How to be a trusted partner across the entire digital customer journey
Companies that can claim to be a leading solutions provider across the entire digital customer journey are thin on the ground. Achieving digital customer engagement is challenging both in its complexity and ever-changing nature, with shifting consumer preferences and new technological innovations demanding unprecedented agility and insight from marketers, customer experience (CX), and customer service providers alike.
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It’s rarer still to find an organization that has been on top of this evolving digital landscape for the past 20 years, even before many of today’s skill sets – particularly in the social, community, and AI spaces – had been thought of. To mark Khoros’s twentieth anniversary, The Drum caught up with the company’s chief executive officer Jack Blaha to hear how the company has adapted to meet the evolving needs of today’s customers.
Jack, talk us through the past two decades of Khoros’s journey; how has the company evolved?
The Khoros name itself only launched in 2019, but Lithium Technologies and Spredfast, the two companies which merged to form Khoros in 2019, have been around since 2001 and 2008 respectively. Leaders in brand communities and social media management, the two legacy companies’ merger has helped forge the path for the future of the market – one focused on providing a unified view of customer engagement across all digital touchpoints, all in one powerful platform.
The merger was a step into a new era for the market as brands continue to navigate the increasing push for digital-first, connected experiences.
Speaking of evolving needs, how is Khoros helping to bridge the gaps in the customer engagement journey?
Over the years, Khoros has built upon the strengths of those legacy companies to advance our leadership in CX and digital-first contact centers. We have evolved into an award-winning platform offering a full customer engagement suite across digital care, brand communities, and social media management.
There’s a stronger focus on building and innovating across the Khoros platform. Every kind of digital customer engagement is laid out in one unified hub, helping brands go beyond the transaction to build a relationship where the customer feels known and connected. At a time when consumer expectations and volumes are growing – across voice, chat, email, SMS, messaging, and social – offering a seamless experience across all channels is paramount.
So, what does this look like in practice; and how are you innovating across your core service areas?
We’ve expanded our expertise in digital contact centers to drive both revenue and efficiency, by offering an omnichannel agent desktop, AI-enabled agent assistance, conversational AI, and a 360-degree view of customer engagement. Last year, we launched new AI and messaging capabilities including secure forms in messaging, as well as “no-code” chatbot creation and management. Most recently, we released new platform enhancements to better support agents and, in turn, your customers.
With accessible insights and adaptability, our approach to social media management puts configuration in customers’ hands, enabling them to scale and align teams to operationalize paid and organic social programs. Recent innovations include custom-defined metrics, ads execution for Facebook and Instagram with ads visibility for LinkedIn, as well as natural language processing (NLP)-powered theming to give marketers faster, better insights into conversations happening on social media.
Our CX Insights provides a comprehensive solution for a unified, actionable view of the customer that harnesses the collective power of every customer communication channel and aggregates it all in one place. Available via mobile app for Android and iOS devices, marketers can access insights wherever, whenever. These insights offer a unified look at the root cause of customer feedback, helping brands understand the ‘why’ behind what customers are feeling.
And finally, our community solution offers customers a branded, interactive platform to transform search, evaluation, purchase, and support interactions into connected learning experiences. New product development has seen updated private messaging capabilities and protection against offensive content through a partnership with Samurai Labs. We’ve also introduced Zoom integration, allowing brands to host public Zoom events and webinars directly from their brand-owned communities.
Sounds like there has been a lot going on. So, how is Khoros leading brands through this future evolution?
As customers demand more convenience and trust, brands must manage digital acceleration and opportunity – and the Khoros platform is here to help, with a powerful new paradigm to manage costs and increase revenue across the digital service funnel. We're proud to empower brands with the technology to remain agile during this time of immense change, while maintaining the human connections that are so important.
The key, as with everything Khoros does, is that all the solutions I mentioned above are offered within a one-stop platform. A unified hub for all digital customer engagement with visibility across the whole business, the Khoros platform uses technology like conversational AI and voice of customer (VoC) insights to allow brands to connect with customers and prospects wherever, whenever, and however they want – and quickly scale solutions as those wants shift. Plus, our in-house Strategic Services team of social and digital experts acts as an extension of a brand’s team using the Khoros platform.
Looking ahead, then, to the next 20 years – what can we expect to see from Khoros?
Khoros powers more than 500 million daily digital transactions and works with more than 2,000 brands, including a third of the Fortune 100 companies. The platform utilizes more than 20 patented technologies, all designed to enable brands to connect with customers across their entire digital journeys. More innovation is expected soon, particularly in the AI space.
We’ve made strong progress in bringing the legacy platforms together into a unified customer engagement platform, and we have more updates coming. Our growth in digital contact centers is also a priority since there is so much power in providing incredible customer experiences across the digital landscape.
If you could leave The Drum readers with a final word of advice on what they should look for in a partner to support them on their customer engagement journey, what would that be?
It’s clear with exponential advances in marketers’ digital capabilities, there comes an ever-increasing complexity in platform technology. Additionally, there is a clear challenge of articulating that complexity through the lens of consumer benefits. If building trust is the main goal of any future-focused brand, the key will be investing in a customer engagement partner that will support your brand’s efforts to stay authentic, build trust, and create customers for life.
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Over 2,000 global brands, including one-third of the Fortune 100 companies, leverage the power of Khoros’s award-winning customer engagement platform to create customers for life. Our innovative enterprise solutions, including over 20 patented technologies, ensure success across digital contacts centers, messaging, chat, online brand communities, CX analytics, and social media management. Combined with our industry-leading services, Khoros enables brands to connect with customers throughout their entire digital journey.Khoros powers more than 500 million daily digital interactions and leverages AI to turn these interactions into insights and action. Recognized nationally and locally as one of the Best Places to Work, Khoros has 11 offices globally and Vista Equity Partners is its lead investor. For more information, visit khoros.com.Find out more