Sunday, April 19th, 2015 | 7 min read
Ask any Sprinklr employee what the three most important things are for our success. Every one of them will say the same thing:
So, it means a great deal to us that the new independent research report – The Forrester Wave™: Social Relationship Platforms, Q2 2015 – validates our focus by reporting that:
Sprinklr has always answered to just one master: its customers. And there’s always only been one true north: what our customers find most valuable (as demonstrated by what they pay for). This was true when we had one employee. It’s true today with more than 750 employees. It will be true forever.
In our new world of empowered and connected consumers, the balance of power has shifted. Even in the enterprise software space, people trust other people like themselves more than they trust the “experts”. In fact, according to Nielsen, “ninety-two percent of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth or recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising.”
If you’re a big brand, you’re facing three critical challenges about how you will survive and thrive in the age of the empowered and connected customer.
There are thousands of professionals like you all over the world working to solve these challenges. Many turn to firms like Forrester Research for advice on which technology to buy. Others also reach out to their network of trusted peers to ask them how they solve these challenges.
If you’re among the executives who talk to your peers, you’ll probably hear three common approaches.
In this scenario, the brand picks multiple “best-in-class” point solutions to solve specific solutions, then sets about trying to integrate them together as best they can.
It looks something like this …
You have an immediate need – maybe something trivial, like link shortening. So you go out and find a tool that does that. Great.
Then you want something to help with publishing, so you go out and get a tool for that. Pretty good.
Then you want something to help with engagement and comments. Okay, that’s solved.
Then you have to do some reporting, and you go out and find a tool that does reporting. Uh-oh, things are getting complicated.
But wait, you still need a tool for content management. And one for governance. And one for compliance. And one for case management. And one for listening.
What about mobile? Automation? Planning? Advertising? CRM integration? The list goes on and on.
Pretty soon you have dozens of tools being used in every part of your business.
These technologies don’t automatically talk to one another, so you lack a single view of the customer or a single view of this critical data. You end up spending countless hours making sure the tools work, then you set about ensuring they connect with all of your channels, and finally, you check to see that they synchronize with one another. It’s a massive challenge done this way.
You’ve managed to shorten a lot of links, but what overarching value have you created for your business?
In this scenario, the brand picks a “best-in-class” technology stack focused on a particular channel or department. You may recognize these technologies with descriptions like “customer service cloud,” “e-mail cloud,” “marketing cloud,” “analytics cloud,” or a dozen other terminologies.
The result: you have a tool that may do an okay job for one channel or one specific function of your business. It probably gives you a reporting dashboard. It probably gives you one media library. But you still have bigger problems.
Your customer doesn’t care about your internal silos. They engage with your brand and your products regardless of your channel strategy or org chart. And it’s impossible to deliver a great customer experience with technology built for just one aspect of customer interaction.
Think of this scenario: what if your customer tweets about a problem they experienced with your product? You find it with your “monitoring cloud.” Now, you have to find a way to move that issue over to your “care cloud,” respond to it, and then report on it with your “analytics cloud.”
What happens if that same person clicks on an ad tomorrow? What happens if they visit your website? Do you even know it’s the same person?
In this second scenario, you’ve acquired a lot of technology, but you still haven’t solved the fundamental problem of getting a unified view of the customer let alone speaking with one brand voice.
Your many disparate clouds have gotten in the way.
In this scenario, the brand selects a customer-centric platform built from the ground up to manage experiences across the entire customer journey.
We’ll refrain from making a recommendation as we’re obviously biased, but we believe that big brands really don’t have a choice here. There’s really just one correct way to go.
Brands are looking for an omni-channel technology that works no matter where they encounter the customer. They’re seeking cross-silo collaboration that spans many capabilities. They want a unified customer profile that accommodates every business use case.
Don’t take our word for it. Talk to experts like Neville Hobson, Richard Stacy, Jeff Dachis, Susan Etlinger, Jay Baer, and countless others who understand first-hand that a holistic, integrated technology infrastructure is key to successful customer experience management.
Forrester has validated our approach. And for that I am grateful we have an enlightened analyst firm studying our industry. Thank you, Forrester, for your diligent work.
I’d also like to thank the pioneers on the front lines of this paradigm shift at the 800+ world-class brands with whom we work. Together we are building something special. Together we are building the connected front office that enables brands to work across silos, and give consumers valuable experiences they are going to love.
We’re just getting started.