Customer experience (CX) is one of the hottest topics in the business world. In their 2019 Digital Trends report, Econsultancy and Adobe found that CX is the most exciting opportunity to expand on (followed by content marketing, video marketing, and social media marketing) for Business-to-Business (B2B) companies in 2020.
CX is a key differentiator for brands. How a customer perceives one brand has a direct impact on the brand’s sales as happy customers tend to stay loyal and are more likely to recommend them to their peers.
But investing in the right software to support CX functions is not easy owing to a large number of options on the market. It is also tough because CX takes into account all the customer interactions across a variety of channels and touchpoints. Finding a product that encompasses everything relevant to a business can be difficult.
To help businesses make the right choice when investing in a customer experience software solution, we have curated this list of the three must-have tools based on their search engine results page (SERP) and search volume. (Detailed methodology at the bottom of the article.)
Qualtrics is an experience management platform with modules targeted at four aspects of experience within businesses—customer experience (CustomerXM), product experience (ProductXM), employee experience (EmployeeXM), and brand experience (BrandXM).
Qualtrics CustomerXM helps a business reach out to its customers on multiple channels (emails, text messages, etc.) and devices (wearables, internet of things (IoT) devices, etc.).
The solution breaks down feedback silos by reviewing customer interactions in different platforms, such as social media and third-party review sites, and collect and store insights centrally. These consolidated insights help identify trends and patterns in customer behavior to make more accurate predictions and enable teams to improve customer satisfaction.
We analyzed user reviews for Qualtrics CustomerXM to understand what buyers like and dislike. Here’s what we found:
|The survey tool is easy to use with drag-and-drop functionality to replicate the sections and blocks from one survey to the other.||It can take a lot of time for new users to learn how to use the tool because there are too many features.|
|The tool offers data consolidation which makes it easy to visualize data during analyses.||Reporting functionality needs improvement as they are limited to graphs. The format and pre-built templates are basic.|
Qualtrics is suitable for midsize and large businesses.
Medallia is a cloud-based platform offering modules for employee experience management, product experience management, and customer experience management. It’s unique due to its ability to address Business-to-Consumer (B2C) and Business-to-Business (B2B) experiences separately.
The B2C Customer Experience management product enables businesses and customers to communicate on different channels such as SMS, social media, and interactive voice response (IVR). Business users can leverage its real-time reporting and analytics to understand customer sentiment and experience. Further, they can create unique customer profiles based on customer interaction data from across different touchpoints.
The tool facilitates case management for handling and resolving customer issues. It allows users to capture the cause of issues in order to identify areas of improvement.
The B2B Customer Experience management product allows businesses to capture feedback from different departments at the client organization. Users can monitor accounts by segment, business unit, and geography and run analytics to identify trends and predict customer churn. This also helps in spotting issues and opportunities for upselling and cross-selling
The B2B module provides opportunities to automate workflow-based integrations with popular customer relationship management (CRM), sales, and service tools.
We analyzed user reviews for Medallia to understand what buyers liked and disliked. Here’s what we found:
|Users like that they can build and run customizable feedback surveys and send customized thank you emails.||Difficult to set up and install.|
|Provides exact scores for real-time feedback. This can help salespeople to improve customer experiences.||Not easy to use and requires technical know-how to operate.|
Medallia is suitable for all business sizes.
Zendesk Suite is a cloud-based platform that offers four distinct modules to help businesses improve their customers’ experience—Support, Guide, Chat, and Support.
Zendesk Support is a customer support and ticketing module with channel integration—it brings all support interactions to a single place, which allows teams to provide support on customers’ preferred channels. The module comes with customizable ticket forms that support agents can edit as per their requirements.
Zendesk Guide is a SEO-optimized knowledge base, integrated with Zendesk Support. It includes helpful customer service articles that can be leveraged by staff as well as the customers.
Zendesk Chat is a live messaging module that allows support agents to assist customers looking for quick help from a real person; agents can also reach out to customers proactively. It comes with real-time analytics that helps measure metrics such as customer satisfaction and agent performance.
Zendesk Talk is a call center solution built into Zendesk Support which allows agents to handle support phone calls along with other communication channels. It comes with IVR technology, group routing, and real-time queue monitoring that connects customers to the right agents to reduce wait times.
We analyzed user reviews for Zendesk to understand what buyers liked and disliked. Here’s what we found:
|Helps in managing chats with multiple clients concurrently.||Steep learning curve; navigation can be difficult for some users.|
|Offers comprehensive reporting functionality and competent ticketing.||The mobile app needs improvement as it is not smooth to operate and has bugs.|
Zendesk is suitable for businesses of all sizes.
Conclusion and next steps
Now that you have read about these tools, you need to know which tool to invest in depending on your business requirements. You can do the following:
- Know what customer experience software entails.
- Identify in which area your business needs to improve (chat, mobile, self-service, etc.) in order to improve customer experience.
- Explore the customer experience software directory on Software Advice.
- Shortlist products that offer features to assist your business in the improvement of the problem area and are within your budget.
- Consult your team members for their opinion about each shortlisted product.
- Contact software vendors and set up a demo for each shortlisted product.
Product selection methodology
- We conducted secondary research for customer experience software solutions in the week of January 27, 2020. Based on the SERP, we shortlisted the top 10 products.
- We ranked the products based on their monthly search volume and validated them against customer experience management features such as analytics, feedback management, and multichannel communication to arrive at the top three products.
Note: Listed pros and cons are derived from features listed on the product website and product user reviews on Gartner Digital Markets domains (Capterra, GetApp, and Software Advice). They do not represent the views of, nor constitute an endorsement by, Software Advice or its affiliates.