Hi Mike, tell us about yourself and your background.
I am a former IBM Distinguished Engineer who has written three books on digital marketing. I’ve been working in artificial intelligence since the ’80s and have been working in customer experience since working at im.com starting in 1998. I am currently the Chief Product Officer at SoloSegment, a MarTech startup that uses AI to predict the right content for visitors to large B2b websites using purely anonymous information.
What is the biggest misunderstanding about customer experience, in your opinion?
People believe that personalizing customer experiences on websites depends on understanding personal information about their visitors, merely because that is how Amazon, Google, and other tech giants have done it. In this day and age where regulators and browsers are making the collection of personal information difficult to impossible, we need to focus on making better use of the anonymous behavioral information that every website can collect about its visitors.
What are some of the newer CX companies/solutions you’re keeping your eyes on right now?
I am a bit too busy with my work at SoloSegment to pay attention to lots of other companies, but I am hoping that people keep their eyes on us. We’re working with Fortune 100 companies to automatically improve their customer experience by taking advantage of the anonymous data that their visitors provide to them every day.
What can companies do to improve customer loyalty and retention?
I believe that they need to focus on automated means of improving customer experience. While dashboards are nice, they basically become a to-do list for very busy CX and marketing teams, and no one has enough time in the day to do it all. By focus on automatic improvements, your website gets better the more people use it.
What do you think is most relevant and why: CSAT (customer satisfaction score), NPS (net promoter score), or CES (customer effort score)?
Honestly, I don’t use any of those metrics. It’s possible that they all have useful purposes, but we tend to focus on whether a website visit was a success, which normally means that the visitor found what they were looking for. Sometimes that means that they found a product to buy, but usually, it means that they found an answer to their question, which could be a question about a large purchase under consideration or a technical or customer support question. But we focus on helping companies know when people find what they are looking for, which to us is the basic success metric of customer experience on a website.
Last but not least, what is your favorite CX metric?