Integrating social media data analytics with customer relationship management (CRM) software has been getting a lot of attention lately, the latest development being Salesforce.com’s acquisition of Radian6.
But an Atlanta-based company called ClickFox is betting on a different type of CRM-related analytics it calls customer experience analytics. While social media analytics aims to help companies understand what customers are saying about them on the web, customer experience analytics is more concerned with identifying and improving how customers interact with companies both online and off by analyzing customer touch-point data.
ClickFox’s analytics platform could help a retail bank, for example, understand the path customers take from their first interaction with the company – say, clicking on a banner ad – to making a purchase – perhaps in a brick-and-mortar branch store – to customer support – maybe via an online chat with a customer service agent.
The goal, according to ClickFox, is to use analytics to identify which customer touch-points are causing issues for customers, to understand how different customer touch-points impact one another, and to predict the way customers are most likely to interact with the company in the future. The final step would be taking concrete steps based on those insights to improve how companies rout customers from touch-point to touch-point to improve customer service efficiency, maximize customer satisfaction and, of course, increase sales.
So far, the company is having the most success with financial, healthcare and technology clients. Combined, ClickFox currently analyzes close to a billion customer interactions per month across retail sites, the web, call centers, online chat and mobile apps, according to the company.
While collecting and analyzing huge volumes of customer touch-point data scattered throughout the web and in myriad databases is hard enough, the really tricky part of customer experience analytics is translating insight into action. It’s one thing to understand that customers with specific behavior patterns prefer to be routed to a particular touch-point. It’s another thing to automate your business processes to actually make that happen.
To be fair, bridging the insight-to-action gap is the tough part of any data analytics or business intelligence initiative, not just customer experience analytics. It will be interesting area to watch. For sure there is plenty of room for improvement in the way companies route customer interactions. Consider, nearly 20% of customer service calls end up being rerouted. Just cutting that number in half could add up to significant savings and potential new revenue opportunities.
In a future post, I’ll delve more in-depth into the technology behind customer experience analytics and lay out the vendor landscape. In the meantime, check out this video of Marco Pacelli, CEO of ClickFox, talking with my colleague Dave Vellante about the trends of big data: