Qualtrics Honors Brands Delivering Personalized Experiences Through 2021 Qualtrics XM Breakthrough Artist Awards

Experience leaders from world’s top brands – including Mastercard, Kroger, and Patreon – are using customer and employee feedback as the currency of business to create more inclusive and productive workspaces, roll out new products and customize experiences

Qualtrics, the leader and creator of the experience management category, announced the winners of the 2021 XM Breakthrough Artists awards, recognizing leaders and innovators who are creating breakthrough experiences.

Chobani, Kroger, Mastercard, Mercado Libre, Patreon and UPS were recognized for their innovative and disruptive approaches in four core experiences of business — customer, employee, product and brand — as well as an added category this year: diversity, equity and inclusion.

“The pandemic forever changed the way we work and do business,” said Qualtrics’ Chief Marketing Officer, Kylan Lundeen. “These individuals, their teams, and their companies not only adapted quickly to those changes by listening to what their customers and employees were thinking and feeling, but also quickly implemented the changes that propelled their businesses forward. We’re incredibly proud of the work they’ve done to create breakthrough experiences for customers and employees.”

Mercado Libre – Experience Management Breakthrough Artist Winner

Mercado Libre is Latin America’s largest online marketplace and one of the most prominent ecommerce platforms in the world. As it’s grown, the company has used Qualtrics to cultivate close relationships with its customers to better understand the pain points that are often overlooked in the big picture.

For example, Mercado Libre switched from email to WhatsApp to ask its third-party sellers about their experiences working with the company. Almost immediately, the response rate increased by 25 percentage points. With more detailed feedback, Mercado Libre was able to identify issues it otherwise would have missed. Case in point: While a seller’s wait time between check-in and drop off at Mercado Libre’s warehouses was quick and efficient, the wait time before check-in was not. Because of that detailed feedback, the company was able to identify the issue and significantly reduce wait time at their warehouses.

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Mastercard – Customer Experience Breakthrough Artist Winner

Mastercard has always put the customer at the center of its focus but realized that it also needed to centralize the fragmented customer experience efforts across the company to create a truly customer-focused culture. With Qualtrics, the company formed a “center of excellence” that breaks down barriers between departments and allows for the share of information, data and customer feedback so departments can better understand what actions they should take to improve.

In 2019, the Mastercard billing department faced some negative feedback from customers who said they were often finding it difficult to reconcile bills or understand why they were being charged for certain things. Based on the feedback, the department realized that many customers were unaware of tools that could help them, so the department conducted webinars and trainings with customers on those resources, and their customer satisfaction scores rose by 11%.

Kroger – Employee Experience Breakthrough Artist Winner

As the nation’s largest grocer, Kroger has made it a priority to not only listen to the voices of its employees but to also take action on that feedback. During the pandemic, this became even more important as many of the retailer’s associates became essential workers, meeting the grocer’s obligation to keep safe, fresh and affordable food readily available for its communities. Suddenly, Kroger had to quickly make important decisions to safeguard its associates and customers.

With Qualtrics, Kroger established a variety of different ways to listen to its workers, leveraging all communication channels, including the company’s employee-facing intranet and mobile app signage with QR codes placed in break rooms and embedded links in written communication. But Kroger also believes listening is a two-way street. If employees give feedback, Kroger knows it must be ready to take action and then communicate why they did so.

Chobani – Product Experience Breakthrough Artist Winner

As a leader in the market, Chobani knows yogurt inside out – from customer expectations and packaging, to what flavors are most popular. But for its new oat milk venture, it needed to start from scratch.

Using Qualtrics, Chobani ran studies to understand consumption of milk products (dairy and non-dairy) and what variables were important to customers, such as taste, texture, nutrition, and cost. At the time, with oat milk still a small segment of the overall non-dairy milk category, Chobani wanted to ensure it was understanding where other non-dairy offerings were missing the mark. Chobani also used Qualtrics to identify and target new customers, looking beyond those who were just lactose intolerant to those who were turning to non-dairy options to diversify their diet.

The insights team is still listening to customers — but they’re increasingly tapping into Qualtrics’ capabilities to glean deeper, more meaningful insights at every stage of the product life cycle.

Patreon – Brand Experience Breakthrough Artist Winner

When Patreon was founded, the phrase “creator economy” wasn’t on most people’s radars. Since then, and especially during the pandemic, the creator economy has become almost ubiquitous — with Patreon at the center of it all. In such a rapidly-changing industry, Patreon has relied on Qualtrics to track and better understand its brand and the perceptions fans, creators and even aspiring creators have of the company, as well as the creator landscape.

Patreon found, for example, that most fans believe creators should keep a majority of what they earn, so the company leaned into that unique aspect of its platform in its marketing. During the pandemic, Patreon also discovered a huge need for direct fan-to-creator relationship building when venues and other intermediaries shut down, and they’ve been able to lean into the void created by canceled events.

And it seems to have paid off. In December 2021, Patreon passed $3.5 billion paid to creators on the platform, over $1 billion of which was paid in 2021 alone.

UPS – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Breakthrough Artist Winner

With more than 534,000 employees worldwide, UPS strives to reflect and resonate with the communities it serves globally by ensuring that every employee feels welcome and has a place at UPS. As part of that effort, UPS frequently asks employees about their psychological safety and emotional well-being and, with Qualtrics, is able to dive deeper into that data and understand sentiments and behaviors — including the ways various groups and demographics respond differently to the survey and why.

This insight is then given to international DEI representatives in each business unit who are responsible for acting on those insights and supporting employee career growth and development, including focusing on the career growth and promotion of underrepresented groups, working with leading schools and institutions to help upskill the workforce and providing mentorship and training.

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