Customer Experience Management: The Proof is in...
If you ask a company executive if customer experience (CX) matters to them, they will most likely say yes. But how do you get them to invest in and commit...
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Leslie Stretch, Medallia CEO, and Borge Hald, Medallia Founder, Reflect on Being Named A Leader by Forrester in The Forrester Wave™ Customer Feedback Management Platforms, Q4 2018
Elena: Borge, as the founder of Medallia, what stood out in this report given your role in creating this space?
Borge: It was interesting to me that Forrester observed how vendors have evolved from different starting points – I think very accurately. While some started out as DIY self-service survey tools and others came from the market research space, our vision has always been about building an enterprise platform that would provide widespread access to customer feedback in order to drive action – which is reflected in our top score in the driving action and monitoring criteria. This is how our clients achieve transformational results.
Elena: What kinds of results do Medallia clients typically see?
Leslie: This is one of the things that really excited me about Medallia – the opportunity to drive results. When I read how organizations using Medallia Experience Cloud can achieve $35.6M in value (findings from the commissioned Forrester Consulting’s Total Economic Impact™ study), I knew Medallia’s technology would capture the attention of CEOs like me.
Borge: Exactly. And that ties back to something else Forrester notes – how hard it can be for CFM buyers to differentiate between vendors given common messaging. Often when people read the TEI study, they ask us why the results our customers see are orders of magnitude greater than similar studies of other vendors in this space. If I had to call out the secret sauce, it would be these three areas: Security and Scalability, Professional Services, and Employee Experience and Recognition.
Elena: Those are all areas that Forrester gave Medallia the highest scores possible for. Can you talk a bit more about how each of them connects to driving results?
Borge: Security and Scalability (as well as Usability and Accessibility) are all about having the flexibility to handle enterprise-level complexity – so companies don’t have to compromise the data they bring into the platform, or the people that engage with it. It’s also about being able to automatically manage change in large organizations. It’s easy to do that when managing a single feedback program or a small number of users, but not very easy when doing it across the enterprise, and at scale. I was pleased to see this noted as one of our strengths.
Leslie: As I’ve been on my mission to personally speak with 100 Medallians and 100 customers in the first 100 days, I’ve been so impressed with the caliber of our teams that work with our customers and ensure their success. Customers have also mentioned directly how much our partnership means, so it’s no surprise we rank highest in Professional Services and that the report mentions that our clients praise our thought leadership.
Elena: Employee engagement was specifically called out, in fact Forrester referenced clients raving about Medallia’s impact on culture by incorporating voice of the employee. What’s the Medallia approach to VOE?
Borge: Our mission from the start has been to create a world where companies are loved by their customers AND employees. We have always understood that genuine employee engagement is critical to driving great customer experience, and that simply measuring employee experience is not enough. One Medallia user described reading customers’ positive comments about his work as “a faucet of recognition” – the culture where you’re feeling that excitement, not watching for the score – that’s what we help our clients create.
Elena: It looks to me that Analytics was a standout category for Medallia, with highest possible scores in the speech, journey and predictive criteria. Tell us a bit more about this area?
Borge: Our approach has always been to build analytics into our role-based dashboards to support common use cases for different users. So, the power of analytics and AI are not just available to the few power analytics users who are just as likely to be using specialized analytic tools. This is one of the reasons we see such widespread adoption. For example, our best practice solution for retail banks includes a dashboard where loan officers are alerted to applicants who are likely to fall out of the mortgage process based on a number of predictive factors, including feedback on interactions along the journey and operational signals.
Elena: The report notes that CFM’s “AI reality has a long way to go before it can deliver.” How does Medallia think about delivering on the future of AI in CFM?
Leslie: I completely agree that AI is the future which is why I’m making investment here a priority for Medallia. As noted in the report, we received the highest score in the Analysis capabilities criteria. This is only the beginning. We are uniquely positioned to address the human resource limitation which Forrester identified; we enhance our machine learning by crowdsourcing knowledge from the millions of users on the Medallia platform to improve sentiment models, surface interesting insights, and identify practices that lead to improvements. When I look at the future for Medallia, I see our platform providing massive signal fields generated by customers and employees, allowing our customers to see where they are going, not just where they have been.
Elena: Any final thoughts?
Borge: We can’t end without thanking our customers, and especially those who served as references during this process. Thank you for believing in our mission and partnering with us to make it a reality.
The Forrester Wave™: Customer Feedback Management Platforms, Q4 2018