The ideas around customer experience have been around a long time – but the pace of innovation in the CX space has greatly accelerated over the last few years due to rising consumer expectations and fueled by the explosive adoption of social media.
A few weeks ago, Oracle made some major waves around its new Customer Experience Suite. In our view, Oracle maybe at the forefront of redefining customer experience and what it will mean in the future. But niche companies like MindTouch have operated in the space for much longer, and have long drawn the attention of software giants like SAP, who is similarly in the first wave echelon of companies innovating in the Customer Experience space.
CEO Mark Hurd said in front of a national audience, “We are here to talk about one of the most important issues our customers face, which is how our customers deal with their customers. Life used to be simple. You made great products and people bought them. Now it’s more complicated. Today, having a good product isn’t good enough. You have to have a great relationship and a great experience with your customer to keep that customer. Second, Oracle announced the new Oracle Customer Experience Summit at @OracleWorld.
Hurd is smart to make a push into the CX space, however, some industry leaders wonder if Oracle will be able to remain competitively agile as it tries to blend legacy architectures from a mix of acquisitions and old technology. Nonetheless, Oracle is doing a good job of defining customer experience in today’s social world and prioritizing it for vendors and for large corporations. As we’ve pointed out before at MindTouch, customer churn hurts SaaS companies even more than for traditional businesses, making customer experience crucial for these companies.
MindTouch is also leading much of the product development around customer experience. In late June, we hosted dozens of leading customer experience professionals from major organizations and vendors (including Oracle, SAP and Microsoft).The meet-up was a great chance to listen to how many industry insiders see the CX space developing. For the most part, they agree with Hurd on the importance of customer experience solutions.
But they also agree that the grand vision of customer experience is not easy to implement. Customer experience is how you manage the interactions between your user base and your company. This user base can include prospects as well as customers – which means customer experience touches just about every part of your organization including sales, marketing, support, client services, product, documentation, and operations.
The lack of clear boundaries makes it very difficult to get executive buy-in with a customer experience program orsolution. The executives who find themselves leading the customer experience charge today come from varied backgrounds. For example, some come from a customer service background, while others come from UI or support backgrounds
After speaking with customer experience executives, as well as watching Oracle and SAP make massive pushes into CX, we feel great about MindTouch as a company.
We’ve got our own customer experience manager internally. Statistics show that CX is one of the fastest growing titles (even faster than user experience), and we’re at the front of the trend. We ourselves are learning firsthand how this position is evolving.
But most importantly, MindTouch has been offering and continuously improving it’s product help software by focusing on creating great experiences for our clients’ customers:
- MindTouch extends its customer insights into multiple departments with each deployment, just as customer experience does. In the case of our customer Zuora, MindTouch connects sales, support, product, and technical documentation silos seamlessly, providing a means by which each department can continually contribute to the improvement of documentation, the product and the user experience all with the customers’ needs in sharp focus.
- With our close connection between user experience and customer experience, MindTouch offers advanced and easy to use documentation authoring and publishing tools, enhanced usability, feedback and analytics, combining all of the major initiatives in customer experience today
- The common vendors in the CX space are all around Analytics, Monitoring(support) and Feedback, including one common initiative called Voice of Customer (a fancy name for surveying customers for input). Meeting each of these needs, MindTouch has feedback built in to the product help platform, we have Analytics which provide actionable data to gauge customers’ sense of product and support fulfillment, and we provide the means author, publish and surface highly relevant product documentation and knowledge base assets to customers looking for help or to learn more about the products they use.
- Furthermore, MindTouch was founded upon an early recognition of the confluence between social networking and social commerce. That’s why MindTouch builds a product help experience that socializes product help and extends itself easily into social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.MindTouch can easily be extended to any current Customer Experience initiative because of our extensible framework and open APIs.
An example is the MindTouch integration with Salesforce, Zendesk, SugarCRM, and a host of other support ticket and CRM applications, which greatly reduces ticket resolution times, and nurtures highly effective self-help in the process, reducing support costs while enhancing the customer experience.
The fast-growing customer experience space continues to evolve, and MindTouch is proud to be one of the pioneers in this movement. Customer experience has become a vital need for companies of all sizes, and we are eager to work with our customers to continually improve customer experience, ultimately leading to happier users and more successful companies.