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CXBuzz Interview With Patrick Tripp, Senior Vice President of Product Marketing at Cheetah Digital

Hi Patrick, tell us about yourself and your background.
I’m SVP of Product Marketing at Cheetah Digital. Cheetah Digital helps some of the world’s largest brands to drive revenue, build lasting customer
relationships, and deliver a unique value exchange across the entire customer lifecycle. I have been working in the products, marketing, and technology space for over 20 years. I spent many years at Forrester Research as a consultant, but I have also practiced what I preached in go-to-market strategies at Pegasystems, Adobe, and RedPoint Global.

What is the biggest misunderstanding about customer experience, in your opinion? 
People believe the old moniker that customer experience is all about “surprising and delighting” customers. I believe it to be more of “removing the friction” from the everyday experience with the brands. It’s about facilitating an exchange that generates value and utility between brands and consumers. This continues to be a very difficult feat for brands to get right. I also think we have moved beyond the classic Starbucks consistency of in-store experiences to digital experiences, which vary more, and require more data and real-time immersive approaches to get right. This has come to the forefront with digital transformation as many traditional businesses have gone online overnight due to the constraints of the pandemic.
What are some of the newer CX companies/solutions you’re keeping your eyes on right now?
Companies like Peloton are doing a great job creating unique experiences with customers. Peloton is helping like-minded people get together in communities and foster a love and passion for cycling, fitness, and wellness. There continues to be innovation around Peloton’s equipment, videos, mobile app, and general social community at large, which propels it forward as one of the hottest brands around today. People leverage the product to improve their wellbeing and fitness, which has a significantly positive impact on society during this difficult time in the world.
What can companies do to improve customer loyalty and retention?
Companies can improve customer loyalty by providing a true value exchange. Consumers will only share their interests, hopes, and desires if there is something in it for them. Brands that are savvy can facilitate ways to capture data and insights about customers that I would call “zero-party data.” Zero-party data can be obtained through immersive apps, quizzes, gamification, contests, and many other fun and light mechanisms. It’s often not about selling to customers, nor providing discounts or points. It has to be about improving the relationship and igniting passion consumers have around a product or service, driving them to become vocal advocates, a concept I would call “emotional loyalty.”
What do you think is most relevant and why: CSAT (customer satisfaction score), NPS (net promoter score), or CES (customer effort score)?
There are various metrics and KPIs that effectively support the customer experience, but I find the Net Promoter Score (NPS) to be the one that has gotten the most attention and traction with organizations. The “willingness to recommend” only at the highest levels, then taking away detractors, is a strong indication of true advocacy and support for a brand. NPS is short and simple and very easy to track and benchmark.
How can companies better use social media in the era of customer-centricity and personalization?
Social media platforms, also sometimes referred to as “walled gardens,” have gotten a bad rap recently in their ability to capture all sorts of consumer data and leverage it for advertising. Consumers are often unaware of the data collection policies and how to get a copy of their data, mask their data, or ask for it to be deleted. While advertising is key to ongoing social media business models, social media can be better used to foster a dialog between brands and consumers and between consumers themselves. Social platforms have to move away from capturing privacy-related data about individuals to drive personalization. The “creepy factor,” as I often call it, can be avoided with more proactive, transparent, and responsible data collection practices, so consumers are following more of an “opt-in” culture instead of an “opt-out” culture.
What is your opinion on AI-based chatbots to handle customer support?
AI is often misconstrued as the answer to all modern technology challenges. AI can be broken into many categories, such as natural language processing, machine learning, deep learning, and various other techniques. Ultimately it’s about helping brands reach a higher degree of automation and finely targeted conversations at greater speed and scale than could ever be achieved manually. This is where machine learning can come in and improve processes. The use of ML-driven chatbots can be helpful as long as the system is truly able to learn and adapt to various customer signals, data, and touchpoints. If the system is generating the same generic responses and simply pointing customers to a knowledge system of standard links and information, it’s not progressing the experience forward and not solving customer problems faster and easier.

What was the best movie you saw that has come out during this past year?

Not a movie, but a Netflix series, The Queen’s Gambit. It has reignited my interest in chess, my competitive nature, and the analytical and vastly infinite set of strategies and tactics of the game. The series itself deals with more than chess but also includes great storytelling that addresses issues of growth, adversity, maturity and is just cinematically brilliant and well-paced. I am still working on my chess game, though!
Last but not least, what is your favorite CX metric?
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) might be my least favorite. This can be a very important metric, but most organizations cannot get the right elements together to properly calculate this metric over time. It has various meanings and connotations based on different industries. Some one-time products and life event companies won’t be able to leverage this type of metric if there is not consistent engagement through multiple iterations. There aren’t great benchmarks out there, and I have rarely seen it implemented well at brands.

About the author

Efrat Vulfsons
Efrat Vulfsons
Efrat Vulfsons is the CEO & Co-Founder of PR Soprano and the editor of CXBuzz parallel to her soprano opera singing career. Efrat holds a B.F.A from the Jerusalem Music Academy in Opera Performance.


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