MaritzCX was born out of the acquisition of Allegiance by Maritz Holdings, Inc, the parent company of Maritz Research, in November 2014. The transaction put in motion the joint evolution of an industry-respected expert in the area of customer satisfaction (Maritz Research) and an innovative technology platform. A mere nine months after the acquisition was announced, MaritzCX launched its new MaritzCX platform – a SaaS-based customer experience platform capable of handling 42,000 transactions per second. Carine Clark, President and CEO of MaritzCX, shared her thoughts on what it takes to achieve transformation at warp speed.
Be an Uber. We are all familiar with the wild success of Uber and the disruption it has imposed on the transportation for hire industry globally. To be transformative, Carine believes that our thinking must transcend the “norm.” Why go to a physical store when you can shop in your pajamas at Amazon? Why not have the car dealership come to you – as Tesla has done? Why present information two weeks after the fact when impact on the customer is far less likely? Transformation in the customer experience space requires delivering customer specific information with sufficient speed to enable front line employees’ ability to impact a customer’s experience when it matters. MaritzCX is investing to make this possible. In short, it is on a mission to disrupt the customer experience space by enabling its clients to own and leverage the power of customer-focused information, not drown in the data currently produced.
Harvest the wisdom of the past but be open to the future. MaritzCX has a rich heritage in the market research arena with a focus in customer satisfaction. Carine fully believes that for all of its wonders, technology can only enable the identification of insights – human expertise and professional judgement is unlikely to be replaced by technology. The challenge for MaritzCX is to simultaneously embrace its past and its future. The “tribe” has to understand it is more powerful together than apart. The merger of two radically different cultures has its moments but it is also a source of energy and a catalyst for identifying new frontiers.
Real time or no time. According to Carine, the world is moving ever so quickly to a state where real-time delivery of information is just the table stake necessary to play the game. MaritzCX has adopted a mission to help companies see faster, sense earlier and act more personally throughout the operations of their business. Only significant investments in technology and the efficient application of that technology enable this goal. To achieve its mission, technology is the root of MaritzCX’s transformation. This is certainly a transformational trend we see in our industry.
Don’t sell an employee a ticket to the train if they don’t share a desire to visit the destination. Carine indicated it is always a difficult decision to ask an employee to leave yet it is a reality of transformation. Someone who quits and stays will only be a drag on progress. Past contributions are always held in high esteem – but future passions must be shared. This is an undeniable requirement for building a team that will succeed in transformational efforts.
Use the customer as your true north. MaritzCX engages a customer advisory board and the management of the firm spends significant time speaking with its customers and understanding their needs. Their needs drive MaritzCX’s development. “Build it and they will come” is a risky business strategy these days. Helping clients achieve their business objectives is only possible when you fully understand the issues they face, the business problems they are attempting to solve and their vision of success. Customer input is the bedrock for the development of future products and services.
Don’t be afraid to dream. Carine and the management team at MaritzCX have a vision of where they want to take the business. As Carine said “in five years we hope to have the pedigree to listen to any customer anywhere in the world and help them build programs and processes that will help them grow, solve their customer retention problems and delight their customers.” Life is short. Carine fully believes that dreaming is an important element of making the future happen. She doesn’t believe in wasting time on things that don’t matter. Focus is required to achieve a dream.
The bottom line? If it looks like a technology company, feels like a technology company, acts like a technology company – perhaps it’s a market research company with a focus on customer experience. Why not? MaritzCX provides a great template worthy of consideration.