Steve Haworth, CEO TeleWare: Tips for customer experience analytics buyers
In the latest in our series of articles where IT leaders provide their take on the purchasing process, Steve Haworth, CEO of TeleWare, shares tips for those looking to buy customer experience analytics solutions.
MyC. What do practitioners need to consider before they start looking for CX analytics tools to determine their requirements?
SH. It is always best to start a customer analytics project with the customer experience up front. Consider the ideal customer journey and then estimate how you are currently performing against your competitors and against your CX strategy. This customer journey map should cover every customer touchpoint. The analytics will help gather information and test hypotheses but it is always best to start with a goal in mind. Always remain open minded though as the insights that you find may open up entirely new opportunities.
MyC. What kinds of questions should they ask themselves?
- Where does customer experience sit in terms of my company strategy?
- Do I want to be the best or just iron out the wrinkles?
- Do I know of areas that I specifically need to focus on (where is the volume / value)?
- Am I willing to take action once I get the insight?
MyC. How can buyers convince the CFO that investment in this kind of technology is a wise decision? How can you get buy-in?
SH. There are some pretty compelling statistics from various analysts that support the correlation between customer experience and financial performance. The real issue is to identify how finding the right answers will improve the bottom line. Why should they spend the money on technology and not training or sales people for example. In truth, the analytics themselves help to make the case and this is most powerful done on yourselves rather than just good case studies. Running inexpensive pilot projects and utilising cloud based platforms can help to do this.
MyC. Are there any particular challenges in the CX analytics marketplace that buyers need to be aware of?
SH. I think that the challenges are having people with the overall responsibility to look at the customer experience. A lot of ‘customer experience professionals’ are still one step away from the customer service element and to really drive innovation across the entire journey then companies need to go beyond that. As this can touch upon a lot of areas then it is quite a broad subject to get to grips with and the challenge is making sure that you are aware of the options and possibilities. Looking at processes or technology in silos can often lead to ineffective results.
For example, we have seen examples of customers who have tried to implement text and voice analysis to help identify good and poor communication touchpoints. However, they were trying to do this with poor quality historical recordings as the initial requirement for their recording solutions were different, not aligned or outdated. Designing the solution with the end goal in mind would have been the difference between success and failure. One thing that anyone looking at audio should bear in mind is to capture as close to source as possible in the highest quality without compression and in stereo. Small things can really make all the difference.
MyC. Once practitioners are at the solution selection stage, what advice can you share to help buyers find the most appropriate vendor for their needs?
SH. As with any vendor a lot can be learnt from the people, culture and heritage. Will this company care about me? Are they experts in what they do? Have they got a history of innovating for the customer and does their roadmap and strategic direction fit with where I am going. There is so much happening in this space and it can really help to power businesses forward so it is important to buy into a successful partnership rather than purely a set of features.
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Neil Davey is the managing editor of MyCustomer. An experienced business journalist and editor, Neil has worked on a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites over the past 15 years, including Internet Works, CXO magazine and Business Management. He joined Sift Media in 2007.