Practical CXA

Overall Satisfaction with IBM Watson Customer Experience Analytics

We leverage IBM CXA predominantly in support of clients. We do, however, use it against our own web assets to understand customer journeys. Predominantly, we help clients first create a simulation to identify customer experience issues or opportunities and create a hypothesis. In collaboration with the company, we then establish a proof of concept using real customer transactions to validate our initial findings and confirm areas of opportunity.

Whilst there are many low-cost tools that provide insight into user activity and indeed offer session replay, this is an invalid basis for analysis; the focus is on raw data and not drawing conclusions from user activity. IBM CXA is particularly strong for transactional assets such as an eStore. It can, however, be applied to any situation involving user activity.

A particularly strong aspect of IBM CXA is the core foundation it sits upon - UBX or Universal Behaviour Exchange. Not only is the capture of user behaviour through activity automatically recorded, but other, physical activity can also be channeled into the solution e.g. physical store purchases, call centre interactions, etc.

IBM CXA is, therefore, in a strong position to represent entire customer journeys and not simply digital ones.
  • IBM CXA comprises an acquisition called Tealeaf. This tool has deep heritage and this is evident in its present-day capabilities.
  • The Universal Behaviour Exchange or UBX puts the concept of personalisation at the forefront. The ability to combine physical (analog) and digital transactions to create the complete picture of a customer journey, is a stand out benefit.
  • The solution does not have to involve the purchase of software. IBM CXA can be sold as a service bundled with analytics as a service. This not only lowers the cost of ownership, it gets around one of the principal issues. Strong staff with design and analytical capability to drive the solution and deliver tangible benefits.
  • The seamless integration of Watson AI services to help with the heavy lifiting. Watson reinforces the analytical focus this solution has and can learn to recognise situations specific to a company.
  • IBM CXA leverages script tagging to inspect specific behaviour patterns. A tagging engine against your web assets is a must-have to simplify script insertion and avoid having to leverage internal IT resources to modify web code.
  • Tag management is perhaps the most challenging aspect of IBM CXA. In our view, this could be abstracted further and therefore simplified.
  • We would like to see connectors with UBX to common platforms such as CRM, marketing automation. The more this is readily available, the quicker the time to value for clients.
  • The ROI question needs to be focused on clients and not our use internally. We leverage this as a platform for designing customer journeys for our clients.
  • The ROI case is far easier to make for eCommerce operators. Customer journey failings can be easily quantified and seemingly simple issues can generate large ROI outcomes. For web assets without a trading bias, ROI can be established using notional value attribution. For example, a lead for motor insurance that is lost can be costed based on average policy value over a typical lifetime; struggle on a customer self-service portal can be quantified on the cost of handling through a call centre; etc.
The alternative products mentioned differ wildly.

Adobe Analytics is similar to IBM CXA although not as strong for transactional web assets (eStores). In keeping with IBM CXA, integration with Adobe's own suite of products is strong. However, in a heterogeneous environment, this integration does not count.

Lucky Orange is a low-cost tool that will facilitate session replay of individual customer journeys. This solution does not scale since no one is going to observe 1,000+ customer interactions to deduce issues or failings. This is not suitable for large web assets.

The main reason we chose to work with IBM CXA was the ability to cover analog and digital scenarios by leveraging UBX. This was a major reason for us in designing customer experiences since they are naturally a mix of these two domains.


HubSpot, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, ARIS Business Process Management (BPM)
  • As mentioned earlier, transactional heavy web assets such as eStores are particularly strong candidates.
  • IBM CXA along with other, similar tools, is not set-and-forget. The solution must be well managed in order to deliver value. Purchase of the solution is one thing; driving analytic results is another. If a company's staff are not strong analytical thinkers, CXA will not help. IBM CXA is not just a technology platform - it is a basis to design strong customer touchpoints and interactions. You need to be customer journey design literate to get the best from this.