Friday, March 23, 2007

ClickFox Generates Detailed Experience Maps

I’m just finishing a review for next month's DM News of ClickFox, a product that visualizes the paths followed by customers as they navigate interactive voice response (IVR), kiosks, Web sites and other self-service systems. John Pasqualetto, ClickFox’s Director of Business Development, tells me the product is easy to sell: basically, the company loads a week’s worth of interaction logs, plots them onto a model that classifies the different types of events, and shows customer paths through that model to the prospective buyer. “The value jumps right out,” according to John. “Users say, ‘I’ve never seen my data presented this way before.’”

If you think this sounds similar to the funnel reports provided by most Web analytics systems, so do I. One difference is the visual representation: it's hard to describe this in words, but if you look at the ClickFox Web site, you’ll see they organize their models around the purpose of the different Web pages or IVR options. Essentially, they build a conceptual map of the system. Web analytics systems generally take a more mechanical approach, arranging pages based on frequency of use or links to other pages. This makes it harder to grasp what’s actually going on from the customer viewpoint. (On the other hand, the Web systems can usually drill down to display the actual pages themselves, which ClickFox does not. Web systems also deal with higher data volumes than IVRs.)

The ClickFox approach is also somewhat similar to Client X Client's beloved Customer Experience Matrix, which also plots interactions by purpose. But we generally work at a higher level—that is, we’d look at an IVR session as a single transaction, rather than breaking it into its components. We also think in terms of a standard set of purpose categories, rather than defining a custom set in each situation. (Of course, custom sets make sense when you’re analyzing at the ClickFox level of detail.) So ClickFox would be complementary rather than competitive with what we do. Otherwise, I would not have been able to review them.

What’s really important in all this is that ClickFox provides another good tool for Customer Experience Management. The more of those, the better.

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