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Sprinklr's AI digital twin for CX emulates whole companies

Sprinklr CEO Ragy Thomas 'bets the company' on its moonshot digital twin technology that emulates a whole customer's organization, with AI assistance, to complete CX tasks.

Sprinklr, well-known for its social media listening platform, took on most of the rest of the CX technology world today when it released an integrated AI-automated marketing, service, social and survey platform it names Digital Twin.

Digital Twin is an AI-powered copy of an actual organization that can automate large swaths of customer interactions. First, users clone their companies and brands, which look and speak like chatbots do today. Then they can use it to replicate teams within the company and their functions -- after that, individual employees.

Sprinklr had previously released some of the components of its Digital Twin, such as its contact center as a service (CCaaS) and content marketing platforms. Sprinklr CEO Ragy Thomas believes contact centers need to become digital-first, and he believes the company can take on market leaders such as Genesys and Avaya with this launch.

"The contact center today is voice based, and most of the time voice is the last option [we, as customers, want]," Thomas said. "How can voice be the first option for the brand when it's the last option for the customer?"

He added that Sprinklr has a "social media pedigree -- a digital pedigree -- so it's not an afterthought."

Defining digital twins for CX

Digital twins can connote different things in the tech world. They date back to 1970, by some accounts, when NASA simulated the successful crew rescue for the aborted Apollo 13 moon landing.

More recently, digital twins have been used to simulate outcomes in product design, manufacturing operations, healthcare, supply chain, energy consumption and traffic design. In enterprise IT, they can be used to simulate whole networks and for data security.

In CX, digital twins typically refer to marketing audiences, where the AI tool simulates an audience in a demographic, based on known customers' behaviors. A marketing operation can run predictive analytics on a promotion using the digital twin of their target audience -- for example, people from San Francisco who eat sourdough bread -- to see how those customers might respond. This helps marketing teams determine how to spend their marketing budgets.

Integrating customer data on one platform

Sprinklr's digital twin simulates an entire business's operations, including CX workflows and contact center agents, to provide better, more personalized customer experiences, from social media to marketing to customer service. Users build their company's digital twin with a no-code interface and more than 100 data connectors to common enterprise apps.

Sprinklr's Digital Twin puts together service and marketing into one integrated system fueled by its own customer communications data. It also integrates social media data that often presages a customer's interaction with a company.

Sprinklr Digital Twin task builder.
Sprinklr's Digital Twin has a task-builder interface for low-code workflow design.

Thomas envisions service-heavy companies in the travel and hospitality, financial services and healthcare verticals to be the first to apply Sprinklr Digital Twins as AI accelerators to their CX operations.

Once fully operational, if negative data from a customer comes in on any of its communication channels, the company will be alerted in time to save the customer relationship. If it's positive, it will give the company a chance to capitalize on upsell opportunities. At least, that's the idea.

Such an approach could serve positively as a buffer between a company's AI strategy development and implementation, said Dan Miller, founder of Opus Research. It could save a company from making a rash decision and wasting capital and resources on tech that isn't a good fit for their organization.

"Enterprises think they're engaged in an AI adoption strategy that requires they do something right now. But we're starting a set of processes that are going to be years in the making," Miller said. "Sprinklr's framework is to develop digital twins -- first for your company, then for teams in your company, and then for individual employees. And that's going to be many years in the making."

Then again, Miller said, it could be risky for Sprinklr to invest in an AI product that requires such a long game in a market that is looking for short-term victories. Furthermore, the idea of a digital twin and how it fits into a prospective customer's business operations will take a "certain amount of explaining," he said.

But Thomas sees Digital Twin as central to the growth of Sprinklr, which he founded in 2009.

"Digital Twin is what we're betting the company on -- it's a radical productivity play," Thomas said. "Our digital twin sits on top of the platform we've built for 14 years, and it's leveraging everything we've built."

Sprinklr also takes on Medallia, Qualtrics

As if going after the contact center market with its two-year-old CCaaS as well as the marketing automation sector with social listening tools and content marketing platform isn't enough, Sprinklr also released Sprinklr Surveys. The AI-powered customer feedback management system uses generative AI to design surveys customized to vertical industries. It also lets users test potential survey questions against existing social media and review data.

Survey data is getting increasingly difficult to acquire, both Miller and Thomas said. Customers who respond to surveys tend to be outliers -- very happy or very upset. It's the middle of that spectrum, the majority of customers that are neither exuberant nor angry, that yields valuable marketing data around which campaigns can be designed.

That's where Thomas hopes that the addition of social listening data and the data-querying capabilities of generative AI will help users make more customized, interactive surveys that engage the silent, average customers. More importantly, marketing teams won't need to survey customers if they can derive the data they need from existing unstructured social listening data.

"Who the hell wants to answer a survey? It blows my mind," Thomas said. "I think asking me a question means you're dumb enough to not listen in the first place. If I love your [product], I'm talking about it, and I've left reviews. If I hate [it], I've done the same thing. If I have nothing to say, I have nothing to say."

Don Fluckinger is a senior news writer for TechTarget Editorial. He covers customer experience, digital experience management and end-user computing. Got a tip? Email him.

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