In a nutshell, what do all these platforms do?
All platforms have as the main priority to improve the way CX is managed. Several features are similar across all platforms, but how they are designed and organised continues to change between platforms. These core features are:
Standardizing customer journeys
Journeys that are built with the same software will have the same look and feel. This prevents you from having paper journeys in different shapes and sizes scattered across office floors.
Within CX, different zoom-levels exist. From a service ecosystem with a bird’s-eye view, all the way down to usability issues in a single touchpoint. These platforms allow you to create the necessary hierarchy and zoom in and out across your organisation’s CX delivery. This way, the platform is interesting for both the CEO and the usability expert.
Structuring CX KPIs
These platforms allow you to create KPIs and make sure they are acted upon. Think ‘NPS score for the digital onboarding’ or ‘satisfaction with the billing experience’.
Combining qualitative and quantitative data
These platforms allow you to add insights from qualitative research, like needs, pains and gains. Additionally, they allow you to connect data sources (e.g. Google Analytics, Qualtrix, SalesFroce) to your KPIs.
Visualizing areas for improvement
By visualizing and prioritizing areas for improvement, these platforms can support you to better coordinate CX projects/efforts.
What advantages do these platforms bring?
In our previous CX management blog we shared why we are fans of such platforms. A quick reminder on what the advantages are these platforms bring:
- A single source of truth is created;
- Double work is easier to prevent;
- It allows for smoother project coordination;
- It is easier to create ownership and accountability for CX;
- Possible to combine quantitative and qualitative data in one place;
- It helps track if CX projects have the intended effect.
The CX management platform shortlist
During our market research we stumbled upon many platforms. The shortlist that is shared in this blog is a result of desk research, demo’s and doing trials. After this, we compared the platforms using the criteria that are described in the matrix below.
Marc Stickdorn, a renowned service design expert, is co-founder of an organisation called More Than Metrics. They offer training, coaching and various digital tools for CX experts and service designers. For most people, Smaply is the platform that is top-of-mind when thinking of journey mapping tools. However, since the needs around CX management are evolving, can it still live up to the expectations?
Smaply has three main tools; journey maps, persona’s and stakeholder maps. These tools allow you to easily visualize, share and present relevant CX information. Each tool works very intuitively and allows you to visualise and structure journeys, personas and stakeholder maps as you like.
It is possible to build a hierarchy in your journey maps, which helps to better understand how everything is related. Next to this, More Than Metrics offers coaching in how to set it up and create a governance structure in your organisation.
Though you are able to add KPIs to journeys and link these to data sources, you need to fetch data manually if you want to see how a KPI is performing. Also, areas for improvement are not brought to attention automatically. These lacking features make it harder to make this tool actionable for CX management.
To conclude, as the need for measuring CX performance in real-time is rising, it would be wise for Smaply to look into this. If they can complement their platform with data science, they will make sure they stay on top of mind.
Recently, the CX management platform offered by Milkymap got an upgrade. Next to improving the usability, they added several features. Previously, they just supported digitizing and organising customer journeys, but with this new release Milkymap aims for data driven CX.
Milkymap released the so-called CX Life Cycle Model and CX Actionboard. The Life Cycle Model can be compared to a service ecosystem, which is an overview of all important touchpoints that your customer has with your organisation. After linking KPIs with data sources, the CX Actionboard allows for performance tracking. KPIs are measured real-time, shining light on areas for improvement.
Milkymap assists with constructing the Life Cycle Model, company branded if you wish so. Then, by linking it to the necessary data sources, you get the CX Actionboard up and running. Next to having a Customer Service and IT professional aboard, they collaborate with Underlined who have the necessary data science expertise.
To conclude, these new features make Milkymap definitely a platform that can answer to all your CX management needs!
One of the youngsters in this list is TheyDo. A Dutch start-up that has the ability to move fast and flexible depending on what to market needs. Although they are new to the market, we feel this platform is moving into the right direction.
TheyDo allows you to connect personas, journeys and new concepts in one place. Like the other platforms, they are more than happy to help you set up the platform to make sure it is ready to use for your organisation. It has a super intuitive and pleasant interface and allows for real-time collaboration within journeys and personas. Although it is possible to link journeys to each other, currently there is no opportunity to create a proper high-level overview of all your journeys yet.
Very recently, TheyDo introduced the ‘Opportunity Management’ feature. This feature allows you to organise, rank and prioritise all opportunities, from all journeys, in one overview. Additionally, it is possible to create KPIs and link these to journeys and/or a touchpoint to keep track of progress. Although it is possible to add links of external data sources to the platform, it does not support real-time updates yet which makes the Opportunity Management feature a bit of a hassle.
To conclude, TheyDo is preparing all the features that are necessary for proper CX management, and once they start linking quantitative data to it they can make big steps.
The first thing you notice when looking at cxomni’s offerings is that they have a lot of in-house data science expertise. From analyzing customer journeys using process mining to building sophisticated algorithms to help recognize hidden patterns in your quantitative data: they know how to handle it.
The usability is maybe not as slick as the other platforms, but they have a wide range of features that are useful for CX management. Their customer journey mapping tool is very customizable and easily linked with KPIs that can be retrieved real-time. You can create different zoom-levels for your journeys. However, this does not work very intuitively and it can become a bit chaotic the more journeys you add.
Next to a dashboard where you can keep track of KPI performance, the platform provides a heatmap where areas for improvement are prioritized automatically. They seem to have all the necessary features, and more. However, as a user, the platform can be overwhelming and make you feel lost when using it.
Their top notch data science knowledge results in great IT support and ability to combine over 50 different real-time data sources via APIs. Additionally, they offer data workshops, defining which data to pick and combine for your platform.
To conclude, cxomni is definitely a platform worth considering, and if they iterate on the usability of the platform they have a great chance to outrun the competition.
Aren’t there more?
We believe that these are the platforms that provide the best CX management support. The platforms that did not make it to the short list are, in our eyes, focusing too much on customized marketing orchestration, like Relay42, Medallia or Kitewheel, or not enough on CX management, like Custellence or UXPressia.
So, now what?
We hope this blog helps you to better understand how CX management platforms can enable you to work more customer centric, data-driven and collaboratively. As these platforms continue to improve, we will keep a close eye on their developments. This allows us to pick the right platform depending on your organisation’s CX management needs. If you have any questions on how to set up CX management within your team or organisation, do not hesitate to contact us!
Read more on how we can help you implement CX management at scale.