Customer feedback management (CFM) vendors are continuously building new capabilities to attract contact center and experience management buyers.
Yet, despite their terrific speed of innovation, 47 percent of voice of the customer (VoC) and CX measurement program leaders rate the maturity of their program as “low or very low.”
Noting this, Forrester reveals that while CFM technology is sprinting ahead, “buyers are still playing catch up.”
Wary of this reality, the market analyst assessed the core product offerings of the nine CFM vendors it deemed the “most significant” in the space as part of its latest Forrester Wave report.
In doing so, it evaluated each of the following vendors, categorizing them into four groups: Leaders, Strong Performers, Contenders, and Challengers.
- Medallia (Leader)
- Concentrix (Strong Performer)
- InMoment (Strong Performer)
- Qualtrics (Strong Performer)
- SMG (Strong Performer)
- PG Forsta (Strong Performer)
- NICE (Contender)
- Alida (Contender)
- Verint (Challenger)
Forrester also noted three essential solutions and services every CFM buyer should seek out.
Let’s consider these before inspecting the top takeaways from the Forrester study.
What Should Buyers Look for in a Feedback Management Vendor?
Forrester believes CFM buyers should partner with a provider that meets three criteria.
First, the provider should “play nice with their tech stack.” A vendor that does so offers omnichannel data integration tools, integrations support for third-party solutions, and insight-sharing capabilities.
Such integrations allow more employees to engage with customer feedback and pave the way for customer-centric decision-making.
Second, the vendor must “make it easy to use advanced technology.” Such technology harnesses NLP and NLU to make sense of unstructured data and bring new insights to the fore.
Many vendors offer these features. However, they do not always package them with their core offering. As such, businesses that wish to leverage elements of analytics should consider this closely.
Finally, CFM vendors must “balance real-time action with systemic CX improvement.” Such a vendor supports a more proactive service recovery approach as they go beyond break-fix solutions.
Customer journey-centric dashboards that connect CX outcomes with other business metrics help here. Yet, so do technical and strategic support services. The depth of these is critical to consider.
“Medallia Breaks Away from the Competition”
Various analyst reports often tag Medallia and Qualtrics as leaders within the VoC space. Yet, Forrester pegs the former as the single market leader.
The breadth and depth of its product offering is the primary reason. Indeed, Forrester refers to its acquisitions of Thunderhead and Decibel as “savvy” moves to strengthen its portfolio.
However, Medallia also differentiates itself with its “superior vision” and comprehensive product roadmap, according to the market analyst.
The roadmap outlines plans to deepen its capacity for digital experience insight generation, reduce total cost of ownership, and enhance its current proposition.
Forrester concludes that in every area it evaluated, Medallia lived up to its tagline: “Enterprise-Grade Everything.”
Concentrix Becomes Its Closest Competitor
Concentrix is on the precipice of CFM market leadership, which may surprise some as the business is best known for its global CX consultancy.
Yet, Forrester highlights how its in-house expertise allows the business to offer differentiated services built around its mantra: “Design, Build, Run.”
Its recent acquisitions of PK and Tigerspike have supported this objective, enabling Concentrix to deliver on its commitment to organizational engagement and change management.
Moreover, it provides many sophisticated features for gathering customer and employee feedback.
Unfortunately, it trails Medallia in its lack of self-service insight generation, customer journey measurement, and partner network.
Qualtrics Is Amongst the Chasing Pack
Qualtrics has slipped from its leader perch in Forrester’s latest CFM Wave – earning this position in previous years thanks primarily to its advanced journey orchestration and text analytics capabilities.
To build further momentum, the vendor acquired Clarabridge and Usermaid in 2021. Yet, Forrester analysts believe it has yet to extract maximum value from these deals. Indeed, their solutions remain packaged and priced differently.
Meanwhile, Qualtrics has delved deeper into the broader customer care space. Stretching its resources while innovating its VoC portfolio may prove challenging.
Although, the possibility of a cash injection following its recent acquisition by investment firms could support the vendor in reaching its lofty ambitions.
Other members of the chasing pack of “strong performers” include InMoment, PG Forsta, and SMG.
NICE Remains the Only CCaaS Platform Provider to Make the List
While NICE may fall behind several others in Forrester’s report, it is the only CCaaS player to make the list – which is quite the achievement.
Indeed, CFM is far from its only focus, with many analysts considering the vendor a market leader in CCaaS, RPA, and WFO.
Its CFM capabilities stem from its Satmetrix acquisition in 2017. Since, it has enabled interoperability with its contact center platform, paving the way for predictive and prescriptive AI innovations.
However, there are reasons why NICE slipped behind the strong performers. Forrester noted its dashboards and visualizations could be more user-friendly. Meanwhile, the analyst suggests that NICE could open up the solution to enable more ad-hoc customer research.
Joining NICE in the contender bracket is Alida, a much smaller vendor that aims to differentiate itself through a vision for “community CX.”
Verint Slips Into a Challenger Position
WFO leader Verint has slipped into the challenger segment of the Forrester Wave, behind each of the other vendors the market analyst assessed.
Perhaps this is no surprise as Verint maintains its broader contact center platform focus – funneling much of its resources into workforce management, quality assurance, and analytics tools.
As such, Forrester worries that Verint will lose sight of the CFM market. Although, it does impress with its predictive survey capabilities, system scalability, and support services.
Get a better handle on the current state of the VoC market by reading our article: 20 Top-Notch VoC Solutions for 2023