Medallia, a global leader in SaaS Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions, has expanded its London office due to accelerated demand for its CEM products in the EMEA market.

Medallia has more than doubled its team in London since it expanded there last November according to Michelle de Haaff, VP of Marketing for Medallia. What’s more, de Haaf told Loyalty 360 that Medallia expects that pace of growth on the continent to continue throughout the year.

In the second quarter, Medallia expanded relationships with existing customers headquartered in the EMEA region, including with O2 Telefonica, Shell, Telenor, and Zurich Insurance, as well as AXA Insurance and Beeline VimpelCom.

To support its growing customer base, Medallia will also hold its first customer experience certification course in London (Sept. 24-26, 2013) under the auspices of the Medallia Institute -- the company's research, education, and consulting arm.

“Good customer experience isn’t limited to a country’s political borders,” de Haaff said. “Many of our customers are global brands, with offices and customers in countries all over the world. For that reason, we’ve received strong demand for our operational Customer Experience Management software from leading companies within many countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It only makes sense for Medallia to also have a physical presence in that geographical region to be closer to our customers headquartered there, to be able to work with them in their time zone.”

According to de Haaff, there is a “demand surge” across Europe as European companies, facing global competition, realize they can create sustainable advantage in their local markets by delivering excellence in customer experience.

“Many market leaders have chosen Medallia to rally their organizations around the voice of the customer,” de Haaff explained. “With a local team and a product that seamlessly works across over 50 languages and scales to meet the needs of complex organizations, Medallia is better positioned than ever to serve the unique needs of the European market.”

Medallia views satisfaction scores from Net Promoter Scores as only part of the loyalty equation, de Haaff said.

“These scores are good to get a sense of a customer’s satisfaction with a product or service, and those customers who are promoters tend to not only recommend the products but they also personally come back again to buy more,” she said. “The challenge with measurements like these is that they are only half of the story.”

The “why” behind the scores, typically hidden in the textual or verbatim part of a response -- or even hidden on social sites in reviews -- indicates detail as to why a customer is loyal or not, de Haaff said.

“This is important because it helps companies understand what they need to do to maintain and grow loyalty and mitigate defection,” she said. “At Medallia, we combine scores with the ‘why’ hidden in the text across feedback types – surveys, social media, SMS feedback, in the moment and more– and drive companies towards better understanding the issues and insights behind the scores, so that satisfaction -or lack there of- is better understood and acted on.’’’

The best measure of loyalty is repeat visits and purchases, or the behavioral data, de Haaff added.

“This data is more compelling when combined with satisfaction scores and the understanding of the issues behind the scores,” she said. “At Medallia, we bring customer spend and repeat visits into our system so that business users can see which issues most relate back to the actual behavior. Are customers who have high satisfaction scores and are happiest with the product likely to come back? Or, is it customers who had a good customer service experience? Conversely, are bad service experiences directly related to attrition?  It’s critical to connect both loyalty scores, the ‘why’ behind the score, and the behavioral data to get a true picture of whether you have gained a customer for life or not.’’’

Making customer feedback actionable can be tricky, de Haaff said.

“To make it actionable, companies need the right tools and relevant insights and actions to provide what front-line users need to engage in conversations with customers, recover at-risk customers or respond to the feedback,” she said. “Companies also need to route the feedback, regardless of channel, to the right employee who initially engaged with the customer and can follow-up in the most relevant way to that customer.”

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