The best customer experience platforms make it easy to collect and analyse customer feedback in order to optimise sales and marketing efforts, and increase customer loyalty.
In this post, we’ll look at some of the key enterprise players, including Qualtrics, Adobe, and Medallia. We’ll talk about what customer experience platforms are and how they can help you improve your customer experience strategies. Then we’ll compare the pros and cons of each platform so that you can make an informed decision about which one is the best fit for your business.
What is a Customer Experience Platform?
A Customer Experience Platform, sometimes called CXP, CXM or CEM software, helps businesses manage the customer experience throughout the customer journey. These platforms often provide a suite of tools to collect customer feedback, measure customer satisfaction, and track customer engagement.
They also provide a way to track customer data and report on feedback so that businesses can identify areas of improvement and take action to improve the customer experience.
Why use a Customer Experience Platform?
Customer experience is fast becoming a key differentiator for businesses. According to PWC research, providing a great experience pays off: up to a 16% price premium on products and services, plus increased loyalty.
To consistently deliver great customer experiences, businesses need to better understand customer behaviour and turn customer feedback into actionable insights, quickly and efficiently. This means creating and managing surveys, capturing customer data, and analysing feedback to identify areas of improvement.
Without customer experience management software, this process can be cumbersome, time-consuming, and expensive. A CXM or CX platform helps businesses automate these processes so that they can focus on delivering great customer experiences.
Customer Experience vs. Experience Marketing Platforms
Experience marketing (XM) platforms are very similar to other customer experience management platforms. The key difference is that instead of focusing on customer service solutions, the tools available on an XM platform are designed specifically for marketers.
While Experience Marketing platforms will have essential CX features, like survey builders and feedback analytics, they will also include additional tools such as QR code generators, lead gen forms, landing page builders, and referral tracking.
Customer Experience Management vs. Customer Relationship Management (CXM vs. CRM)
You may already be familiar with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms like Salesforce, Monday, and SugarCRM. CRM software is designed to help sales teams manage their customer relationships, track sales data, and automate sales processes.
While CRM and CXM platforms share some common features, they are two different beasts entirely. CRM software is focused on the sales process, while CXM software is focused on the customer experience.
How to choose the best customer experience solution for your business
There are many different feedback management, customer experience management, and experience marketing platforms available on the market — but which one is right for you?
Enterprise vs SME Platforms
If you are a large enterprise organisation with different departments and teams, you might want to consider a platform that offers integrations with other software, such as your CRM platform. This will ensure there is no duplication of effort between departments and that all teams are working in sync. If you are a smaller business, then perhaps you would prefer a more cost-effective option that still has all the main features!
Here we compare the best customer experience software on the market today, looking at each of their unique features and benefits to help you decide which one will be your perfect match.
When it comes to customer experience platforms, there is a wide range of features available. The key is to choose a platform that has the features you need, without paying for unnecessary extras.
Some of the essential features you might want to look for include:
When reviewing the features of each CX platform, be sure to consider the business outcome you are hoping to achieve. This will ensure you choose a platform with the right mix of features for your needs.
Reporting and analytics
Unstructured customer data is useless without the ability to analyse and make sense of it. The best CX platforms will offer reporting and analytics tools to help you understand customer behaviour.
Some of the things you might want to look for in a reporting tool include:
- The ability to segment data
- The ability to build custom reports
- Real-time updates
- Data visualision and interactive analytics
The ability to export data and reports is also important, as you may need to share your insights with other departments and teams.
Remember that the purpose of reporting and analytics tools is to unlock customer insights that help you make data-driven decisions and better understand customer behaviour. Using real feedback about customer expectations and the actual customer experience will ensure you are always one step ahead.
Ease of Use
When it comes to customer experience platforms, ease of use is essential. If you or your team find a CX platform difficult to use, it’s unlikely to be used regularly, which means valuable customer feedback will be missed.
The best customer experience platforms on the market today are built with usability in mind. They have intuitive interfaces that make it easy for your team to create surveys, capture customer data, and generate reports.
TRACX, for example, has a drag-and-drop survey builder that makes it easy for anyone to create complex surveys and capture great customer insights, without any prior experience.
Integrations are essential for enterprise businesses, as they allow different departments to work together without duplication of effort. For example, you might want your customer experience platform to integrate with your CRM software, so that customer data can be shared between departments.
Some of the most popular integrations for customer experience platforms include:
While most customer experience platforms offer some level of integration, enterprise platforms will usually have a wider range of options.
It’s important to note that properly configuring these integrations can be complex, so it’s important to ensure you have the resources in place to do this.
Ease of Setup
When you’re ready to purchase your customer experience solution, the last thing you want is a long and complicated process. This is one of the key differences between SME CX platforms and Enterprise CX solutions.
SME-focused CX platforms, like TRACX, are designed to be quick and easy to purchase. You can sign up for a free trial in minutes, with no commitment, and start using the platform immediately.
In contrast, enterprise solutions can take weeks or even months to purchase and set up. This is because they usually require a lengthy assessment and approval process, as well as customisation to fit the needs of every stakeholder in the business.
Once you’ve chosen a platform and started using it, you’ll want to be sure that you have a reliable support team to help you with any issues that might arise.
When considering customer experience platforms, it’s important to look at the quality of support on offer. This can include:
- Live chat support
- Phone support
- Online documentation
- Training resources
When considering the support on offer, it’s important to think about both the quality and the availability. For example, some platforms only offer support during business hours, while others have 24/7 support.
It’s also important to consider whether the support team is based in your country, or whether they are outsourced. This can impact the speed and quality of support you receive.
The cost of a customer experience management platform will vary depending on the size of your business and the features you need. SME-focused CX platforms, like TRACX, can cost as little as $19 per month, while an enterprise platform like Qualtrics can be thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars per month.
When choosing your CX platform, it’s important to consider not only the monthly cost, but also the cost of training your team and the time it will take them to get up and running with the software.
You should also be aware of limits or excess fees, such as platforms that charge per survey or per response. It is common for some platforms to limit the number of users or surveys you can have, so it’s important to check this before signing up.
Ease of Doing Business
The final factor to consider when choosing a customer experience management platform is the ease of doing business with the vendor.
This includes factors such as:
- The length of the contract
- The cancellation policy
- The payment terms
- Service level agreements
- Pilot or trial periods
- Product direction
When considering the ease of doing business with a CX vendor, it’s important to think about your own business needs and objectives.
For example, if you’re a small business, you might want a shorter contract so that you can switch platforms if you’re not happy with the results. In contrast, an enterprise business might be willing to sign a longer contract in exchange for a lower monthly price.
Larger SMEs in the mid-market can have enterprise business requirements. Finding a vendor that offers a pilot or trial period can be helpful in this situation, so that you can try out the platform before committing to a long-term contract.
Finally, it’s important to consider the product direction of the vendor. Are you looking to partner with a large, established vendor that offers a powerful enterprise toolkit but is slow to respond to market trends?
Or are you looking for a smaller, agile vendor that is quickly innovating and adding new features to their platform? The answer to this question will depend on your own business needs and objectives.
The Best Enterprise Customer Experience Platforms
Medallia Experience Cloud
Medallia Experience Cloud is a customer feedback management software platform that is used by some of the world’s largest brands – from Airbnb to Samsung. Medallia offers a comprehensive customer experience platform that is well suited to the needs of large enterprise clients, as indicated by 67% of G2 reviews coming from enterprise users.
Qualtrics Customer XM
Qualtrics Customer XM is a leader in digital customer experience management software. Qualtrics is heavily focused on meeting the needs of enterprise clients and offers a range of features that are well suited to large businesses, including advanced analytics, machine learning, and integrations with other business software.
Adobe Experience Platform
Adobe are well known for their creative software, but they also offer a range of enterprise-level customer experience management tools. Adobe Experience Platform is a comprehensive solution that integrates with various Adobe and non-Adobe tools, including Adobe Audience Manager and web analytics, making it a great choice for businesses that already use Adobe software.
InMoment (formerly Wootric)
InMoment Customer Experience (formerly Wootric Customer Experience) offers a cloud-based customer feedback platform that helps enterprise businesses collect, measure, and act on customer feedback. InMoment’s software is designed to work with other business software, including Salesforce and Hubspot, making it a great choice for large businesses that need an enterprise customer data platform.
SAS Customer Experience
SAS Customer Experience is a customer experience management platform that is designed specifically for the needs of financial services organisations. SAS offers a comprehensive platform that uses AI and fintech technologies to increase customer lifetime value with customer journey optimisation and real-time customer experience techniques.
SMG – Service Management Group
SMG – Service Management Group is a customer experience software company that “helps brands get smarter about their customers, patients, and employees”. SMG’s unique selling point is software with a service – a model that blends professional services with data analytics to help enterprise businesses improve customer experience.
The Best Customer Experience Platforms for SMEs
TRACX is a cloud platform that is designed for small and medium businesses. TRACX offers an affordable, easy-to-use experience marketing platform that helps SMEs improve customer satisfaction and increase customer loyalty, and use customer feedback to drive growth.
Delighted is a customer feedback management software platform that offers a range of features, including Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys, customer analytics, and automated reminders. Delighted is a good choice for businesses that want to collect feedback without the need for an enterprise-level solution.
Hubspot Service Hub
HubSpot Service Hub is a customer service software that helps businesses manage customer interactions across all channels, including phone, email, chat, social media, and self-service. HubSpot Service Hub is designed to work with other HubSpot software, including Hubspot CRM, making it a great choice for businesses that already use Hubspot software.
Zendesk Support is a cloud-based customer service software that helps businesses manage customer service and support. Zendesk offers a range of digital customer support features that are well suited to the needs of enterprise businesses, including live chat, analytics and reporting.
The bottom line is that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to customer experience platforms. The best CX platform for your business will depend on a number of factors, including the size of your business, your budget, and your specific needs and objectives.
Medallia and Qualtrics are both enterprise-level customer experience platforms that offer a wide range of features and integrations. Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) is also a comprehensive platform, but is geared towards enterprises.
If you’re a small or medium-sized business, TRACX may be a better option as it is SME-focused, quick and easy to purchase, offers a more affordable price point and a smaller learning curve.