AiThority Interview with Dennis Reno, SVP and Head of CX at Cyara
Please tell us about your current role and the team and the technology you handle at Cyara?
As Head of Customer Experience (CX) for Cyara, I’m responsible for post-sales activities and I lead the customer success, professional services and support teams. Our technology is used by some of the world’s top brands to automate and accelerate testing of their CX. We deploy bots to measure and optimize the quality of digital and voice channels to ensure customers’ deliver flawless omnichannel customer journeys from beginning to end. In short, my role is to continue to build upon Cyara’s successful track record and drive innovation that exceeds customers’ demands, accelerate time-to-value, and build strategic customer relationships that lead to high customer satisfaction and maximize retention of SaaS clients.
What is Cyara and what are your services and solutions?
Cyara provides automated CX testing and monitoring for quality assurance. More specifically, enterprises use Cyara’s cloud-based platform to test their customer journeys by using Cyara’s automated bots engage with by testing the network, applications and even backend data systems that power these journeys. As a result, any issues that a customer may experience are identified so organizations can resolve them before they impact a customer. Cyara’s technology ensures that our customers are providing flawless CX across digital and voice channels and reduces the risk of customer-facing defects.
How have CX definitions evolved during the COVID-19?
Because of COVID-19, CX and its ROI is now top of mind for executives. When the pandemic hit last year, it put pressure on all industries to deliver quality CX while dealing with fluctuating volumes of customer inquiries, a rocky economy, budgetary constraints and, of course, the heightened emotional state of customers worldwide. Today, it’s critical that contact centers and CX leaders don’t just invest in ways to improve CX, but also focus on showcasing the value of this effort by presenting results in terms of business values and measuring with the right performance metrics.
What are the current metrics marketing should keep in mind before launching a CX strategy?
A Gartner research report found that 94% of customers who experience low-effort interactions with a company are more likely to buy again. Given CX has a direct impact on the business, leaders need to make sure they are measuring CX results in a comprehensive way. This means not solely relying on traditional KPIs such as Net Promoter Scores (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) scores to measure the effectiveness of CX efforts. Customer experience measurement should measure operational performance, such as number of dropped calls, time to connect and system latency.
Tell us a little more about your recent holiday data on U.S. retailers? How do you see things changing for retailers in 2021?
Now that we’re three months into the new year, its paramount that retailers look back on the 2020 holiday shopping season to identify common technical issues and customer incidents in order to fix them ahead of shopping peaks in 2021. To shed light on this, Cyara recently pulled data from its automated customer experience platform to identify which major customer journey obstacles the top ten biggest U.S. retailers. faced during the busy holiday season.
Some of the key findings included:
– That calls received during work hours (6 a.m.- 6 p.m.) had a higher success rate than those calling after hours.
– Home improvement stores had the most successful calls each day compared to big box stores, pharmacies and grocery stores.
– Retailers experienced less failed calls on Black Friday and Cyber Monday compared to days surrounding those big shopping holidays, and most retailers actually had performance improvement between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
What technologies should one stay focused on be competitive?
Enterprises should prioritize automation to remain competitive in today’s market. Automated CX technology is key to keeping pace with customer expectations, simply because it enables teams to move faster while remaining focused on the right things. Especially today, when developers are feeling more pressure than ever to work faster and meet shorter release cycles to deliver more value to the customer. For example, if your update ships in six weeks but your competitor ships in two, your business will always be at a perpetual CX disadvantage. By reducing the amount of manual testing a team must perform daily, you can improve the enterprise’s CX efficiency, tighten up release cycles and ultimately, shorten time to value for customers. Not to mention, it decreases the risk of introducing human errors and can improve the overall quality of your brand.
What are your thoughts on AI and machine learning’s role in retail and e-commerce?
Retail AI and machine learning can help businesses learn about its customer base, their preferences and their behavioral patterns. In the last few years, AI can even study customers in such depth than it can anticipate what products they need to buy and when. This can be highly beneficial to drive business and has the potential to improve the customer’s experience as well. However, retailers must adhere to data regulations and respect the privacy of consumers who decide to opt out of sharing their information. As long as there’s transparency and open dialogue about how retailers are collecting and sharing consumer data, AI and machine learning has potential to be beneficial to all parties.
Thank you, Dennis! That was fun and we hope to see you back on AiThority.com soon.
Dennis Reno is a SVP and Head of CX, Cyara
Cyara is the world’s leading Automated CX Assurance Platform provider, helping leading brands deliver better CX with less effort, cost, time, and risk. Cyara supports the entire CX software development lifecycle, from design to functional and regression testing, load testing, and production monitoring – ensuring enterprises can build flawless customer journeys across voice and digital channels while reducing the risk of customer-facing defects.