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Episode #59: DCFTS 5, Digital Transformation: People, Process, and Technology

Grad Conn

January 20, 2021  •  11 min read

Today we continue working our way through the capabilities model section of the Digital Customer-First Transformation System. Now that you understand outcomes and experiences, and have begun to explore some strategic use cases, it’s time to get the right people, processes, and technology in place.

Click here to view the Digital Customer-First Transformation System Capabilities Model (pdf, 270KB)

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PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

Alright, alright, alright. Welcome back to the CXM Experience. And as usual, I’m Grad Conn, CXO at Sprinklr, chief experience officer, and I’m here to talk about experiences.

You know, we talk a lot about experience, and trying to measure experience. Some people say they measure experience, but they’re really just measuring customer feedback. I think to really measure experience, you’ve got to measure the emotion of what people are going through. And what is that emotion, right? What happens at the end of a great experience? We believe at Sprinklr, that at the end of a great experience, you feel happier. It’s sort of like that Marshmello song, Happier, if you’ve ever heard that song. If you haven’t heard it, check it out on YouTube. It’s an awesome song. Fantastic video. Man, every time I watch it, I want the dog to make it. I don’t understand, every single time. Anyway. So some of the lyrics are kind of cool. Bastille sings it. So it’s:

Lately, I’ve been, I’ve been thinking, I want you to be happier. I want you to be happier. This sounds like you a mission statement for most companies, right? When the morning comes, when we see what we’ve become, in the cold light of day, we’re a flame in the wind, not the fire that we’ve begun. Every argument, every word we can’t take back. Because with all that has happened, I think that we both know that this story ends. Then only for a minute, I want to change my mind. Because this just don’t feel right to me and want to raise your spirits. I want to see you smile, but knowing that means I’ll have to leave. Know that means I’ll have to leave. Lately, I’ve been thinking, I want you to be happier, I want you to be happier.

Anyway. If you think about what most CEOs want, most CEOs want to be able to increase revenue by reducing churn, and the best way to do that is create happier customers. So how do you do that? Well, today, you’ve got to make sure you’ve got an amazing online experience. Like, amazing. And we actually created something called the Digital Customer-First Transformation System. many years ago, five or six years ago now. I used it when I was a customer at Microsoft. And DCFTS, has got a really great model for helping people think through what is it that I need to do to make my organization more competitive on the digital front.

There are basically five stages. Stage one is the value model, talked about that a few days ago, how we make sure that we’re delivering real value in the outcomes to the company. Stage two, we’re talking about that right now, this is the last of a three-part series on the capabilities model, what things do I have to have in place to make it all happen? Stage three is the maturity model. I’m looking forward to talking about that next time. That’s how I benchmark where I am and get everyone else in the organization to agree that we’re there, which is pretty critical. Stage four is validating the investment, which is through the ROI models. And using those ROI models to measure the investment over time, make sure it’s still paying out. And then finally, step five is deciding what to do. There’s a functional use case model, an operations model, and a reference architecture model. That’ll be really fun to talk about. And that gives you a full digital transformation.

People hate change. But I would say that, at least today, people see the imperative of it. And understand that, while you may not like change, you’re going to like irrelevance a whole lot less. That’s a quote. So let’s talk a little bit about the capabilities model. So today, what I’m going to go through is the people, process, and technology stages. Now, you can read this on our blog so I’m not going to go through every single piece. But I want to give you an example of what we mean by that. I’m gonna take our first outcome /use case row and talk about the people, process, and technology parts.

So the desired company outcome is: we know who’s talking, what they’re saying, and we want to be able to respond appropriately. And for the customer: their experience is that I’m heard, I’m heard, I’m valued. To do that you’ve got to be able to listen really well, be able to monitor and detect what’s going on out there. And you’ve got to be able to segment really well. You’ve got to be able to know what the unified profile looks like. And be able to cluster segments and behaviors so you know how to respond.

What are the people, process, and technology steps required to make that happen? Well, let’s talk about people first. So then people: you’ve got to have executive commitment to capturing the voice of the customer and using it to inform business strategy and customer engagement. And this actually, is almost unbelievably difficult. I’m surprised at how many senior executives don’t demand the voice of their customer be presented to them every day. The best ones do, but most still don’t. Executive commitment to the voice of the customer is critical. And I think people may not fully grok that their customers are on these modern channels. And they’re telling you what they think right now. So just pick it up and be able to understand them better.

Number two, you’ve got to be able to recruit, hire, train, and assign leaders who are experienced in social listening, and be able to task them to train others to manage conversation outposts across the different teams and functions and business units in the company. One way I got this done pretty efficiently is we created a customer experience center at Microsoft. I’ve done the same thing at Sprinklr, as well. It allows us to centralize a lot of the knowledge and expertise because this is not as easy as it looks. Understand what you need to respond to, how to respond to it, tonality, it’s all quite tricky. And so it’s good to have people who know what they’re doing. And when you get a bunch of those people together in one room, it’s actually pretty amazing.

You’re also going to need specialists who are trained and experienced in creating a keyword list, and advanced search queries, and to train the AI models. So to be able to bring in all the right listing, you’re going to need to keep tuning and playing with it. We had thousands of these models at Microsoft to be able to pull in the right queries. Part of the challenge, of course, is the data out there is unstructured. And the comments are combined. So people will have both positive and negative sentiments in a single post. And they’ll talk about multiple brands. You’ve got to be able to parse all that out.

And then finally, under people, you need an experienced social analyst. They need to know how to deploy the software and capture the right PII. And be able to combine that, when possible, across the web. So those social analysts are hard to find. They’re very valuable when you find them, and make sure that you love them when you do. So that’s people. So it’s really about executive commitment, and the right hiring and getting the right people who can run it for you.

From a process standpoint, you’ve got to be able to triage high volumes of inbound conversations, like hundreds of millions, in the case of many of our brands. You’ve got to be able to route them correctly. And make sure you can consistently evaluate how you’re doing the listening. And in all the different channels and all the different ways it comes in. The way you’re going to listen on Reddit will be very different from the way you would listen on Twitter. You’ve also got to be able to create and tag profiles with information based on each customer’s history. And how is that customer interacted with you in the past. One thing we did at Microsoft, which was great, is we would actually have all the other products that people have talked to us about in the past. So you can see that, hey, this Xbox query is coming from someone who had a previous conversation with us about Dynamics. And actually, interestingly, a very high crossover between Dynamics and Xbox customers. And then you want to be able to basically take all the different users and be able to add them to audience, audience segments, based on any kind of distinguishing criteria, gender, language, keywords, hashtags.

So this is all about how do you build profiles — demographic, psychographic, geographic — those are all really important. We had one customer who actually used those three types, psychographic, demographic, and geographic, and they created 8 million different ad units, and targeted very effectively doing that. Other customers have more recently done hundreds of thousands of ad units doing this kind of targeting. So it makes a really big difference.

Then finally, on the technology side, you’re going to have to have software that can capture high volumes of social mentions, and individual conversations from across all the monitoring channels, across the web, across blogs, across the forums that are out there, across review sites that are superduper important. And you’ve got to be able to do that within prescribed SLAs, and by connecting to all the API’s of all these services. You can’t scrape it, you’ve got to get in there and be connected. So you need somebody who’s got deep relationships with all the platforms and is able to pull all that data in in real time basis. You’re gonna need software that’s going to have tagging. Tor both inbound and outbound conversations, you’re going to want to be able to manipulate specific segments and clusters of people with similar attributes. You want to be able to tag them to be able to do that. And then you’re also going to need software that integrates conversation data with other customer profiles so you can get a 360 degree view of each customer.

I think this 360 degree view of the customer has been the holy grail in marketing for a long time. And there’s actually an ODI-compliant team that SAP, Microsoft, and Adobe have created. And ODI has the promise of being able to create an industry standard profile. But we do need that. In a world where you want to have a great experience, if you don’t have a common user profile it’s going to be very difficult to land a great experience because you’d be talking to someone like you don’t know who they are.

So that’s the capabilities model. There’s obviously… I can go on at length on people, process, and technology across each of the rows. But I think that’s good for now. I think you get the idea. Go and read it and take a look at it give us feedback. We’re making changes and updating this all the time, based on more than 1,000 large company installs that we’ve done. And let’s talk about, let’s see what else we’ve got, what we’re missing, what we need to add.

Next time, we’re going to talk about my favorite thing, which is the maturity model. Once you’ve got the capabilities, and you know what you need, where do we sit on the maturity curve? And as a company, do we think we’re advanced or not? And what does that mean? And then how do we all align our teams around that? So that’ll be our next segment. But that’s it for today for the CXM Experience. I am Grad Conn, and I’ll see you next time.

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Grad Conn

Chief Experience Officer, Sprinklr

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