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Customer Intelligence Platform: What Is It and How to Leverage It

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    Customer Success is one of the fastest evolving components in the modern B2B space. This transformation is being made possible by advanced technologies and solutions like the Customer Intelligence Platform, which is eliminating blind spots and allowing CS leaders to make more data-driven decisions. Let’s learn more about this growth accelerator.

    What is a Customer Intelligence Platform?

    The Customer Intelligence Platform is a smart AI-powered engine that harvests and analyzes crucial customer-vendor communication information to unlock deep human relationship dynamics and optimize interactions with accounts. 

    These platforms help understand user behavior and tendencies around crucial touch points in multi-channel communications – think of it as human analytics. Understanding what customers are saying and understanding what they are struggling with eventually helps create a better customer journey and optimize the overall experience for both new and existing users.

    Customer Success leaders can use these AI-powered platforms to feel the pulse, understand customer sentiment regarding key factors, and uncover the crucial pain points to make the right business decisions with data-driven insights. 

    Customer Intelligence Platforms are helping answer a wide range of questions:

    • What customers are talking about? What topics are trending? What features or processes add friction and frustration to their experience?
    • How engaged customers are with your brand and Success teams? What are the engagement levels? Are there good relationship health signals? 
    • What are you missing between the lines of what customers are saying? Is the data you are using in your decision in the right context?
    • How do customers feel about you and your service and product? Are there any new sentiment trends you need to follow? Any bad signs or risk factors?

    Related: Customer Insights Platform: Why You Need One

    Customer Intelligence Platform Benefits

    The Customer Intelligence Platform is helping CS executives and managers gain a bird’s-eye view of all customer relationship activity. This technology is eliminating blind-spots and allowing better process optimization for added customer happiness.

    Here are some key benefits:

    1. Persona-Based Communications

    Not all customers are the same, especially in the B2B space. They have different use cases, requirements, and needs. Customer Intelligence Platforms can be used to segment stakeholders or accounts and set different thresholds for relationship health. This granular approach can help treat each segment differently for better results. For example, Tier 3 customers can’t be treated like Tier 1 ones and vice versa.

    2. Customer Journey Optimization

    There are more and more customer details to be taken into consideration today – onboarding requirements, different success criteria, engagement tendencies, customer relationship friction points, satisfaction levels, feature feedback, and many more. Manually collecting this information and making sense out of it simply isn’t possible today. The Customer Intelligence Platform does exactly that.

    Also, you can have a dream journey map, but it’s based mainly on assumptions that often don’t match reality. The Customer Intelligence Platform helps challenge your assumptions and connects the dots to uncover what the customer is experiencing. Once you have this kind of visibility, you can then anticipate issues, optimize the customer journey map, and make data-driven decisions. 

    3. Activity-Driven Decision Making

    We all know about data-driven information, but Customer Intelligence Platforms are allowing businesses to generate activity-driven insights that can trigger immediate actions to your playbook. Assuming the platform has the required integration and sharing capabilities, it can allow your team to strengthen key relationships proactively, generate better engagement, and create upselling opportunities.

    4. Better Cross-Department Alignment and Collaboration

    Customer Intelligence Platforms are also playing a key role in creating more transparency with your entire book of business. Customer Success, Marketing, Product, Sales, IT, and Support teams can now discover how customers feel about specific features or topics. They can also unearth new friction points that need to be fixed and discover new champions or advocates in accounts.

    Also, as a result of this improved visibility around customer feedback and insights, it can provide opportunities for all teams to communicate better in general, since the feedback no longer has to constantly be monitored manually or verbally.

    Related: Customer Sentiment Analysis 

    Customer Intelligence Platforms for Customer Success Teams: The Key Requirements

    Modern Customer Success teams need to go beyond scheduled interviews and Net Performance Score (NPS) surveys. While these methods still have their place in today’s CS playbooks, much more is needed to achieve customer happiness and NRR growth. 

    The Customer Intelligence Platform needs to have the following capabilities:

    • Breaking Down Multi-Channel Communication Data – This is probably the biggest challenge CS teams are facing today. Emails, Phone calls, Zoom chats, Slack conversations, Chatbot activity, and Tickets are just a few of the ways customers are contacting businesses. All of these touchpoints need to be covered by the Customer Intelligence Platform to get a full picture.
    • Stakeholder and Account Segmentation – Your CS team is interacting with a wide range of personas. This can be an executive, all the way down to a junior manager. Are you prioritizing the right tiers? Are you tracking customer team changes? Are there any loopholes that your team isn’t detecting? Your Customer Intelligence Platform should be able to answer these questions.
    • Customer Sentiment Analysis – Understanding customer sentiment is one of the biggest challenges in Customer Success today. With so many variables in play, only an advanced data-driven solution can help connect the dots and eliminate human intervention. Sudden drops in customer sentiment can trigger churn and brand damage. Is your Customer Intelligence Platform up to the task?
    • Real-Time Feedback – Analyzing and understanding the current health of your customer accounts is important, but your Customer Intelligence Platform should also be able to notify the relevant internal team members in real-time with customizable alerts. Only being alerted early can help contain the damage by reaching out to at-risk accounts and taking the required steps.
      Furthermore, when both Customer Success Leaders and CSMs are in the loop constantly with updated insights, they can collaborate better and come up with better action plans instead of just being reactive and passive like before. 
    • Integration with your Customer Success Platform or CRM – All platforms today are expected to be user-friendly with minimal onboarding and your Customer Intelligence Platform is no exception. It should have good integration capabilities with leading reporting tools, CS tools, or APIs, not to mention your Customer Relationship Platform (CRM). Also, data on a dashboard is great, but it has to be actionable when it comes to your customers. 

    Related: Customer Relationship Score

    Unfortunately, more often than not, Customer Intelligence Platforms simply cannot tick all the boxes. This is why there’s a growing need for a dedicated CS-centric platform that can perform all aforementioned tasks. Enter Staircase AI.

    Staircase’s CS-Centric Customer Intelligence Platform

    Staircase is disrupting the Customer Success space with its AI-driven Customer Intelligence Platform. Besides providing stakeholder relationship tracking with ongoing customer sentiment analysis, it  helps you pick up on signals about how your customers are feeling to help you proactively prevent dissatisfaction and churn beforehand, while also clearing roadblocks to help them achieve their goals.

    This Customer Intelligence Platform leverages the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to analyze millions of customer interactions and turns them into actionable customer insights that can’t be spotted with the naked eye. By adopting this solution, you can uncover deep human signals, customers’ health status, sentiment fluctuations, journey events, and underlying risks, while creating new growth opportunities. 

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