Phoenix to share, learn and evolve? Since chronological essays are not my forte, I shall focus on presenting my perspective a week after the event, for it has taken me a while (yes, I am a touch slow) to truly understand (albeit in a limited fashion) how each stakeholder sees the space of customer experience.
Given our newbie status in the CX space and this being our very first CXPA event, we saw 3 perspectives at play at the event:
And the good people at CXPA who are all of these and truly a class apart.
An event’s pedigree isn’t in the location, the platform or even I daresay the planned sessions. It is in the quality of people it attracts and on that front, this was the Oscars of CX, to put it mildly. With 350 incredibly talented and passionate people the location didn’t feel like a desert (am I the only one who thought Phoenix looked green like a rainforest from the Wrigley Mansion?), the platform was perfectly set and the content enriching and thought provoking.
Now, on to the stakeholders:
Being a CX practitioner is a lonely job. Most CX teams are understaffed with expectations of outcomes that are far disproportionate to the resources on hand. CX touches every part of the organization but if the CX team cannot influence the entire organization then a VOC/CX program is hamstrung right off the blocks. I saw incredible folks in incredible companies and took away the message that tech partners in CEM need to step up their (our) game. We cannot burden CX teams with large bills, vague outcomes, 6 to 12-month implementation times and surveys that last a dog’s half-life.
Customers are changing more rapidly than we can say ‘cross tab’ and they are choosing increasingly innovative ways to engage with a brand. It is our responsibility to empower contextualized conversations with customers across all channels – be it on chat, on the web or in-app, social, in-store/location or any other of the customer’s choosing. An email survey rendering on the mobile is NOT Omni-channel. Long form surveys R.I.P.
Out-of-the-box integrations to all systems of record (CRM, POS, Loyalty) need to be table stakes, not chargeable to the clients and part of the ‘starter pack’. We need to use those integrations to drive impact, be able to quantify it and help CX practitioners present the tangible outcomes like the impact of NPS (or any other score) on transactions, loyalty; by customer sub-segment to management; WITHOUT them needing to sell off their prized Monet for funding this.
Did I mention everything needing to be real time? Implementation, changes, alerts, loop closure, analytics and configuration.
I was honestly surprised by the number of super-talented people I met who had left the comfort of jobs in great companies to pursue the path of CX consultancy/advisory. Being on both sides of the table arms them with a perspective on the space, which is truly unique. CEM platforms and consultants are pieces of a jigsaw that perfectly fit, for ours is not a transactional product and space. Outcomes are increasingly complex to achieve and/or measure and the consultancy part is a critical requirement for the success of CEM programs. We also believe that everyone must choose what they are great at and pursue it with maniacal obsession. The side note is for us to NOT do what we are not great at. Hence, while we do have CX experts in-house and work closely with our clients, the question is how much we truly want to scale. In an ideal world, we would partner with CX consultants and batten down the hatches to build a great CEM software! The latter we already do while the event opened my eyes to the former.
Ah! That lovely feeling knowing you are the only one who thought starting a CEM company was a great idea only to discover that half of humanity felt the same! At CloudCherry, we have never done a comprehensive SWOT analysis beyond addressing queries around “how are you better on X or Y compared to A or B” that usually comes from clients, partners and the likes or a simple excel feature compare for prospects when asked. Know why? We’ve always believed in a first principles approach to CEM and the space is so incredibly nascent that our truest competition is honestly with inertia. Steady state will take us nowhere and it needs all of us to collectively support our customers to deliver precise, measurable and impactful outcomes, which their respective organizations can see. If we make CEM the next CRM (only better) then it’s a win-win for everyone. The more we make great products, the more we evangelize the incredible things a CEM program can do for organizations and the more value we deliver to clients and their customers, the bigger this space gets. So, if I see a phenomenal case study of a ‘competitor’ I am most happy to share that to the world and tell them that CEM can deliver incredible impact. So, more power to our competition. Let us create a world where everyone wants CEM; there is plenty of room on the high table for everyone.
I wrap up with a sense of deep humility. We owe the space and the practitioners a great CX software. We owe them sustained support in achieving dollar impact in their respective businesses and we owe ourselves the clairvoyance (or foresight) to see the future and build towards it. I greatly look forward to comments from fellow CXPA professionals and meeting you across the globe at some point in time!
PS: Great party Customerville. Stay Classy. You folks rock!
This post originally appeared on CXPA