Episode #85: The Importance of Responding to your Customers

Now that you’ve discovered the billions of conversations, and used AI to classify them into something you can act on — it’s time to respond appropriately. This is the “management” piece of customer experience management. And if you’re not doing this, you’re not really doing CXM. We wrap up our 3-part Discover, Classify, Respond series with a look at how to make your customers happier by responding to them quickly and appropriately.

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It’s time for the CXM Experience. And as always, I’m Grad Conn, CXO, chief experience officer at Sprinklr, the world’s leading CXM platform.

So, let’s talk a little bit about our ongoing series of discover, classify, and engage. Today we’re going to talk about engage. I’ll do a quick recap of what we’re going through here. But before we do that, I want to make a quick note and shout out to everyone at Sprinklr. This is our annual sales kickoff, also known as ASKO — annual sales kickoff. And this week, last year, we were all in person in Orlando. It’s a super fun event. On stage, there’s lots of music, people get together, everyone has a beer and connects. Has breakfast. A lot of customers are there so we had a lot of customer meetings as well. It was a great event last year.

And this year, of course, we’re doing it virtually. And you know what, it’s been a pretty cool event. It’s amazing. The fidelity of the virtual only experience is pretty high. We had day one, a bunch of different executive meetings. Day two, I hosted it, which was incredibly fun and a great honor. Had a bunch of customers talking about their experiences with Sprinklr and some of the great things we were doing for them in terms of generating revenue, reducing costs, and managing risk. And then day three today, we started the day with some seller stories. And then I led a live customer panel with about five of the customers from the previous day. We did a back-and-forth discussion on a variety of topics, including the modern customer, how things are changing, what is the pain above the noise inside their organization, key strategic thrusts, and then how to think through the buying structure, which is why anything, why now, and why Sprinklr.

It was a really great session. And I have thanked the participants a number of times. And if they’re listening, thank you again, you were amazing. And I’m getting nothing but super fantastic feedback from the team who have been inspired and motivated to double their efforts even more. So always a great week.

Tomorrow’s our award show, which is always a lot of fun. And it’ll be a highly produced and very interesting number led by our very own Joe and Tony who actually do a daily video show. So it puts this podcast to shame. They actually do a video every single day for the Sprinklr population, which is pretty amazing.

Let me talk a little bit about where we’ve been going. So again, going back, Marc Pritchard, CMO, or Chief Brand Officer, excuse me, at P&G. He had the quote from about a year and a half ago at Cannes, where he said, we’re reinventing marketing as we know it. We’re reinventing media from mass blast to mass one-to-one precision. And the thing I’m sort of talking about here is how do you create a mass one-to-one marketing platform.

And the elements I’m identifying is you need to discover all the conversations across all the channels, you need to be able to classify it. And the only way to do that is with AI, because it includes billions of conversations. And then you need to engage. How do you respond on social, email, voice, video, or chat. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today, we’re going to deep dive on engage, and that’ll be the end of this series until we revisit it.

The analogy I’ve been using is a haystack. So, the discover phase is to build your haystack as high as you can make it, and the classify stage is find the needles in the haystack. And the engage stage is to then take those needles, and then appropriately respond based on what that needle represents.

Let’s talk a little bit about what engage really means. So, think about the database here. We’ve got a 16 petabyte plus database of billions of conversations. And just for perspective, in terms of what’s going on in there, you’ve got a billion records being ingested per day. 15 billion automation runs per day, 600 billion records with real-time reporting, and real time alerting on a billion different time series. That’s the Sprinklr CXM database. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it.

So, what are you gonna do with that? Well, there’s a few things. First of all, people today expect personalized advertising. Now on the journey to mass one-to-one, we’re probably not actually one-to-one right away. Probably more like one-to-few. We have had some of our customers do millions of different ad units — one customer did 8 million ad units in the course of 100 days, with psychographic, geographic, and demographic targeting. That’s near one-to-one. So, it can be done. And they used Sprinklr as a platform for that. However, I think that realistically, most brands would be doing somewhere between 10 to 20,000 ad units. That’s still a lot more than we used to do in mass. So, a mass blast we did one. Or we would test something and do two. And now we’re doing 10,000, 15,000, 20,000, still a huge increase. And the targeting is more precise, but it’s not one-to-one, it’s one-to-few.

But I think it still applies that that’s an awful lot of complexity. And the only way to manage the size of that database and the complexity of all those different ad units is you’ve got to use AI. AI-enabled platforms are critical.

And then what you can do with that is then I can take somebody who’s a fan, and I can amplify it. I can make them feel more excited about being part of the brand because I recognize their contribution and their comments. Or I can take somebody who is got a customer care issue, I can identify that customer care issue and solve it quickly. And ideally, I turn care into the new marketing by being able to take that customer and then, once I’ve solved their problem, upsell them, or bring them into new product suites. As well I can do commerce. Conversational commerce is now a thing on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, particularly Instagram and Facebook. How do I take conversational commerce and make that a reality? People see things and they want to buy it, they need to interact with an agent in real time, and then buy and transact everything on a single platform.

And then, engagement in general. If I want to take something and amplify it, if I want to take something where someone may be a detractor and disabuse them of the notion that’s making them upset. That can sometimes work. Or take the nasty graffiti that ends up on all these sites and clean it off. That is one of the unspoken tasks of what we do when we’re managing brands. Facebook pages and other pages get covered in… all I can describe it as is graffiti. If you ever wanted to lose your faith in humanity, have a dim view of your fellow person, reading the comments that are sometimes put on these brand pages will deeply shake your faith in the human race. So, that’s one of those tasks that just has to happen to keep things clean. And using AI to do that is also a really smart idea.

So, that’s the engage stage. In a very simple way, if you’re happy, I want to make you happier, if you’re sad, I want to make you happier. And if you’re confused, I want to make you happier. Customers tend to be in those three states: I don’t know how to find something, I’m disappointed with the way the product has performed, or Oh, gosh, I really love you and I think you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread. All three states can be managed and responded to. And that is engage.

So, the system of mass one-to-one is discover — see everything that’s going on out there; classify — get some sense of what’s happening, get it into a database; and then engage appropriately based on what the content is so you can make a difference in that person’s life and make it work better.

For the next few shows, I’m going to start talking more about outcomes. We’re going to get into a little bit more on our primary business outcomes and our use cases that go with them. I just had a conversation today with someone who’s writing a book about this, which is quite interesting. And I think there’s a lot to be said for outcome-based selling, but only if the enablement teams and the success teams also use it. So, I’ll talk a little bit about that system and how that works and how to think about that a little bit more.

I have had a wonderful time at ASKO so far. Really looking forward to the awards show tomorrow. So, for anyone at Sprinklr, who is listening, thank you, from the bottom of my heart for everything you do to make this such an amazing company and such an amazing place to work. Thanks for all your participation in ASKO. It’s an extremely lively chat. You can see that there’s a couple thousand people on, listening and engaging. It makes it a very interesting experience as a speaker. And for the CXM Experience, I will See you next time.