- New storytelling feature in the Sparq® customer intelligence platform revolutionizes how companies gather and use ongoing customer feedback by integrating historical data with new information to provide actionable insight
- Customer insight becomes deeper and richer over time, as companies develop progressive customer profiles, view customer data in the context of current issues, and share meaningful insight across the enterprise for more effective decision-making
- Stories support key business decisions, including evaluation of customer experiences, validation of new product ideas, and creation of new marketing promotions
- Early customers using Stories on the Sparq platform include national retailer The Limited and electric power provider Sacramento Municipal Utilities District
Vancouver, Canada – Vision Critical, a leading customer intelligence platform provider, today announced the full rollout of Stories, a new feature now available in the Sparq® platform. With Stories, customers can easily organize and share the collective wisdom of their customer insight communities across their organizations, enabling more confident decision-making. Early customers for Stories Include The Limited and SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utilities District).
Storytelling inspires action
Storytelling is an extremely effective way to share data and insight, helping recipients make sense of complex information. Additionally, storytelling inspires action far more than bare facts and figures, which has become critical as customer communities are increasingly expected to provide actionable insight that drives optimal business outcomes. With Stories, the important insight that companies gather over time from their Vision Critical insight communities is easily compiled to serve different needs within an organization.
Don’t just ask customers, listen and engage for deeper insight
Customers feel more valued when they feel heard and understood. Stories enables companies to build on what their customers have already told them, reducing the risk of alienating customers with repetitive requests for the same information.
A manager using Stories can first search through the results of past activities for information gleaned from customers that may be related to a new initiative the company is considering. This information can then be easily collected and compiled into a new Story with an included narrative adding color and context, providing the information needed quickly and efficiently. If further information is required, a new community activity can be focused only on the new requirement and the results tied seamlessly back into the ongoing Story, enabling deeper insight with less investment of time and effort on the part of both the community manager and its members.
Invest in long-term insight, not just in-the-moment data, for real business value
With Stories, an insight community becomes more valuable over time, because every interaction builds both the quantity and quality of customer intelligence available. Historic insight remains accessible and usable, with the potential to quickly augment or update it within the same customer community or with a sub-set of customers that meet particular criteria. By comparison, traditional customer research is often structured around standalone projects that are slow, expensive, and time-consuming. Too often, it is also quickly outdated, limiting its reliability and usefulness over time.
“We have seen our customers continuously prove that building communities of customers they can engage with on an ongoing basis provides better quality insight than traditional research methods, which are rapidly losing their effectiveness,” said Divesh Sisodraker, Executive Vice President, Product at Vision Critical. “Now, with Stories, every piece of information remains accessible and can be easily recalled and built into new narratives, producing a cumulative effect of richer, deeper insight as time goes by. The ongoing investment a company makes into its community and engagement activities creates real value that can produce a distinct competitive advantage in fast-moving business environments.”
Use Stories to help drive business decisions
The Limited is an iconic fashion retailer offering high-quality, private-label apparel through hundreds of locations across the United States. Victoria Laivins, head of client insights at The Limited, manages a community of customers on the Sparq platform that the company engages regularly in conversations to stay ahead of trends and to test new product concepts and promotions.
“Stories makes it easier for us to use timely customer insight to support quick business decisions,” said Laivins. “For example, for an upcoming buy review, I was able to search for all of our recent insight on dresses, engage our community for additional information we needed, and then create a Story that recommended the right type and style for our clients’ needs.”
Susan Corbelli, principal research specialist at SMUD, the nation’s sixth-largest community-owned electric service provider, recently used the new Stories feature to support a Customer Experience (CX) analysis of the company’s online billing system, and to assist the design and launch of a new energy product. SMUD currently has two insight communities, serving both residential and commercial customers.
“Efficiently gathering customer feedback and learning more about what our customers expect from their energy providers is a primary goal of ours,” stated Corbelli.
Available now within the Sparq customer intelligence platform
Stories is available now within the Sparq customer intelligence platform for both current and new customers. Sparq empowers companies to build secure, branded insight communities of their customers, and gives them the tools they need to ask the right people the right questions at the right time, delivering deep, actionable insight that drives better decision-making. Visit the Vision Critical website to learn more about the Sparq customer intelligence platform and how an insight community can provide value to your company.
About The Limited
Founded in 1963, The Limited began mall-based specialty retailing as we know it. Today, the brand continues to be an iconic fashion retailer that offers high-quality, private-label apparel designed to help sophisticated professionals live an Unlimited Life. The Limited is a portfolio company of Sun Capital Partners, Inc. and has over 250 locations throughout the United States. For more information, please visit TheLimited.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter @TheLimited.
About Sun Capital Partners, Inc.
Sun Capital Partners is a global private equity firm focused on identifying companies’ untapped potential and leveraging its deep operational and financial resources to transform results. Sun Capital is a trusted partner that is recognized for its investment and operational experience, including particular expertise in the consumer products and services, food and beverage, industrial, packaging, chemical, building products, automotive, restaurant and retail sectors. Since 1995, Sun Capital has invested in more than 320 companies worldwide across a broad range of industries and transaction structures. Sun Capital has offices in Boca Raton, Los Angeles and New York, and affiliates in London, Frankfurt, Stockholm and Shenzhen. For more information, visit www.SunCapPart.com.