Customer Experience Software

Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice has helped hundreds of companies choose the right customer experience software to grow their businesses and increase customer loyalty.

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SurveySparrow

SurveySparrow is a cloud-based customer experience solution that enables businesses of all sizes to create engaging feedback surveys. It comes with a centralized dashboard, which allows users to import contacts and organize them i... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

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SoGoSurveyFrontRunners 2021

Companies use SoGoSurvey to gather game-changing business intelligence through its Customer Experience, Employee Experience, Survey and Assessment platforms. Transform your organization's customer experience with the SoGoCX platf... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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Delighted

Delighted is a cloud-based customer experience (CX) management solution designed to help small to large enterprises gather and analyze customer feedback by conducting surveys across multiple platforms. Users can evaluate customer ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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SurveyMonkeyFrontRunners 2021

SurveyMonkey is a cloud-based survey tool that helps users create, send and analyze surveys. Users can email surveys to respondents and post them on their websites and social media profiles to increase response rate. Users can run... Read more

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Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM is a cloud-based business management platform that caters to businesses of all sizes. It offers sales and marketing automation tools with helpdesk, analytics and customer support functions. Zoho CRM helps users respo... Read more

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Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a cloud-based reputation management and social-media solution for organizations and businesses to collaboratively carry out campaigns across various social networks such as Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. It ... Read more

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Zendesk

Zendesk is a cloud-based help desk management solution offering customizable tools to build customer service portal, knowledge base and online communities. The solution offers a customizable front-end portal, live chat features an... Read more

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Pipedrive

Pipedrive is a web-based Sales CRM and pipeline management solution that enables businesses to plan their sales activities and monitor deals. Built using activity-based selling methodology, Pipedrive streamlines every action invol... Read more

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Freshdesk

Freshdesk is a cloud-based customer service software that helps businesses provide effortless service across every customer touchpoint. Freshdesk empowers businesses to monitor customer conversations across email, phone, chat, soc... Read more

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Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk is a cloud-based help desk solution from Zoho Corporation, catering to businesses of all sizes. Key features include management of customer support tickets, a customer support portal, contract management and report creat... Read more

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FiveStars

Looking for a better way to acquire new customers and retain existing ones? Fivestars works with over 14,000 businesses across the United States and Canada to drive new shoppers into your storefront and returning 2x more than an a... Read more

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LiveAgent

LiveAgent is an online live chat platform for e-commerce businesses at the small and midsize level. The platform offers live chat application, ticket management, online self-service portals and change and license management, all a... Read more

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Userlike

Userlike is a cloud-based live chat solution that can be integrated with existing websites, enabling real-time communication between customers, employees and internal team members. It offers various customization options that let ... Read more

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TrustpilotFrontRunners 2021

Trustpilot is a customer experience management solution that helps businesses send review invitations, share reviews, manage ratings, track feedback, and more on a centralized platform. It allows administrators to configure rules ... Read more

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Salesforce Service Cloud

Service Cloud from Salesforce is a cloud-based customer service management solution that is designed to initiate customer service activities from anywhere. Built on the Salesforce1 Platform, Service Cloud works to centralize and o... Read more

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Bitrix24

Bitrix24 is a client management solution that provides a platform for businesses to organize and track interactions with potential or existing clients and partners. The software allows users to log and manage client interactions, ... Read more

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SurveyLegendFrontRunners 2021

SurveyLegend is a cloud-based survey solution for individuals and businesses of all sizes. The solution enables users to create mobile-friendly surveys, manage survey questionnaires, customize questions and track responses. S... Read more

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Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a cloud-based social media management solution that caters to businesses of all sizes and helps them to manage their audience interactions and marketing routines. Key features include automated publishing, convers... Read more

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PodiumFrontRunners 2021

Podium is a customer interaction platform that utilizes text messaging to help businesses manage customer relationships and build an online reputation on a variety of websites. Podium’s platform consolidates customer interact... Read more

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Hotjar

Hotjar is a cloud-based customer experience management platform designed to help small to large businesses track and analyze visitor's click, tap or scrolling actions across the website using heatmaps. Marketing professionals can ... Read more

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Buyers guide

Every time your customer engages with your company in any way, they're having a customer experience. This includes every touch point and interaction across the full customer life cycle: digital encounters, product experiences, interactions with employees, and even word of mouth chatter from other customers.

Research and advisory firm Gartner defines customer experience (CX) as "the customer's perceptions and related feelings caused by the one-off and cumulative effect of interactions with a supplier's employees, systems, channels, or products." (Full article available to Gartner clients.)

The question is: how much control do you have over those experiences? And—crucially—do you understand your customers' needs and preferences well enough to cater to them?

Every customer has their own mix of expectations, needs, and tolerance levels. Customers reward businesses that deliver on their preferences and will abandon those who don't. Given these high stakes, businesses are turning to CX software to better understand their customers and how to deliver the experiences they want.

In this Buyer's Guide, we'll help you understand the following:

What is customer experience software?
Common features of customer experience software
What type of buyer are you?
Benefits of customer experience software
Market trends to understand

What is customer experience software?

Customer experience software is closely related to customer relationship management (CRM) software, as well as customer feedback and customer service solutions. Where CX software differs is its focus on leveraging customer insight to create actionable improvements in the customer journey. This CX transformation can happen at the individual or organizational levels.

At the individual level, CX software distinguishes individual customers from your amorphous group of “customers," defining them instead by their personal needs and preferences. In other words, it helps you define your customers as they want to be treated: as individuals.

CX software can track individual customer behavior and preferences, flag individual customers at risk of churning, leverage predictive analytics to anticipate behavior, and suggest more personalized experiences for a customer or segment of customers.

At the organizational level, CX software can track patterns at key touch points throughout the customer journey, identifying pain points or problem areas internally. This could include, for example, a comparison of customer satisfaction scores between service channels or departments. By identifying weak areas within the organization, CX professionals can work toward company procedure changes and improve the customer experience externally.

Net Promoter Score impact analysis in CloudCherry software

Net Promoter Score impact analysis in CloudCherry software (Source)

Common features of customer experience software

Customer experience software typically offers some or all of the following functionality:

Predictive analytics Uses artificial intelligence, predictive modeling, or machine learning capabilities to provide deeper insights and/or suggested actions for how to improve the customer experience.
Survey management Allows users to design, schedule, and conduct surveys, polls, and questionnaires, as well as to collect and analyze survey data.
Data analytics Collects and presents data in order to analyze and report key findings on CX performance indicators.
Text analytics Extracts meaningful CX data from text-based interactions using natural language processing or sentiment analysis to automatically quantify and categorize text data.
Multi-channel A broad group of applications designed to monitor the performance of and/or communicate through various channels. This could email, live chat, social media, and more.
Closed loop/ticketing Tracks customer service interactions or flags customer issues and automates the issue resolution process. Creates tickets to assign agents to resolve customer issues.
Journey mapping Allows the user to visualize and customize customer journeys, or analyze customer satisfaction at specific touch points along the customer journey

What type of buyer are you?

Different companies have different approaches to CX management. One of the most significant factors affecting a company's strategy is its size and organizational structure.

Enterprise businesses: Large institutions and multinational corporations are ideal candidates for the most robust and full-featured CX platforms, due in part to the complexity of their internal organizations and the scale of their customer bases. Full CX suites can monitor customer journey changes across the organization and facilitate personalized experiences for many customers simultaneously, but are fairly pricey compared to narrower software options.

Midsize corporations: Midsize businesses can usually get by with less comprehensive CX management tools, so long as they can clearly identify all business units that impact the customer experience. Many midsize companies are finding that a certain degree of cross-department cooperation is needed to support an improved CX. Management tools that monitor interactions by sales, marketing and service departments can quickly identify internal inefficiencies that lead to a poor CX.

Small businesses: Small businesses rarely need the comprehensive CX management suites used by enterprises. Instead, they often opt for channel-specific or function-specific applications. They might, for example, choose a text analytics tool to monitor their live chat and email interactions. Alternatively, they might choose a single survey tool to gather feedback from their customers on the phone, in follow-up emails or when browsing a self-service page online.

Benefits of customer experience software

While we've covered some benefits of CX software in the sections above, here are some of the most notable ones:

Better understand customers' journeys: CX software can collect and organize customer feedback at specific points throughout the customer journey, providing insight into moments that are going well and moments that need improvement.

Close the loop on customer issues: Some CX solutions offer "closed-loop" case management functionality. This means that when customers provide negative survey feedback or raise an issue, the software automates the issue resolution process, usually by creating a support ticket so staff can act quickly.

Break down silos by consolidating customer data: Most CX software is built with integrations in mind so that departments across an organization can get a deep, unified look into the customer experience. This could include operational, transactional, attitudinal, or experiential customer data.

Personalize the customer experience: Some CX solutions offer predictive analytics capabilities that facilitate individually personalized experiences, based on past customer feedback or behavior.

Explore qualitative customer feedback in-depth: Some CX software offer text analytics tools that can quickly analyze open-ended, qualitative customer comments, such as from surveys, reviews, social media, emails, or chat logs. These tools will generally code and group comments by topic, theme, or sentiment, giving you a big picture view of qualitative data.

Market trends to understand

As CX software fragments, know what you're looking for. The CX software market overlaps heavily with related software such as CRM, customer service, customer feedback, and customer engagement—this results in a fragmented landscape. According to Gartner, as the benefits of a customer-centric approach become more well known, some vendors from related software markets are branding their products as CX solutions, which may not have full-featured CX functionality (full content available to Gartner clients).

Businesses looking for a full-featured solution will be pleased with all that a CX suite has to offer. At the same time, CX is broad, as it encompasses any and all types of customer experiences. In this way, businesses that want to focus on a particular type of customer experience or that need a specific, narrow feature set should look at CX software as well the closest related market.

FrontRunners

Your Guide to Top Customer Experience Software, April 2021

Software Advice uses reviews from real software users to highlight the top-rated Customer Experience Software products in North America.

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“Usability” includes user ratings for Functionality and Ease of Use.“Customer Satisfaction” includes user ratings for Customer Support, Likelihood to Recommend and Value for Money.Reviews analysis period: The reviews analysis period spans two years and ends on the 15th of the month prior to publication.