Atlanta-based Engage.cx thinks it has a better way to keep customers happy — and it has just scored $2.9 million to try.
The company, founded in 2013, says it intends to “reinvent CRM” with a new “experience-driven customer relationship management” platform that started free trials last week.
The problem, CEO/cofounder and ex-Oracle exec David Trice told Venturebeat, is that other systems don’t cover the full customer journey.
“Let’s say you get an email containing an offer from a store,” he said. “Go to the [physical store, buy a product,] and check out. They don’t know an offer has been given to you [because] they don’t have the context.”
But it’s not just the missing linkage between digital and real world experiences, he said. It’s also “all of the unrelated data sources and siloes [that] give you blindspots as related to the customer journey.”
Most CRM or customer engagement vendors, of course, profess to offer “a single point of truth” about each customer or lead, incorporating all the data into a “360-degree view.”
But Trice says that’s not the case.
“All of our customers tell us, ‘I have all that data,'” he said, referring to Engage.cx’s early adopters. “But [they say,] ‘I’m not able to use that data in real time to drive the customer experience.'”
He pointed to big box retailers who “are telling me that, in multiple [brand] domains on their website, they are losing track” and unable to integrate the customer’s data in real time. It’s a byproduct of companies using multiple technologies to cover all of their needs, he added.
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To fill these gaps, Engage.cx offers an individual customer profile that pulls data from interactions in real time, so a customer’s website experience can instantly become available to, say, an employee encountering the same customer in a physical store. And it focuses on immediately integrating customer interactions from every touchpoint.
Trice gives the example of a Mom looking to buy a car for her college-bound daughter. The mother visits an Acura website, which includes a small widget for loans from Acme Bank.
Acme, in this scenario, is Engage.cx’s customer. When Mom fills out the initial widget form and then continues the full application on Acme’s site, the bank site knows all about what she did on Acura’s site. As does the physical bank branch when Mom walks in the door to sign the papers.
In fact, because of a prior mobile encounter with the bank, her profile immediately populates the bank manager’s tablet when she enters the building.
Engage.cx’s full spectrum approach is best visualized by one of its screens, a Facebook-like timeline that pegs each relevant interaction with that customer.
Trice said his company is competing “against [incomplete] point solutions,” like LivePerson for live chat or tag management systems. But the competition also includes Salesforce, he said, against which a big differentiator is that the venerable CRM “pushes messages, [while] we’re an inbound platform.”
“We react when a customer responds,” he said. “We’re not based on campaigns.”
Customer engagement platforms like SDL or Sailthru, he said, “do a good job on the front end, on the website, and we can integrate with them, [but] they’re focused on driving [sales] conversion.” By contrast, Engage.cx wants to continue the relationship after the sale, he said, covering product returns, followup sales, loyalty building, and so on.
With the new funding in hand, Trice said, “our whole impetus is to bring the product to market.” Toward that aim, the money will be used to make hires for the sales, customer success, and go-to-market teams.
The Series A round was raised by On Target, Fulcrum Ventures, and a group of private investors that included Richard Spencer, Rich Sugden, Keith Cowan, and Michael McChesney.