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When serial entrepreneur Mario Ciabarra began Quantum Metric in 2015, he had one goal in mind — to improve how organizations use their data to better understand their customers. Seven years later that mission continues to be the primary driver behind the Quantum Metric platform.
Today, the Colorado-based company is predominantly known as a pioneer in continuous product design (CPD), which helps organizations put customers at the heart of everything they do. The Quantum Metric platform provides a structured approach to understanding the digital customer journey, enabling organizations to recognize customer needs, quantify the financial impact and prioritize based on the impact to the customer’s and business’s bottom line.
In fact, Quantum Metric claims to capture insights from 30% of the world’s internet users, supporting globally recognized brands across industries including retail, travel, financial services and telecommunications. To date, the company has raised $251 million in financing from sources such as Bain Capital Ventures, Insight Venture Partners and Silicon Valley Bank.
To take things to the next level, the company recently announced the launch of Atlas. Powered by proprietary machine intelligence and learnings from hundreds of leading brands and digital teams, Atlas provides outcome-driven insights that enable organizations to identify and respond to digital customer needs from day one.
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“Atlas completely reimagines what we know about building and optimizing digital experiences today,” said Ciabarra. “Organizations consistently struggle to know if their teams are asking the right business questions and working hard on the things that will move their experience forward to the benefit of both their business and their customer. With Atlas, we are empowering every member of digital teams to focus on what matters most, winning the hearts of their customers, every single day.”
The making of Quantum Metric
Quantum Metric was Ciabarra’s attempt to solve problems he personally faced while running his online app store, Intelliborn. As the company grew to over one million active users per day, he uncovered how difficult it was to see and understand all of his customers at scale, and in real time.
“I had used Google Analytics, which was great to see how traffic was growing, but it couldn’t tell me where my customers were struggling, and why. I would fix something that someone on Twitter was ‘yelling’ at me about, but it sometimes would impact my business, and sometimes it wouldn’t,” Ciabarra told VentureBeat. “I thought — why is this so hard? Maybe addressing the squeaky wheel didn’t make sense from a business perspective.” That sparked the idea for Quantum Metric.
So, with his cofounding engineer, David Wang, alongside his cat, Indy, Ciabarra went on to develop the first version of the Quantum Metric platform. It focused on surfacing customer frustrations and helping organizations see their customer experience through session replays.
The next phase focused on process: identify, quantify, prioritize and measure. It was the first building block in the foundational technology that the Quantum Metric platform provides today –- recognizing it’s not just about the data you are able to collect, but how you analyze and interpret that data to fuel action. This has guided the company’s growth across industries from retail, travel and hospitality, to banking, healthcare, gaming, telecommunications and beyond.
“A good experience doesn’t start and end with buying something online, it’s how easy it is to start a return, check in for a flight, pay a bill or transfer funds,” said Ciabarra.
As time passed, he realized that process and focus wasn’t just shifting data strategies, but the culture of organizations. In fact, early customer advisors shared how Quantum Metric had started to change the way that multiple teams across their organizations collaborated and aligned around customer needs. This influenced the development of CPD, a methodology that centers digital decisions around the customer, removes data silos and empowers cross-team collaboration.
This became the new guiding principle for product development, but also for the relationships the company built with customers. “CPD has directed how we build new features, integrate with over 30 partners in our ecosystem and help to broaden adoption across our customer organizations. There are major global brands today that have a CPD center of excellence, an internal team and strategic approach to ensuring alignment across digital experience teams. This is how we’ve seen our user base within an organization grow from two to 2,000,” said Ciabarra. “With CPD, we’ve been able to go beyond a transactional relationship. Our customers’ perspective from the front lines of the digital customer experience heavily influences the future of our product.”
Major CX issues in 2023
Today, as digital becomes a primary driver of business sales and revenue, organizations are facing major hurdles in decreasing the time between identifying digital opportunities and taking action. Added to this is their limited ability to capture every customer frustration, including small customer touchpoints that, when added together, can have a massive effect on the customer experience. These challenges have an immediate impact on digital ROI.
Ciabarra says the biggest issues organizations face today fall into three categories of questions that he finds them constantly asking themselves and their teams.
1. ‘Death by a thousand cuts’ because of the lack of a holistic understanding of when, where and why customers are struggling
“If you had a physical store and saw customers repeatedly walking into a glass wall, you’d move it. On digital, there are thousands of glass walls, but organizations today can’t see all of them. It’s like trying to find needles in a haystack.
“Even if you could see them all, you don’t have enough team members to solve them all, so you need to figure out how to prioritize them by the friction points that mean the most to your customers and your business’s bottom line,” said Ciabarra. “Ultimately, these glass walls, or points of friction, create a death by a thousand cuts, where all these friction points within your experience incrementally impact an organization’s revenue, customer churn and call volume to customer service lines.”
2. Quantifying and aligning on digital priorities
Digital businesses today are incredibly complex. The last few years have accelerated the evolution of digital experiences from a single web experience to customer touchpoints across web, mobile web, native app and kiosks. Not to mention numerous service lines and options for customer engagement. This has all created more noise within digital analytics, with digital teams scaling from 50 alerts about their customer experience, for example, to 500.
“All of this has made it harder for organizations to be certain that they are working hard on the right things within their digital experience. Executive escalations or squeaky wheels tend to get prioritized because digital teams don’t have the resources to show if or what impact they have on the business. Without a clear connection between customer friction and business outcomes, teams are disagreeing on priorities and aren’t able to be agile enough to meet customers’ changing needs. There is too much bureaucracy and not enough focus on the customer,” said Ciabarra.
3. Gaps in digital expertise
“Perhaps the toughest challenge organizations face today is fostering the right digital expertise. A digital team can have all of the data they could possibly need available to them, but if they don’t understand the right questions to ask of that data or how to navigate to the insights that will support the business outcomes they want, it’s worthless,” said Ciabarra.
“Many times what we see in our customer organizations is one to two people on teams who do have that expertise. Someone who has been working in digital for over a decade and has a process in place for how they navigate their data and triage digital issues. That ends up being a problem for the team if that person is sick, on vacation, leaves the organization or the organization gets big enough that they can’t support every digital need that comes up.”
As digital is the primary way customers connect with brands today, every consumer-facing organization needs to be digital-first. Ciabarra said in a digital-first organization, every member of the team should be able to access, interpret and understand the customer data available to them and fuel that into immediate action. A failure to do so results in these brands spending too much of their time and resources.
So what’s the overall impact of these challenges? According to Quantum Metric, the average enterprise leaves up to $220 million on the table per year in inefficiencies, with digital teams taking up to four weeks to resolve digital issues or optimize experiences. “With Atlas’ simplified approach, organizations can improve their efficiency by up to 90%, resolving issues in one to two days,” said Ciabarra.
Atlas promises to let digital teams do more with less
Atlas is a comprehensive library of prebuilt industry guides within the Quantum Metric platform, providing a step-by-step approach to improving critical digital use cases through a tailored set of dashboards, metrics, anomaly detection and alerts. Ciabarra says Atlas is unique in its ability to not only provide a structured and guided approach to understanding digital experience behavior, but in a way that is completely use-case based.
“The industry standard has been to focus on digital analytics tools or features, such as dashboards, alerts, customer journey mapping, etc. For the experienced user, that works great, since they understand what they want to use to find the answers they need. But that doesn’t work for any other member of that team who isn’t an experienced user. It puts a major learning curve on being able to use digital experience tools,” he said.
What Atlas offers, he continued, is an instructional approach to using all of those features based on the part of the customer journey that is most important to an organization and the outcomes customers are looking to achieve. If they are looking to understand a decline in their booking rates, Atlas gives them a step-by-step way to go through dashboards, heatmaps, journeys, session replays and other tools to find out the reason why. This makes digital analytics much more intuitive and empowers anyone on the digital team to be able to uncover insights that drive action, fast.
“Our approach to utilizing customer insights often centers around resolving friction points,” said Stephen Baker, CTO at Untuckit. “As we continue to evolve our digital strategy, it’s crucial that we also identify opportunities to exceed customer expectations for a great experience. Atlas can provide unique value to Untuckit by defining standards of excellence and helping us establish the right benchmarks for digital success.”
The introduction of Atlas will transform other areas of the Quantum Metric platform including:
- Providing guided analysis onsite with Visible, which shows data in line with the site experience.
- Use case-driven navigation: Enhancing platform accessibility by organizing the Atlas guide library by top use case categories and focus areas.
- Automated segmentation for deep analysis that connects users to deeper and more personalized analysis and supports outcome-driven results.
At launch, Quantum Metric’s Atlas library offers 90 guides, with customized use cases for consumer banking, travel, retail, insurance and telecommunications. Cross-industry guides will also be offered to provide a structured approach to common use cases for digital organizations today, regardless of their industry.