Do you remember the story of the princess and the pea?
The fairy tale centers around a young woman who’s in line to be the wife of a prince. Before marriage, the king asks her to sleep on, not one, but a stack of royal mattresses every night. Why? The king wants to test if the princess is sensitive enough to be worthy of his son – and listen to the people to govern the land responsibly.
So the king sticks one single pea underneath the eligible princess’s heap of mattresses every night. And every following morning he asks how she slept.
“Not so great,” is her reply. The king is delighted to know she’s honest.
But is the princess-to-be perceptive? After a month of receiving the same answer every morning, the king removes the pea and asks the woman the same question the next morning
“How did you sleep?” asks the king. Perfect, she says. And like that she’s vetted as royal material. She and the prince live happily ever after: you know the rest. This classic fairy tale testifies to how truly crucial experience is. We marketers know this better than anyone.
Gartner reports that 89% of marketers expect customer experience to be their primary differentiator this year. We all want our customers to get the royal treatment. To review us honestly and give us candid feedback. Sadly, not all customers will be so forthcoming as the princess. Most just wave goodbye…
In order to give customers the royal treatment SMEs have adopted customer experience management platforms to make sure our customers feel well accommodated throughout the entire customer journey.
Customer experience tools optimize the interactions from the perspective of the customer. Real-time data from channels such as live chat, social, website, and support calls gets integrated with existing customer data which then combines with CRM and Marketing Automation platforms. This gives companies the power to track, oversee, organize, and guide their customer experience like never before.
These systems allow us to differentiate the brand experience from the rest despite increasingly complex data from expanding customer touchpoints. Meet and exceed customer expectations by designing campaigns and reacting to customer feedback seamlessly. This is how the modern marketer increases customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy at scale.
Today we’ll leverage user testimonials and reviews to provide a 360-view of the top 10 customer experience management software available today.
#1 Acquia Lift
Acquia Lift is a Drupal-based personalization platform. Aimed at optimizing digital interactions between companies and users, Acquia Lift’s agile features include drag-and-drop content targeting, behavioral targeting, segmentation functions, profile merging, and A/B testing.
The syndication hub streamlines content management and data inputs while reducing workload by integrating with any enterprise CMS. Ultimately, Acquia Lift is a CEM tool with easy UI that helps marketers create a meaningful customer experience.
“Gaining insight about our readers is a core part of how we can create a great experience for all. With Lift we’re building better profiles of our customers and subscribers to deliver precisely the right content, and we more broadly track and observe visitor behavior to improve the experience for everyone and create new business and revenue opportunities for our organization.— Ingo Ruebe, CTO of Burda Magazine Holding AG, via Acquia
Totango is a customer success platform that focuses on finding and monitoring KPIs that help SaaS companies deliver an optimized customer experience. The Totango platform gives teams automatic warnings for at-risk customers, feedback management, and incident reporting.
This customer experience management software uses predictive data and machine learning to create customer profiles. With flexible integrations across your existing systems, you can create engagement rankings per customer and customer segments. You can also take action on your customer data with automated and personalized campaigns for customer onboarding and feature adoption.
“Totango is currently being used by the entire organization in order to track our customers’ engagement with the product, their general health, as well as to segment our customer base, keep track of the current and past MRR and revenue/other cost metrics, and finally as a platform that facilitates email campaigns.
- Easy to set up health metrics
- Email campaigns with included goals and statistics in relation to them
- Account segmentation
- Various minor bugs and glitches
- Inability to remove accounts/users yourself
- Revenue center is still very basic— George Markou, Customer Success Manager at Schoox Learning Management, via TrustRadius
“Retroactive actions: Today, Totango is not able to understand past data and make changes on customer’s health based on that, which is a representative gap when you don’t have real-time integration with your product.” — Cecilia Prado, Digital Marketing Coordinator at Mind Lab Brasil, via TrustRadius
#3 SaaSquatch Referral Marketing Suite
The SaaSquatch Platform helps companies improve their customer experience by connecting loyal advocates and potential customers through highly personalized offers. As the customer experience management ecosystem continues to mature SMEs are looking to compliment their CEM platforms with marketing clouds that improve the customer journey with segmented loyalty and referral campaigns.
With SaaSquatch’s segmented advocacy campaigns you can encourage and reward real-time customer loyalty. The SaaSquatch platform helps SMEs orchestrate campaigns across multiple customer touchpoints and drill-down into individual channel performance in a holistic analytics dashboard.
“The SaaSquatch team puts a lot of care in their interactions with their customers and are always willing to help out in a pinch to get a program up and running at the last minute. I cannot say enough good things about how the SaaSquatch team has handled our partner relationship.”— Muhammad Saleem, via TouchBistro
“Referral SaaSquatch allowed us to implement a robust, double-sided, referral system that saved us time as we didn’t need to build or test something ourselves. Having their team jump in and help out with integration to meet a tight timeline was incredible.” — Sean Washington, via Octopus Creative
Highly ranked as a multi-channel customer service platform, Freshdesk is a full suite CEM. Features like a community platform, ticketing desk, and knowledge base come standard. Automate email responses between tickets and forum questions for fast responses, plus integrated phone support, chat and gamification.
Team-wide support interfacing allows for support agent collaborating, access social channels for rapid responses, send surveys, get reports with key KPIS, and more. Freshdesk allows a great degree of flexibility for any industry.
“It’s pretty much everything you expect out of a ticket management system – tickets, knowledgebase, ticket escalation, reporting, integration with external tools like SalesForce and Jira.
The lower pricing tiers get you a lot for the money but are missing a couple of components I consider key. For example, on the mid tier, you can’t create basic text blocks on the “Open Ticket” page so customers can receive instructions on how to fill out the form. I think this should be available across all tiers – not just when you spend a few hundred extra per month for the tier that includes branding and full customization.
One other major missing feature is it doesn’t show recommendations for existing knowledgebase articles or prior tickets when agents are responding to customers. Customers see this when creating new tickets, but our agents have to manually search the old tickets and the knowledgebase to find info that might be relevant to the ticket they have open.” — Christopher L., Strategist at Suredone Ecommerce, via G2Crowd
What do you dislike?
“Needs the ability to retrieve emails (if an email has been sent to the wrong customer or with sensitive information accidentally) as you would in outlook.
Needs the ability to drag and drop attachments into ticket responses without needing to “browse”. Would speed up processing of tickets and ease of use.
Custom Dashboard views would be an improvement as well.
Ability to search for a contact or customer in the “Contacts” portal rather than scrolling through the alphabetical list.”— Kieran P., Sales Manager at John Morris Group Science Instruments, via G2Crowd
#5 Satmetrix NPX
No stranger to big data, the Satmetrix customer experience management tool centers around the Customer Graph. This feature provides a comprehensive 360-view of the customer journey via high-volume data sets from any source.
By attaching customer feedback to the corresponding data and creating a sensible visualization to match. Strong features like sharing between teams, robust analytics, pre-defined templates, triggered follow-up messaging, manager reporting, flexible integrations, and a configurable platform to manage it all.
What do you like best?
“SatMetrix has a very user friendly, intuitive survey builder. They also have great analytics and the ability to create custom dashboards.
What do you dislike?
Our implementation was not carried out well. We had issues with upgrades that were not tested properly prior to release.
Recommendations to others considering the product
Ensure everything is fully tested prior to implementation. Also ensure upgrades are done with your knowledge and with testing. Be aware that many e-mails that go out to sponsors need to be users so this may result in additional costs to your company.
There are many options when it comes to analytics and that is very useful when dealing with different levels of management who want to see different reports.” — Lawrence K., Training Manager at OpenLink Financial Services, via G2Crowd
IBM’s cloud-based ResponseTek customer experience management tool pulls customer feedback into a real-time interface that allows companies to drive more successful conversations. The Listen feature lets you capture customer voice feedback in any language, and across any device.
Triggered alerts and actions allow helps companies builds targeted messaging and support follow-ups, while performance management tools for employees ensures optimal customer service. Real-time reporting and analytics delivers insights to bring this CEM tool full circle.
“With the use of ResponseTek:CEM, you can provide a satisfying experience to your customers. It is because you can easily identify their complaints and resolve it right away. This is definitely important because you don’t have to let your customers wait if you want to win their loyalty that can lead to more sales.” — Maurelio Canon, Assistant at Global Writers Direct, via Crowdreviews
If you’ve got ticket traffic, Zendesk is a great web-based, multi-channel help desk platform. As a leading customer support solution, the front end is customizable for great UI, offers many helpful integrations, and is mobile accessible. Different pricing brings different features – such as LiveChat – so look this robust suite for the basics or those specialty functions suited to your industry or organization’s size.
What do you like best?
“Easy navigation throughout the site. Users can also modify what they see by changing their views and add groups. The views help differentiate the problems as well as the agents working on the issue.
Internal notes help with adding messages to only internal users. We work as the middleman to help resolve the problems rather than emailing the user back and forth. It becomes easier with time to understand.
What do you dislike?
The site usually has issues when it comes to loading and it can also be bit slow at times depending on the server connection. Besides the connection, the app is user friendly but you would need to play around with it to understand the different aspects which becomes time consuming.
This can get confusing at first but you will get the hang of it. One difficulty would be when using the phone app to make calls, it would automatically get inputted into the wrong ticket which makes it harder for the agents.” — Sabreena N., Support at Tuoro College, via G2Crowd
“There are several things to consider when deciding to implement Zendesk for your company. First, check to see if the software integrates with other products you’re currently using. Linking together other software into Zendesk has proven to be a huge time saver for our company and helped streamline the implementation of support.
Another consideration is what pricing tier your company can afford. Zendesk has cheaper options for start-ups, but it comes with limited to no support outside of reporting bugs.
Finally, it’s worth ensuring that the main admin has the ability and time to use all the training resources, as there are many settings and filter views that can be used within the site for agents and customers alike.” — Becki B., Customer Support Specialist at Stagistics, via G2Crowd
Clarabridge is a powerful customer support CEM platform. Using natural language processing (NLP) to collect and structure data from surveys, agent notes, chat, voice, and email. You can run emotion detection, sentiment analysis, text analytics and more to translate and categorize customer feedback.
Create surveys, monitor social conversations, automate responses, and send triggered alerts to stakeholders in your organization. Use powerful Clarabridge processes and insights to optimize your customer experience.
“By leveraging Clarabridge to aggregate conversations across email, our call center, and social [media] we are able to identify customer service issues and trends faster and deploy critical information to our call center representatives.
- Voice to text functionality is extremely accurate.
- Alert system for trending topics is very helpful.
- The natural language processor is easy to tune to brand specific nuances.
User interface could be more intuitive.— Gino Abbate III, Digital Marketing Analyst at Kaplan Thaler Marketing, via TrustRadius
Medallia is a cloud-based multi-channel customer experience (CX) software which takes customer feedback and synthesizes it into useful insights. Website and social media feedback, mobile feedback, text analytics, plus other relevant data sources helps companies with customer recovery and engagement metrics.
Use their real-time dashboard to keep the team on the same page, help them create surveys, realize insights, and make sense of data from their customer data systems.
What do you like best?
“User friendly, real-time feedback. This product helps us improve service levels within our organization and make the necessary adjustments to better accommodate our guests.”
What do you dislike?
“The way the app is laid out is not entirely user friendly and can run slow at times. The reporting is also limited and not as easily sort-able as I would like when trying to dial down a specific issue.”
Recommendations to others considering the product
“Great product, used everyday in our business. Perfect for tracking guest loyalty and satisfaction.” — Sergio G., Assistant General Manager at Hilton Hotels, via G2Crowd
#10 SAS Adaptive Customer Experience
This SAS customer experience tool is part of the SAS Customer Intelligence suite, allowing a full integration for analyzing and executing marketing programs. This CEM collects and analyzes existing data as well as contextualizes all data points from channels within minutes.
Plus, it captures anonymous behavior, recording data for later-identified users and assigning it for full user profiles. Dynamic content placements personalize the digital customer experience and can increase channel engagement with your brand.
A Royal Set of Options
Marketers, these days customer experience is king. While data is expanding exponentially, so is our sensitivity to the customer experience – and what our users really want. We need to create personalized experiences that are always rewarding and adapting throughout the customer journey, from customer acquisition to loyalty and advocacy.
Whether it’s customer service, automation, or engagement you’re after (or a bit of all) – this post was created to help you find the perfect solution. Utilize these user reviews in order to make the right decision on your next customer experience platform.
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