On the heels of last week's announcement of a new $46 million round of funding (which put the valuation of the company in the billion-dollar category), social media management platform Sprinklr announced the acquisition of online community platform provider Get Satisfaction.
Get Satisfaction becomes the fifth acquisition for Sprinklr in less than a year and a half, as the company builds out what they're labeling their Experience Cloud, a platform they say will enable enterprise brands to create, manage, and deliver relevant experiences across almost 25 social channels and brand websites.
In a conversation with Get Satisfaction's CEO, Rahul Sachdev, and Sprinklr's VP of Marketing, Jeremy Epstein, it became clear that the goal is to integrate Get Sat's customer community platform with Sprinklr's capacity to manage interactions across social channels. This will give their customers the ability to create connected, relevant experiences that cross owned (company websites and support communities) and third-party (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) channels - throughout the entire customer journey.
Sachdev said that Get Satisfaction's original mission was to provide a platform that connected companies with customers online, with the expectation that important new value could be created on both sides. This kind of relationship would empower customers by facilitating their ability to answer each other's questions, and implement ideas growing out of the community. This would increase the likelihood of winning their loyalty and advocacy.
Marrying Get Sat's ability to manage experiences on owned properties like websites, blogs and support communities fills a hole for Sprinklr, which originally focused on unifying the experiences taking place on social networks that aren't owned by their customers.
Sachdev will join Sprinklr as Vice President of the First Party Experience (FPX) business unit. FPX will be charged with unifying the customer experience for their customers' owned properties across the customer lifecycle - from marketing to them, selling to them, servicing them, and creating loyalty and advocacy. Sachdev and the FPX unit will also work to integrate with Sprinklr's social platform to create the ability to manage experiences across channels, functions and processes.
Epstein says Sprinklr's approach to building their Experience Cloud is based on an outside-in foundation that has the customer at its core. This approach required them to start with an architecture designed for bidirectional communication, and then integrate existing back office technologies. Sachdev agrees, saying their job is to make sure they start with the customer, allow their experience to be seamless, and to deliver it through a technology platform such that the organization can maintain the internal silos required to bring scale and efficiency. But as important as the siloed applications are to internal operations, it is important to abstract that from customers as those applications are of no concern to them: they are only looking for positive interactions leading to great customer experiences, regardless of what channel they take place in.
All in all I think this makes sense from both sides of the equation. The competition Get Satisfaction was facing as a standalone customer community platform was pretty intense. So becoming a key piece in Sprinklr's Experience Cloud allows them to connect and grow their community capabilities to a robust social marketing management platform. And Sprinklr can now help their customers connect and more directly transfer experiences taking place on social channels to more intimate settings owned by them - thus having more control and being able to add more context, relevance and shared value.
The two companies seem to be in lock step from a philosophical and cultural point of view - which is incredibly important. The key to the success of the Experience Cloud rests on how the actual integration of the platforms progresses, and the ability for Sprinklr to continue to develop the architecture to smooth the way for other acquisitions they make as they continue to build out their Experience Cloud - and distinguish it from other business cloud players focusing on improving customer experiences.