Why I Joined SundaySky

Casey Myers March 19, 2013
Why I Joined SundaySky

Spend any adequate amount of time with the product and the people, and the answer to “why” one would join SundaySky is quite obvious: a killer SaaS platform that exudes business value + uber-smart people = a powerful combination in these competitive times, for both employee and end-customer.

The more relevant question, as it relates to my unique story, is “how” I joined SundaySky.

Last year my family moved from one suburb of Atlanta to another, and despite it being a mere eight miles up the road, it involved, as with most moves, an onslaught of service provider changes, cancellations, new orders, etc. What fun… At our previous abode, AT&T was a core provider of multiple services in our home, and upon our change of address, AT&T proceeded to cancel, sign anew and prorate many line items in my monthly bill. Knowing how many lovely billing systems and business processes are behind the proverbial curtain, I went ahead and set aside time on my calendar after a billing cycle or two to call in, speak to a live person, and understand/refute my billing cluster.

ATT SmartVideo Bill Email

Shortly after moving into the new place, I received an email from AT&T with the subject line “Your AT&T U-verse Bill in Now Available on Video.” I can unequivocally tell you I delete every email I ever get from AT&T by barely reading the subject line, but this one got my attention. And with one click, I was watching a personalized, narrated video of MY bill… my name, my data, my explanations, my mess… made clear. Turns out, I happened to be one of a few thousand recipients of said “SmartVideo Bill” that month during a pilot AT&T was running with SundaySky. Fast-forward through 2012 (during which time I developed a partnership with SundaySky at my previous employer) and here I am working with this wonderfully powerful and effective new customer engagement tool.

As an early pilot-consumer of SmartVideo from AT&T, it struck a chord with my customer experience fetish. Being in the CRM/CEM/CCM industry for many years, I am still quite amazed at some companies’ inabilities to focus in on how important the customer experience is to, well, the customer. In a way, my experience as a consumer of a product or service directly ties back to a similar life principle. (This is multi-step, so stay with me…)

Outcomes we experience in life are a direct result of decisions we make, which are ultimately based on some set of conscious or subconscious core beliefs.

Let that one marinate for a minute… wait for it…

In other words, what we believe about something drives our decisions, which then leads to certain outcomes. In general, if we want to experience different outcomes, we tend to make different decisions, but unless we go all the way back and change our core beliefs about something, we will continue to make similar decisions, and therefore experience similar outcomes. I could take a whole other blog post to discuss how this principle applies in our relative lives, but I digress…

Experience, Behaviors, Outcomes

In enterprise-size business, though, here’s how this principle plays out: a customer’s experience leads to certain behaviors, which result in particular outcomes.

Allow me to illustrate this philosophy with an example…

Let’s say, I have a very poor onboarding experience with my new insurance provider in the first 90 days. My statement is confusing and I do not have a clear understanding of the policy I purchased. This leads to various behaviors on my part, such as speaking ill of my experience and provider to friends and family, cancelling my service, and possibly phoning the call center to inquire, as well. The resulting outcome for the brand is a low-value customer, if that, and an increase in call center volume, poor word of mouth and socialization, low customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Score, and ultimately, churn.

The bull’s eye on the company’s profitability target should be the customer experience. An improved experience (directly correlated to what a customer believes about his/her provider) will lead to more desirable behaviors (e.g., decisions to stay, add services, evangelize the product  and/or brand, etc.), which will result in better outcomes, such as reduced churn, increased average revenue per user, and lifetime customer loyalty.

A common challenge I’ve seen is that many organizations take a somewhat myopic view because they simply want to change particular outcomes to focus on certain behavior adaptation. They don’t, however, put in place a holistic strategy to fundamentally change their customers’ experience, and therefore, newly improved outcomes are typically short-lived. “Behavior modification” can provide only temporarily improved outcomes. “Experience modification” delivers consistent, behavioral changes which leads to sustainable and improved outcomes.

Which brings me back to “why” I joined SundaySky…

SmartVideo is by far the most powerful customer engagement tool the marketplace has seen in decades – analysts, leading brands, and consumers agree. The most compelling aspect is that it can truly be used across the entire lifecycle, affecting the complete customer experience and delivering substantial and sustained positive outcomes. So, why wouldn’t I join SundaySky!?