• February 21, 2014
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

TARP Relaunches as CX Act with a New Corporate Strategy

Technical Assistance Research Programs (TARP) Worldwide has changed its name to CX Act, and announced a series of corporate strategy changes to strengthen its brand presence in the customer experience market.

The company, which was founded in 1971, was considered an early pioneer in customer experience measurement, and has recently seen 20 percent year-on-year growth. Its new name better reflects "the company's laser focus on high-caliber customer experience for clients," according to a company release, which also cites a "desire to spark action and change the way companies engage with consumers, resulting in increased customer lifetime value and stronger ROI."

"About a year ago, we had some leadership changes, and we had the opportunity to look at TARP's legacy," says Crystal Collier, CEO of CX Act. "As we see the explosion and transformation of the industry, we thought it was the right time to look at the way our brand is positioned in the industry."

Customer experience, she says, "is a real differentiator" for a lot of brands, "and we wanted it to be a bigger part of our offerings."

In addition to its new brand, CX Act outlined an aggressive marketing and business development strategy. The company will emphasize a new core mission to analyze, change, and track the customer experience through evidence-based consulting focused on the key drivers of loyalty and profit.

The company, Collier says, is getting more into training programs to help companies understand their customer interactions across all touch points and change employee behaviors to better meet customer expectations. Then the company will track the improvements that have come about as a result of the changes it recommended.

"We'll work to tell companies not just what to do, but when and how to do it," Collier says. "There will be a heavy employee engagement element to the programs we deploy."

"We take the data and map the customer's journey in their interactions with the brand, including the emotions they feel at each touch point along the way. We then take those emotions into the company and engender empathy among the front-line staff that interacts with customers. This allows us to build training programs based on that empathy that lead to real and lasting behavior change," she adds.

According to Collier, customer service employees and managers have been held back by too much of a reliance on data, such as customer satisfaction scores and rankings.

"You need to look at efficiency metrics and performance metrics," she says. "You need interaction skills and rapport-building skills too."

But in the end, she concludes, companies "have to be consistent with all of their interactions, whether in a call center, retail space, or in any other face-to-face capacity."

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