The “Experience Economy” has been front and center at SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference 2019 in Orlando. At the event, SAP has detailed its customer experience vision, including the recently acquired Qualtrics application.
The core SAP customer experience suite is SAP C/4HANA, which is built from five key components—Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, Customer Data cloud, Sales Cloud, and Service Cloud—that provide the classic capabilities and data that marketing and sales teams use to create a view of their customers. C/4HANA is the source for operational data (Odata). SAP says Qualtrics now brings an extra layer of experience data (X-data).
Adding Qualtrics for the Experience Factor
Qualtrics is billed as an experience management suite that gathers data via simple, user-friendly surveys which appear at various touch points throughout an experience—some can be as simple as a “thumbs up or down.” This can be done for customers, as well as employees and any person with which your company engages.
Those surveys are what provide the X-data. For example, a quick question may pop up to ask the customer about their buying experience online or through an app. There can also be kiosks or other touch devices where customers can provide feedback in store. This is meant to provide immediate information on top of the what your organization already knows about a customer.
Combining the X-data with the OData in CRM and ERP systems allows an organization to build a view of the customer that is not only based on habits, but also on experiences.
One example that SAP provided at SAPPHIRE NOW was of a luxury hotel chain that was having trouble meeting the experience expectations of customers. The typical thing to do in that situation is to add a spa and a new steakhouse to each property, the most surefire way to keep guests happy.
However, it is expensive to add a new restaurant and new spa to every hotel. Instead, using Qualtrics, the hotel chain sought out feedback from its guests. Turns out, the most common source of complaint was the check-in process. To fix that, the hotel chain eliminated the typical front desk registration and instead greeted customers as they arrived and checked them in on the way to the room. Customer satisfaction improved soon after, and the company didn’t need to incur the cost of building new spaces.
A Total Customer View for Consumer Industries
Customer experience is core to success in Consumer Industries, but experiential data is usually non-existent or accessible after the fact. SAP says Qualtrics can provide real-time feedback on products and services.
In the hotel example, X-data provided an alternative solution that otherwise may have been ignored. That’s the goal with any sort of data analysis—to provide insight into processes that we may have taken for granted. Every hotel registers guests with a front desk, so you’d forgive a hotel chain if the assumption was that process could not be changed.
Your operational data tells you a lot about your customers. We know how something like the Customer Activity Repository (CAR) helps retailers with useful data, but those real-time experiences might provide even greater insight. Companies in the Consumer Industries have many touch points with customers where information on experiences can be gathered, so the opportunity is there to find something out about your customers that you may be missing.