We’re all in this together, but someone has to win


I’ve just returned from a Cyara User Group meeting where customers and partners shared trends, successes, frustrations and guidance. The two and a half days we met didn’t prove to be enough time to cover everything we wanted to, but it was an extremely valuable collaboration for Cyara and our User Group members. I came away with one striking revelation, which really isn’t so revolutionary. We often have the same plans and ideas as others in our field, but what strikingly separates businesses is execution.

We are fortunate to include some of the largest consumer business and governmental agencies around the world as customers and we are further lucky to count their customer service leaders as members of our User Group. And as part of last months event we had the alternative channel technology leader, covering contact center web, mobile, ATM, and in-branch video banking, present the bank’s aggressive program to more tightly link the ‘omni’-channel infrastructure for serving customers. I have tremendous respect for this organization and I believe they do most things in IT, very well. The presentation was fantastic. It covered the problems of their current situation, which isn’t as bad as many frankly. The organization serves its customer extremely well, but they are driven to ‘do it better’. They recognize that their current situation will hold them back from delighting the future consumer. They are, like Wayne Gretzky, skating to where the puck will be.

I was sure the other members of the group would be impressed with the content and the discussion. And it definitely was a lively couple of hours. But what I didn’t expect was that the other companies represented having exactly the same plan. I don’t mean, “ya, we’re doing the same thing.” I mean that they have enterprise-wide funded initiatives to evolve their entire customer-facing infrastructure and applications. Which leads me to the conclusion that every (or nearly every) single large consumer-focused business is constantly and continually transforming their IT landscape to better serve customers. And that is AWESOME! So many of us in this industry for so many years have been advocating the differentiation potential for companies of delivering a superior experience, and the corresponding danger of under-delivering against consumer expectations. We have arrived – every company (ok – let’s say most companies) agrees and they’ve incorporated customer experience prominently in their investment plans. And let me be perfectly candid – it is also awesome because these companies depend on Cyara to help them innovate their customer experience so all this change is good for all our businesses.

But something else was the big take away for me that day. Only some companies will succeed, yet they all have similar plans. Why? It is all about execution, and execution can be hard. Reflecting on this idea over the past month, has led me to draw conclusions about what is important for these customer experience leaders to prioritize on their journey. Keeping all the key constituents satisfied along a significant transformation is tricky – and this is the topic of a future blog post. But it also caused me to focus on our journey at Cyara. What has made us successful in growing to this point is a maniacal focus on customers, and execution. And what will make us successful as we continue on this amazing ride is a maniacal focus on customers and flawless execution.