By Paula Courtney,
CEO – The Verde Group
It’s now well understood 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 — an industry that’s expected to grow rapidly from about $1 billion currently to more than $5 billion by 2028.
Many of the major platforms today, such as Qualtrics, Forsta, InMoment and Medallia, all market to potential clients as an easy-to-use do-it-yourself platform.
The reality, however, is 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 the expertise, dedicated resources and time commitment 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 it, 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
That’s because, beyond choosing a 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. CX 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 customer experience 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 you’re 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 dedicate internal resources to become subject matter experts in CX
- Don’t underestimate the difficulty of running a well-executed CX measurement strategy — see #2 and #3
- Don’t expect a miracle or silver bullet — measuring platforms are powerful tools but, without the proper investment, commitment and expertise, they won’t be used to their full potential.