MaritzCX was established last year following the combination of Allegiance (News - Alert) and Maritz Research, creating what the company said is the largest pure-play customer experience company by far. CUSTOMER recently caught up with MaritzCX CEO Carine Clark to learn about her and the newly expanded company she heads up.
When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time?
Clark: After surviving cancer, I decided that I will only do the things that matter most to me. Time is too precious, and I want to squeeze out every minute. That said, I work hard to fit a lot into my day. I get up every morning by 4:30 to work out and swim. I am very fortunate to live in a beautiful state like Utah, and I spend a lot of time outside with my two sons and husband.
I also play keyboard in a band. Actually, it’s a bunch of executives with whom I’ve worked in the past. We’re called ManageThis. My bandmates are like my brothers, and we spend many hours together playing gigs all around the world. Lately, I’m getting into biking – probably influenced by all my colleagues at MaritzCX.
It is the people and the relationships that are most important in my life, and I make sure that I take time to enjoy the people in my life.
When did you first know you wanted to work in a field involving technology?
Clark: My father was in the military, and I grew up in Germany. We didn’t have a TV, so I read a lot. I moved to the United States to go to college where I wanted to be a librarian and took a job in the library. Part of my job was to refile the card catalog every night, which I hated. I knew the U.S. Library of Congress was already online and suggested we do something similar and get rid of the card catalog. The older women there thought I was crazy and that the card catalog would never go away. I was pretty geeky, and at that moment, I knew that technology and using technology to push things forward was what I wanted and needed to do.
Where else did you work before you joined Allegiance?
Clark: I went to work at Novell (News - Alert) Software and cut my teeth on big business and the technology world. I enjoyed my time at Novell, and I was able to meet and work with some well-known pioneers of technology including Ray Noorda the godfather of technology; Google’s past CEO, Eric Schmidt; Larry Ellison (News - Alert) from Oracle; Bill Gates from Microsoft; and many others.
After Novell, I joined Altiris, a small service-oriented management software company. I was there for five years and was part of its amazing growth. As part of the team, I helped establish Altiris (News - Alert) as a leading global technology company, growing revenues from $62 million to $230 million during a four-year period. It was an exciting time. Altiris was acquired by Symantec (News - Alert), another large software company, and at that time, I became CMO.
Then you were approached about becoming the CEO of Allegiance. Why did you make that move, and what was your mindset?
Clark: After some review of the market and company, I jumped at the chance. Shortly thereafter, Allegiance, an enterprise feedback management software company, merged with Maritz Research, a well-established market research company, to form MaritzCX, a full-service customer experience company.
I believe you should follow your passions, your heart, and you should build and create things that are special and that matter to you, your community, and the world. My beliefs are what brought me to Allegiance and MaritzCX, and I am having the time of my life. I am lucky to be surrounded by the brightest minds in the customer experience industry and the most enthusiastic team. We know that we have an amazing business opportunity and we’re enjoying making a difference for so many of our clients around the world, and for so many customers of those businesses around the world. My father taught me that if you have a vision and a plan, you can do anything.
Why did it make sense for Allegiance and Maritz Research to come together when they did?
Clark: Maritz Research was known for pioneering customer satisfaction research science and was the global leader in customer data collection, advanced analytics, market expertise, and consulting and program services. And at the time of the merger, Allegiance was a fast-growing technology company specializing in customer experience software technology. The combination of these two companies brought together the research and best practices of Maritz Research, leveraging the award-winning technology of Allegiance. This powerful combination is unlike any other customer experience company in the world.
Together, as MaritzCX, the company gives businesses around the world the ability to see and understand their customers better, to detect and respond to at-risk customers faster, and to act more personally, so they can target and continuously improve the interactions and experiences with every customer. In turn, this helps businesses increase customer retention, conversion and lifetime value, while driving greater performance in ways that they may never have thought possible.
What exactly does MaritzCX sell in terms of products and services?
Clark: We help our clients design a customer experience program aligned with the company’s growth strategies. We empower teams with award-winning MaritzCX software. We deepen insights with help from our deep research expertise. And we innovate and drive change with help from our program management.
Our products and services make up the holistic approach to CX and a CX strategy. We offer a software platform, research, and industry expertise coupled with deep vertical expertise and program management. We feel that the true value lies in the use of research, software, and programs together to help our clients achieve top business results.
Our CX software platform consists of a survey builder, text analytics, Spotlight data mining, case management or closed-loop systems, dashboards and reports, and a fast track program for surveys, dashboards, hot alerts, and best practice methodologies. Our research expertise services and programs consist of research professionals that drive CX strategy and design, data collection, advanced analytics, strategic research, mystery shopping, and program management.
If there’s just one thing people need to know about MaritzCX, what is it?
Clark: MaritzCX is the customer experience company. We are unmatched in the powerful combination of CX software, data and research science, deep vertical market expertise, and managed program services. Others have surveys and pieces, but we are the only one with the whole vision and solution.
We are a customer and a purpose-driven company. A lot of companies want to be purpose-driven, but when it comes down to it they opt for focusing on short-term profits instead of their end goal for customers. At MaritzCX, we’re all working at being an organization that makes decisions based upon our values and what we believe is best for our clients. As we continue to evolve as the agile, customer, and purpose-driven company that we want to become, we’ll do a lot of good for the world – hopefully helping companies improve their customer experiences while growing an amazing organization along the way.
I truly believe it is important to follow your passion, your heart; and build and create things that are special and that matter to you.
What are your goals for MaritzCX going forward?
Clark: We are a global business with global expansion and growth plans. We are the largest CX company in the world by revenue, by employees, and by programs, and there is so much more opportunity in the CX space today. Most companies don’t have a modern CX program. We want to change that. If we are successful, then the top business around the globe will be competing on the best metric there is: what customers think.
Edited by Maurice Nagle