Creating a Discipline for Autonomy: How Infusionsoft is Empowering Employees to Execute CX
May 22, 2015
Justin MacDonald, Manager of Customer Experience at Infusionsoft, boils down his company’s implementation of CEM thusly: “It’s about creating a discipline for autonomy and then remaining disciplined to those beliefs and processes.” Easier said than done, right? Much like exercise, everyone has the ability, and installing the discipline is the challenge. “That’s the hard part… we help foster the belief in customer experience as the way we serve our customers best and achieve our Everest Mission, and then we help continually realign ourselves to that every single day.”
We recently chatted with Justin about how the company, a leading provider of email marketing and sales platforms for small businesses, is embracing customer experience and making strides accordingly. He will be speaking at our C3 conference in Miami Beach, June 22-24. Here’s what they had to say:
Sentiments: In your industry, why is customer experience important? What are the key business drivers?
MacDonald: As a SaaS business model serving the true small business customer, we must earn our customers’ votes of loyalty every month. With entrepreneurs and small businesses, business is personal, and their experience with every element of their journeys with our company and product impacts their business, their customers, and ultimately their vote to continue business with us each month. Dave Ramsey calls this “applauding your company with certificates of appreciation with presidents’ faces on them.” So customer retention, cost of acquisition, and monthly recurring revenue are all majorly impacted by customer experience.
Sentiments: What are your top priorities when it comes to the customer experience?
MacDonald: Our top priorities around the customer experience are first to make sure they feel understood and valued, and because small businesses often feel unique and alone, to let them feel empowered and encouraged by their partnership with us – not just by our software, but by our services and relationship with them dedicated to their success. We used to like to think that we can hit our business goals and we can deliver a great customer experience, but our maturity in CX is shifting us to a belief that we will hit our business goals because we deliver a great customer experience.
Sentiments: Tell us a bit how you are using the Clarabridge platform to analyze feedback.
MacDonald: We implemented Clarabridge at the end of Q1 this year, and did so without a dedicated analyst. I feel like a new owner and sponsor of a Formula 1 racecar without a driver. Having said that, we leverage the Clarabridge services and analysts to bridge that gap to feed customer insights to key strategic recipients who have an appetite and an influence to affect positive change in the customer experience and product. All the way from the C-suite to the support floor – we harness champions everywhere we identify them.
We currently flow customer sentiment from our relational NPS surveys and our new customer kickstart transactional surveys. We ad hoc upload support call transactional NPS surveys. This provides us valuable solicited customer feedback both holistically as well as at a specific touch point in their experience to give us context on that feedback. The insight that comes out of these listening posts give us valuable sentiment about our product and service experiences that we segment by specific customer attributes which is eye-opening and game-changing for us to recently see our customer base in unique segments. It has confirmed our previous beliefs and data in some places and busted myths we once held to be true.
Our CEM roadmap is aggressive and includes flowing chat records, social, event survey, and internal new employee journey feedback which will be a program in and of itself. We also plan for voice to text transcription early 2016. We will add a dedicated analyst in August as well. This roadmap elevates us from solicited feedback to unsolicited customer feedback and includes customers, end users, partners, and employees. We said from the beginning of our quest to implement a CEM text analytic solution that the power in technology is not in using it to do things differently, but to use it to do different things, and that is where we are headed.
Sentiments: What will attendees at C3 learn from your session?
MacDonald: Primarily, they will learn how to tactically transform their enterprise from bottom to top by leading outward and upward and leveraging technology to help make their customers’ story an irrefutable truth for their executives. I’m going to talk about how Infusionsoft has evangelized customer experience at every level of the organization, identified and enlisted existing CX champions, and enrolled the entire company in CX thinking, among other things.
Sentiments: What’s the biggest impact to your business that your Voice of the Customer program has made?
MacDonald: I would love to tell you how we saved millions of dollars by reducing support call volume from changing a button in our software or something, and while we have cool stories about changing a subject line in an email that helped improve the bottom line of our business, that’s actually a lot less important to customers; they don’t care, and that truth is the change that our company is beginning to understand, that you don’t make experiences better for customers so that your company benefits; your company benefits because you make customer experiences better.
Part of the art and science of CX and VOC is telling transformational stories tailored to a specific audience and purpose and rooting those stories in the reality of your customers. We understand and then articulate that reality with data, both quantitative and qualitative. And our company is continuing to mature to embrace the need to truly put our customers at the center, and it is that shift that is the greatest accomplishment of our VOC program. We are playing the long game.
Hear more from Justin MacDonald by attending C3 in Miami Beach, FL June 22-24.
Clarabridge’s blog, Sentiments, helps businesses incorporate customer sentiment and feedback into their business strategy. Published by Clarabridge, Sentiments speaks to customer experience professionals, marketers, customer care leaders and anyone who wants to make informed, strategic decisions that delight customers. Follow Sentiments on Twitter @Clarabridge.