Mark Magee, Vice President of Product Management, MaritzCX
As companies become more competitive, their customer experience practitioners are becoming more experienced and more specialized. To take a company to the next level, CX practitioners should stay up-to-date with the latest trends in technology. New technologies can enable companies to make better decisions in customer experience that will help drive growth, profitability and market share.
Customers who love a brand behave in economically beneficial ways. Happy, delighted customers purchase more, stay longer and tell their friends about it, leading to faster organic growth.
The technology of understanding human feelings will only get more sophisticated in the future. Today, human emotion is measured through self-reporting on traditional surveys. Using appropriate scales or a battery of questions, we get an understanding of the strength of human emotions when customers tell us how strong their feelings are regarding a brand or product.
The future of sentiment analysis senses customer feelings without asking questions.
For decades, companies have asked open-ended questions on marketing and customer experience surveys. The increasing sophistication of text analysis algorithms are able to detect positive and negative customer sentiment, or customer feelings, via open-ended survey responses, chat logs, social media, call logs and service reviews. Customer sentiment in these archives will help companies understand the importance of particular customer experiences in creating anger or delight.
Voice Stress Analysis
Understanding customer sentiment through the unique changes in the tone, pitch and timbre of the human voice brings a whole new dimension to Voice of Customer (VoC). Today, technology has focused on understanding the level of stress present in the human voice for the purposes of law enforcement and lie detection. As the technology progresses, its usefulness is being expanded to forensic sentiment analysis from recorded calls, understanding how customers felt at the end of a call vs. the beginning. Sometimes it’s not just about the words that are said, but how someone is saying it. The future of this technology is real-time feedback that allows agents an additional source of information to help advance the cause of surprising and delighting customers.
Corporate IT systems are evolving and becoming increasingly adept at capturing data and metadata from customer interactions during customer experiences. Big data is taking shape in four particular areas: operational data, smartphone tracking, data sharing relationships and automatic analysis.
Customer experience surveys of the past might have asked how long a customer waited on hold, received an order on time, or whether a flight was delayed. But now it’s easy for a call center system to tie the number of seconds of hold time to a customer record. In-air experiences like turbulence, unusual technical events and flight times are easily tied to customer records. Just-in-time manufacturing and shipping systems can link customer records with products. Adding operational data en masse to customer experience research allows for incredibly detailed experimentation and management of the physical customer experience.
Smartphone Tracking and Wearables
Companies like RetailNext, Nomi and ShopperTrak know which store displays consumers pause to look at, which paths they take through stores and how often they stop in stores without purchasing anything. They do this by tracking unique signals from the communication signature of consumers’ phones via the cell network, Bluetooth and other communication protocols. They don’t listen to consumers’ calls, but they don’t need to. This incredible source of behavioral information will help retailers tailor their displays, store layouts and even the propensity of customer service reps to be attentive to customer needs. Building location-oriented data into CX is a bright frontier for the industry.
Data analysts the world over quiver in their boots when they hear that Google is backing a startup called Automatic Statistician. IBM backed the Watson project that promises a computer that can read natural language, as well as learn and generate a hypothesis. To believe the marketing, one might think experts, from statisticians to doctors and lawyers, should be worried about super computers taking over their jobs.
In reality, tools like Automatic Statistician and Watson still require a subject matter expert. These high-tech tools just take the mundane part out of the work. For CX data analysts, that means no longer having to link data together, export data to an external tool built for statistical processing and create custom visualizations that decision makers can understand. To meet this need, MaritzCX created the Spotlight® tool for simple, automatic analysis of customer experience data.
As the saying goes, “If the product is free, then you’re the product.” No place is this more obvious than in the multibillion dollar startups like Google and Facebook, whose free service to consumers presents paid advertisements based on individual interests. Companies increasingly discover unanticipated value in customer data. Strategic data-sharing partnerships are an important aspect of the coming landscape of CX. Partners that can help us understand customers’ tastes, preferences and expectations of customer experience will prove incredibly valuable in the hyper-competitive world of today’s marketplace.
Customers meet our brands in wildly different ways. Linking together a reliable perspective of the customer journey, with all its possible paths and interactions, across a wide variety of channels, has still proven elusive. For customer service agents and frontline staff, the longitudinal view of previous transactions and interactions is broadly available at an individual customer level. Nevertheless, a corporate view of the customer experience and how individuals flow through it, as well as the importance of each interaction throughout the journey, has proven elusive.
With a holistic view of customer flow through brand interactions, companies will be better able to manage the important experiences to be more relevant to customer needs. Innovation of longitudinal perspective of the future will incorporate new journey models, exploratory statistical tools and perhaps interesting new visualizations for the ways important events build on each other.
VP Product Management
Mark is responsible for overall product direction and strategy at MaritzCX. Prior to this role, Magee led the product management team at Allegiance and was instrumental in developing key practices and procedures to improve product direction and development.
Mark is an accomplished product management and marketing executive with two decades of experience in bringing solutions to market that solve key customer challenges. His background includes extensive product management, product marketing and business development for very diverse and global product lines. Mark has successfully led teams with a keen eye for detail and is known for his positive influence. Prior to Allegiance, Mark worked for Symantec where he held responsibility for Symantec’s market-leading Endpoint Protection and Management products. Mark has held leadership positions at a number of technology companies including Altiris, Ancestry.com and Folio Corporation.