Platform Leverages In-Restaurant Experience Data to Steer Business Decisions
In mid-June, Mindshare Technologies, which acquired Empathica in September 2013, announced that the two companies have united under a new corporate entity and mission: InMoment.
With more than 300 employees throughout North America and Europe, serving 350 brands across 25 industries in 128 countries, InMoment provides a cloud-based customer experience optimization platform, the Experience Hub , that offers clients a level of innovation, expertise, and culture that is truly unique among customer experience vendors.
In a January 2014 a Forrester Research report titled "The Age Of The Customer Requires A More Intelligent Enterprise," analyst Jody Sarno declares that “intelligent enterprises” will be places where “customer knowledge is drawn from everywhere, created centrally, and shared across the entire enterprise, so all stakeholders can act upon it and measure the results.”
Consumers are more empowered than ever before, able to interact with and give feedback to brands through a variety of channels.
Over time and through these multiple interactions, the “customer experience” is born and continues to evolve. This new and more complex model means that no single person or department can “own” or even “manage” the customer. The most successful companies are the ones that can empower every individual and department to optimize the moments over which they do have control.
Experience Data: Knowledge is Power
As these “omni-consumers” browse websites, talk to call centers, visit stores, receive SMS coupons, and fill out online questionnaires, they create “experience data.” Deep within this data lie customer stories with invaluable insights that can literally make or break a company.
The Experience Hub
Unlocking the full potential of this experience data requires both a fundamental shift in perspective, as well as best-of-breed technologies. The InMoment Experience Hub centralizes experience data, regardless of source or format, connects it with technology to surface critical customer stories, and then channels timely, actionable insights to the right people and places to drive targeted decisions across the entire enterprise.
“The days of siloed information, long surveys, and simple scores are over,” says InMoment CEO John Sperry. “Consumers hold all the cards. They are more engaged with brands than ever before, have bigger platforms through which they can voice their displeasure and delight, and want to share their stories. It’s a race, and the companies that win will be the ones willing to invest the time, resources and shift in mindset required to create a culture that is truly customer-centric."
“The dynamics of customer-brand relationships have changed radically. Growth of online customer reviews has brought an unprecedented immediacy to customer comments, meaning brands are now facing a huge challenge to gather feedback across multiple channels in the moment, and respond quickly and intelligently,” says Suresh Banarse, people director at Yo! Sushi, a U.K.-based restaurant serving more than 5 million customers each year throughout the world.
“In this data-driven age, using the right tools and cutting edge technologies helps us to stay ahead of the competition by empowering us to turn insight into the right operational actions that drive business improvement.”
Key features of the Experience Hub include:
- Data Agnostic: Experience data is collected and stored in a variety of ways and places, from transactional and demographic information in CRM systems, to surveys conducted by third parties, to social media comments on the web. Over the years, InMoment has gathered more than 350 million customer surveys, 85 million last year alone, and even more is expected in 2014. And while InMoment will continue to innovate the way it collects data for clients, the Hub will also leverage partnerships and APIs to bring in and utilize experience data from other sources.
- Highly-tuned Text Analytics: Once the data is centralized, the Experience Hub applies sophisticated text analytics technologies to the information to glean insights. Built on the same Natural Language Processing (NLP) engine used by IBM’s Watson, InMoment has spent years developing additional layers of proprietary technologies to fine-tune its text analytics capabilities to specific industries. InMoment takes the additional step of calibrating the technology to individual client needs. The result: companies receive significantly more insights, and a deeper understanding of true customer sentiment.
- Simple and Elegant: Once critical customer stories are collected and surfaced, the Experience Hub harnesses InMoment’s suite of products and services to channel actionable insights to the right people and places within an organization in a timely manner. Insights are packaged, and presented in “simple, elegant” stories, targeted to specific roles within the organization. For example, a local manager might receive real-time alerts about cleanliness, friendliness and speed-of-service. A marketing executive might receive monthly analysis on guests’ reaction to a campaign. And a CEO might receive quarterly reviews to inform decisions about where and how to grow the company.
“The world’s top brands are looking at customer experience with a new sense of urgency,” says InMoment’s President Lonnie Mayne. “They’re discovering the vast potential the words of their customers have to transform companies at every level. With the right commitment, employees become more empowered and loyal. Customers are true partners in evolving enterprises to become both good and great. Customer experience isn’t just checking a box or achieving a score. It’s about changing relationships, and in the process, exponentially increasing business success.”