Allegiance Wants to Change the DNA of Customer Experience

It isn't always pleasant to acknowledge the negative. But the data didn't lie — and HireVue reports it revealed a story of customer dissatisfaction. 

Porter Williams, director operations and client services at HireVue, a 150-employee human resources technology provider, told CMSWire a quarterly survey showed a high level of discontent among customers migrating from the company's old platform to a new one.

“This set of unhappy customers represented 20 percent of our customer base,” Williams said. “And most were up for renewal. A huge percentage of our customer base might have defected if we had been oblivious to their concerns.”

Instead, it addressed them — with the help of customer data insights from the Allegiance Software customer experience platform. It’s one reason South Jordan, Utah-based Allegiance has been able to increase its workforce 50 percent the past couple of years to 115.

Why CXM?

Led by CEO Carine Clark, Allegiance is a small, yet surging, customer experience provider that’s made waves among the top analysts in the industry. It also won Bruce Temkin’s 2014 Customer Experience Vendor Excellence (CxVE) Award alongside Clarabridge and Verint.

SAP recognized Allegiance in a blog post about the top customer experiences influencers in the industry, citing Andrew McInnes, director of product marketing at Allegiance, former Forrester analyst and a “voice of the customer thinker, writer, and speaker.” 

Chris Cottle, executive vice president of marketing for Allegiance, told CMSWire there are two factors driving a customer experience category growth rate of about 20 percent yearly:

  • Executives are demanding more of a formal solution
  • Customers are expecting more of a response from the company itself

“We are at the convergence of customer feedback and big data and are utilizing those in a very smart and sophisticated way,” Cottle said, “to help companies do a better job of engaging customers and improving the customer experience.”

customer experience, Customer Experience Provider Wants to Change 'DNA' of Industry

The industry has seen too many promises, Cottle said, from CRM or contact centers that will magically bring all things together in one single customer 360-degree view. But that promise, he said, has turned out to be “fairly elusive.”

“Rolling it all up to a single view of the customer is really difficult to do,” he said.

There is a view of the customer through pre-sales and marketing and in the post-sales through contact centers and support. Who will win? Cottle didn’t make predictions.

“We’re right in the middle,” he said of Allegiance. “We think CXM starts at the very early interaction point, and it doesn’t really end until the customer chooses to go away for some reason.”

He does know that customer experience professionals are connecting voices from around organizations with actionable data, and areas like contact centers and marketing are becoming front-line decision-makers where IT only grabbed those roles in the past, Cottle said.

Beyond Survey Data

Where survey data was the norm just a couple of years ago, Allegiance sees it as a supplement to richer customer data. In fact, Cottle thinks organizations in the future will use more operational data than surveys because it tells a “rich story” of what “customers feel and do” without asking them.

Allegiance uses a big data approach using the open source search and analytics engine Elasticsearch based on Hadoop. It allows them to do integration through their APIs and software kit to data systems in real-time.

HireVue uses Allegiance to email quarterly relationship surveys to its customers, which include recruiters from 20 of the Fortune 100, among others. On average, 10,000 candidates respond each month to surveys generated through the Allegiance platform, which analyzes the data and prepares account level reports.

“We’re trying to change the DNA of the situation,” Cottle said. “Your data set is changing. It’s not just surveys anymore … The marketplace of enterprise customer experience is going to be on par with the likes of marketing automation and even CRM at some point. The foundation is being driven by very strong leadership and very worthwhile requests and the desire for the customer to be treated better and in a smart way.”