Best Customer Experience Software Comparison & Reviews 2022 (2023)

Buyer's Guide

Last updated on November 21st, 2022

Customer Experience Software Is All About Analyzing and Optimizing Customer Interactions

By Saumya Anand, Market Analyst at SelectHub

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Customer experience software or customer experience management software, often abbreviated as CX, CEM and CXM, is a cloud-based solution that helps organizations collate, manage and understand customer interactions. Businesses can build sustainable client relationships by accessing real-time, actionable insights throughout various touchpoints of every customer journey.

The solution encompasses a myriad of processes like organizing feedback, automating tasks, delivering personalized communications, anticipating needs, and categorizing positive and negative customer sentiment.

Evolving from the basic sentiment of “customer is king” and traditional advertising practices, customer experience has fundamentally changed marketing strategies. In this era of hyper-vigilant consumers and instant connectivity, it’s become imperative for brands to meet the dynamic needs of their clients. In fact, studies show that 52% American consumers are willing to shell out more if they know they’ll receive a great customer experience.

With innumerable CX solutions available on the market, you may be spoiled in terms of choices; but with great options comes greater indecisiveness. With this comprehensive buyer’s guide, we’ll help you navigate the tedious process of choosing the right CX tool for your business. This guide includes a general overview of customer experience software, followed by a list of key features and benefits that you can derive from these solutions. Furthermore, we delve into pricing considerations and strategies for comparison while listing some of the popular, industry-leading vendors so that you can make an informed decision. To top it off, you can glance through our lists of questions to consider before taking the final leap.

Executive Summary

  • CX software helps companies increase customer engagement and reduce churn.
  • Implementing a CX solution helps gauge customer satisfaction and needs.
  • Companies can measure campaign performance, identify at-risk customers and integrate with existing tech stacks to import data.
  • Review each vendor’s features against your company’s needs before zeroing in on a platform.

What This Guide Covers:

  • What Is Customer Experience Software?
  • Benefits
  • Software Comparison Strategy
  • The Most Popular Customer Experience Software
  • Questions to Ask
  • In Conclusion

What Is Customer Experience Software?

Customer experience software manages customer interactions throughout the buyer’s journey. It provides a comprehensive view of customer interactions across multiple channels like call and chat transcripts, social media comments and online reviews. Customer data can be stored in a centralized workstation, accessible by agents for contextual history. CX also ensures a seamless flow of information across different communication channels and departments.

Most CX solutions utilize a combination of advanced analytical modules and feedback metrics to measure customer satisfaction effectively. Primarily, it quantifies customer feedback via different survey types like Customer Effort Score (CES), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) and Net Promoter Score (NPS).

Customer Experience Software Categories

  • NPS
  • Text Analysis

Primary Benefits

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The right customer experience solution can be a lucrative addition to your business model. Below, we delve into some of the key benefits that the platform delivers.

Enable Omnichannel Communication

Front-office teams deal with a heavy influx of customer queries. Customer experience solutions enable them to have a 360-degree view of their communications with customers. Representatives can also seamlessly switch between multiple channels like in-store, in-app, website and email, which enables agents to effectively deliver multi-channel communication in context so that customers don’t have to repeat the same thing over and over. Moreover, CX tools can collect client data across all platforms and store it in a centralized repository.

Improve Customer Engagement

Another beneficial aspect of implementing a customer experience solution is satisfying clients. Timely and accurate responses ensure satisfaction scores are high. Capabilities like advanced customer segmentation and targeted campaigns help agents deliver highly personalized interactions. Organizations can reach out to customers via social media, email or surveys for feedback, which helps churn out better products and services.

Develop Brand Loyalty

In order to drive sustained business growth, it is imperative to build brand loyalty and recognition. 56% of respondents said they’re willing to spend more on a brand they’re loyal to even if cheaper options existed.

With customer experience software, you can foster positive interactions and resolve negative comments to increase your company’s goodwill. CX tools help deliver prompt responses and unify communication to build a loyal customer base.

Glean Customer Insights

Analyze customer journeys at multiple touchpoints to gain actionable insights. Stay on top of client needs and requirements to reduce churn. Uncover critical trends and behavioral patterns, and predict buying habits. Tailored insights help employees respond quickly and efficiently, which translates into higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Key Features & Functionality

Identifying the features your company needs in a solution goes a long way in narrowing down your choices. If you’re unsure which capabilities your organization might need, here are a few of the most crucial CX features to consider:

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Net Promoter Score® (NPS)

Considered the touchstone for customer experience metrics, NPS measures a customer’s loyalty to a company.

NPS can assess practically everything — customer journeys, web pages, products, stores and even employees. Implementing NPS lets a company see where they stand regarding their products, services, agents and social media presence. It also helps identify dissatisfied customers and run comparative analyses against competitors and industry standards.

Surveys

A fundamental part of sustaining a company’s growth is gauging the pulse of their customers. Their views, expectations and needs are the fuel that drives the decision-making wheels of an organization. Surveys can help companies do just that — get a feel for customers’ opinions.

Businesses can either design customizable surveys or opt for pre-existing templates provided by some CX solutions. These surveys can then be deployed via mobile, email, social media, QR codes, chatbots, in-app messages, or embedded on websites. You can employ multiple survey types, such as CES, CSAT, 5-star, smileys, and thumbs-up, to measure different types of metrics.

Feedback Management

Feedback management is an indispensable part of any CX software. You can set automated triggers to convert customer feedback into tickets via ticketing systems, and then take prompt action as needed.

CX software helps companies capture customer feedback in real time at crucial junctures from multiple channels.

Dashboards

Dashboards help employees gather feedback, deliver surveys and share insights with other team members. It provides a centralized view of all your activities. You can access reports, track trends and search responses through intuitive, configurable dashboards.

Real-time updates on agents’ performance help managers keep track of workload balance and ensure SLA compliance. Some advanced software may offer role-based dashboards for more personalized insights.

Analytics

Identify at-risk customers, measure campaign performance and uncover themes and trends. Analyze data at multi-channel levels to drill down into customer abandonment issues and business health.

Sentiment and text analysis capture contextual nuances to accurately assess satisfaction rates, persistent concerns and agent effectiveness. These insights can be derived from sources like social media, surveys, websites, chatbots, emails and call transcripts.

Integrations

Most CX tools integrate with CRMs, BI tools, accounting platforms, payment gateways and other internal systems. This allows companies to import and export data from their CX platform to gain a comprehensive view of customer interactions, transactions and history.

Social media integrations help companies manage their online presence. Connections with collaborative and communication channels enable teams to work in sync.

Chatbots

Smooth issue resolution is one of the crucial responsibilities of CX software. Chatbots help companies deliver quick, personalized and automated customer service. Customers can use self-service modules for answers to simple queries and FAQs. Seamless bot-to-agent handover ensures that all customer needs are catered to accordingly. Chatbots can also gather information and process payments.

You can build AI-powered conversational bots and deploy them on messaging platforms like Whatsapp, IBM, Facebook Messenger and Google.

Digital Channel Management

Customers are making a marked shift from traditional communications channels to digital ones, as it’s easier nowadays for customers to access answers and list grievances online. Digital communication not only results in faster issue resolution but it also is relatively cost-effective.

Manage different interactions across multiple digital channels without losing context. Connect with customers on social media channels. Convert relevant comments, mentions and reviews into tickets within the CX application.

Software Comparison Strategy

Customer experience software is a burgeoning market due to digitalization and the emerging integration of multi-channel platforms in a unified solution. According to Mordor Intelligence, the global customer experience was valued at $10.23 billion in 2020. It is projected to reach approximately $27.13 billion by 2026.

Implementing a CX solution can spell certain growth for your business. With a perfect fit, your company can overcome any gaps in communication and make more data-driven business decisions. Still, the question remains — which CX platform is best suited for your needs?

A good starting point for your software selection journey would be to simply ask around. Consult with your peers and other professionals who have incorporated a CX platform into their organization. Find out what vendors were chosen by your competitors, especially those similar in size and services to your company.

The next crucial step is to create a comprehensive requirements checklist to ensure a solution delivers all your basic and advanced business requirements, according to your organization’s unique needs. Then, compare various CX tools against your requirements to determine which solutions line up the most with what you need.

Once you shortlist the top contenders, you can try to request free trials. Though not every platform offers them, these monthly or weekly trials can help you make an informed decision. You can test if the tool’s basic capabilities align with your company’s vision and whether the interface is easy to use for your employees.

Cost & Pricing Considerations

When it comes to determining the cost of CX software, the process can be a bit complicated. You don’t want to go overboard, but you also want to make sure your business has all the features it needs to function smoothly. The primary factor that you need to consider is the size of your organization, as most CX vendors offer packages based on this. You should also take into consideration other elements such as deployment modes, implementation services and add-on packages.

Additionally, assess all direct and indirect costs like training, support, license, upgrades and consultation that you might need to pay.

The Most Popular Customer Experience Software

Now that we have covered how to evaluate customer experience software, let’s examine the most sought-after platforms in the market. However, when it comes down to it, labels like “most popular” and “best” are subjective. What works for some companies might not work for others, and in the end, it all boils down to each company’s specific needs and requirements.

Nevertheless, we present to you a brief look at some of the top-rated customer experience solutions the industry has to offer.

Qualtrics

Trusted by companies like Volkswagen, Vietnam Airlines and Healthscope, Qualtrics helps organizations gain a comprehensive view of their customers’ experience. The listening engine lets you capture real-time feedback from 27 channels and 128 data sources.

Its other capabilities include feedback and reputation management, statistical analysis, ad testing, product pricing research and digital optimization. It offers integrations with CRMs, messaging platforms and analytical modules.

Customer Surveys in Qualtrics.

Zendesk

Zendesk offers a flexible solution to enhance customer relationships. Its primary functionalities include omnichannel support, a robust ticketing system and cloud-based voice services. The self-service module frees up agents for more essential tasks by letting customers resolve queries by themselves. It can scale accordingly to fit the needs of growing SMBs, startups and enterprises.

Dashboard in Zendesk.

Podium

Reaching more than 40,000 businesses, Podium manages customer interactions right from product inquiry to sale. A centralized inbox helps keep track of customer history. It includes automated interactions, performance analytics, webchat and secure payment processes. It provides integrations with more than 180 platforms to automate workflows and streamline operational tasks. It caters to single-location small businesses as well as multi-location enterprises.

Feedback Management in Podium.

Questions to Ask

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The search for the right CX software might seem overwhelming, but we can condense the information by referring back to the most important step of the process: the requirements list. If you’re not sure how to compile your requirements list, asking the right questions can be a start.

While no one knows your company’s specific requirements better than you, these questions can serve as a starting point for internal discussions:

  • What are the primary features we need?
  • Do we need scalable software?
  • What are our budgetary restraints?
  • Which parts of our existing tech infrastructure do we need to integrate with the solution?
  • Do we need a customizable solution?
  • Do we have a digital presence, and how can we optimize interactions through these channels?
  • What CX solutions are our competitors implementing?

Use these questions to get clarity from customer experience software vendors:

  • Do they offer implementation and migration services?
  • Does the system come with analytical modules like text and sentiment analysis? Does it provide customer journey mapping and A/B testing?
  • How robust is their support system? How long do they take to fix bugs?
  • How many types of surveys do they offer? Do they have a pre-existing template library?
  • Is the tool GDPR and PCI compliant?
  • Do they provide a closed-loop feedback system?

In Conclusion

To narrow down on a CX solution that best caters to your company’s needs may seem like a Herculean task. We understand how painstakingly difficult it can be to find a solution that fits your budgetary and operational requirements. But with the right investment, you can build a solid customer base and expand your business to new heights. We hope this guide can be a stepping stone in your software selection journey, helping you make a concrete decision that is fruitful for your company.

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