(Article originally published on April 26, 2022, updated on May 17, 2023.)
It has been established that a company’s long-term success greatly depends on measuring and understanding all dimensions of the customer experience (CX) — deliver experiences that set your organization apart and solve the most damaging customer problems and, by doing so, you’ll boost consumer spending and loyalty.
Companies are spending heavily to get the most out of their CX measurement initiatives, including through the use of measurement platforms. According to FMI, the CX platforms market is expected to grow rapidly from about $9.8 billion in 2023 to more than $39.1 billion by 2033. Current trends suggest that small and medium-sized businesses are increasingly investing in CX platforms. Growth is also fueled by things like cloud-based platforms, big data analytics, customer journey mapping, and artificial intelligence (AI). Despite this growth in CX platforms, one in five companies is expected to cut their CX teams altogether in 2023.
Many of the major platforms today, such as Qualtrics, Forsta, InMoment, and Medallia, all market to potential clients as an easy-to-use platform. The reality, however, is that many corporate decision-makers make substantial investments in shiny do-it-yourself CX platforms to manage and improve their customers’ overall experience only to realize later that expertise, dedicated resources, and extensive time are needed to make the most of these tools. It may seem easy at the start — after all, who can’t develop a simple survey? — but the nuts and bolts of running a CX platform, the requirements of designing proper sampling strategies, asking the right questions at the right time, and building dashboards that bring value to the organization all turn out to be more complex and daunting than anticipated. This often leads to these powerful platforms being underutilized — for instance by only conducting safe and easy internal employee surveys — or abandoning these platforms altogether.
Platforms Work Best Complemented by Expertise
Beyond choosing a CX platform, the greatest challenge to designing high ROI CX improvement strategies is the ability to uncover which experiences matter most to market performance — and which don’t. Customer experience is complicated to understand and deliver, and it takes careful work to identify and financially quantify the specific experiences that will lead to greater loyalty, spend, and market share.
Don’t get us wrong: measuring platforms can be powerful tools to gain knowledge and insights about customers, take action and unlock revenue — and, in fact, Verde Group works closely with and offers strategic guidance to several leading CX platform providers and their clients. But, at the end of the day, these tools work best when complemented by expertise that helps deliver their full potential. A good analogy might be the difference between buying wood to build your own deck versus hiring a designer and contractor to help you do it professionally and to your full satisfaction.
Designing and delivering successful CX is best accomplished when a CX platform’s dynamic visualization capabilities, scalable distribution, and integration of key CX data are combined with a proven analytical methodology, one that’s purposefully designed to understand why customers behave the way they do.
If your company is evaluating and considering investing in a CX platform, here are a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind:
- Do invest in a platform that has a well-established external support community.
- Do look for strategic partners that can accelerate your CX improvements.
- Do build an expert team with design and data experience in CX platforms.
- Don’t underestimate the difficulty of running a well-executed CX measurement strategy — see #2 and #3.
- Don’t expect a miracle or panacea — measuring platforms are powerful tools but without the proper investment, commitment, and expertise, they won’t be used to their full potential.