A good customer experience (CX) platform can help you grow your business by keeping customers happy and translating loyalty into revenue.
However, with so many vendors out there all with different specialties, it can be difficult to decide which experience platform is best for your needs.
To help, we’ve put together a guide to customer experience platforms. We’ll talk you through the top 8 customer experience software and show you why CustomerGauge is ranked #1 for both B2B & B2B2C.
But first, let’s explore what makes a good CX platform.
Why Should You Use a Customer Experience Platform? The Benefits
Customer experience platforms help businesses foster stronger customer relationships and drive growth. But how do they help you achieve these goals?
Here’s what great CX platforms bring to the table:
Link CX to revenue. CustomerGauge’s State of B2B Account Experience benchmarks report revealed an alarming reality: 70% of B2B CX programs are not linked to revenue.
This is unfortunate because structuring your workflows around financial data is a sure way to get buy-in from your C-Suite and to unite every department around CX goals.
The right customer experience platform will help you tie CX to financial data, calculate the ROI of your CX efforts, and grow revenue.
Help close the loop quickly. Closing the loop means taking customer feedback and acting on it, quickly and effectively. Closing the loop shows customers you care and it can significantly decrease churn.
CustomerGauge’s NPS & CX benchmarks report found that companies experienced a 6-point increase in NPS by closing the loop in less than 48 hours. And companies that don’t close the loop increase their annual churn by at least 2.1%.
A good CX platform helps you close the loop quickly by prioritizing detractors, showing you who needs to be followed up with, and helping you to set goals.
Give your CX team direction. CX platforms give a 360-degree view of your customers across each touchpoint, helping your team identify customer problems and take quick action.
CustomerGauge also lets you monitor for absence of signal, i.e. when your customers stop using your product, opening support tickets, and generally interacting with your business. Monitoring real-time engagement signals helps your team act quickly to improve retention.
How to Choose the Right Customer Experience Platform
What features should a good CX platform have? Let’s take a look.
1. Data and monitoring
Customer experience programs rely on different metrics to measure and understand CX. The most common CX metrics are:
Net Promoter Score, used to measure your relationships with your customers.
Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), to measure how satisfied customers are with your company in general or with a specific interaction.
Customer Effort Score (CES), to measure the effort a customer must put in to interact with your company.
Learn more about these metrics from our comparison article on NPS, CSAT, and CES.
Our NPS & CX benchmarks report found that while NPS remains the most used CX metric among B2B brands, most use more than one metric to view CX as a whole. So, a good CX platform should monitor all these metrics to provide a holistic overview of your CX performance.
Further, the right CX platform should offer omnichannel data collection, too.
That means it should help you understand how customers interact with your business across different channels from social media to website and support functions (like your chatbot or live chat).
2. Link CX to revenue
As mentioned earlier, the best CX platforms tie customer experience to revenue. Linking financial data to CX not only helps fight churn, but also paves the way for new revenue gains.
For example, it should identify your most loyal customers to help tailor your upsell, cross-sell, and referral marketing efforts.
3. Easy-to-use with a robust infrastructure
Your CX team will regularly use the software you choose, so it’s important to pick a platform that’s reliable and easy to operate. The best platforms display customer feedback, such as NPS or CSAT data, in real-time and their dashboards are intuitive.
To get the most out of your CX program, it’s important to pick a solution that integrates with other crucial software from your tech stack.
For example, CX platforms usually integrate with your customer relationship management (CRM) software, like Salesforce or SAP.
These integrations let you access historical and transactional data to interpret customer sentiments and behavior.
4. Tailored to your business model (B2C vs B2B)
Many CX tools and industry best practices on the market today are focused on B2C experiences. However, B2B brands need a software that can:
Make multi-contact experiences easier to manage. Alternatively, B2C platforms typically prioritize single-contact, individual experience management and measurement.
Provide customer journey-mapping for more complex B2B customers.
That’s why we devised a methodology specifically for B2B CX: The Account Experience Framework.
The Account Experience (AX) Framework has two primary goals:
To help businesses increase retention and deliver more value to customers by managing the post-purchase lifecycle.
To leverage lifestyle activities to grow accounts and existing customer revenue streams.
The AX Framework helps businesses identify and prioritize their most valuable accounts, and Account Experience is built into the CustomerGauge CX software.
Why CustomerGauge Is the Best CX Platform for B2B
CustomerGauge G2 score: 4.6/5
Don’t just take our word for it — Gartner ranked us as #1 for B2B & B2B2C Experience.
We’ve held the title for the best B2B CX platform because CustomerGauge was developed specifically for B2B (and our software outperformed 14 of the most advanced CX brands).
CustomerGauge makes it easy to collect data from different channels, analyze customer feedback and sentiments, and take action based on insights.
CustomerGauge also links CX to revenue with the help of monetized NPS (a metric that ties NPS to financial data) which has helped our partners focus on growing their business and increasing revenue.
By combining our platform with the Account Experience methodology, our customers reduce churn, improve referrals, and successfully maintain healthy accounts.
Here are some more pros of using the CustomerGauge platform:
Close the loop quickly. Give your account management team direction with SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based) goals and timed targets, helping them fight churn by following up with unhappy customers and swiftly resolving complaints.
Monitor absence of signal. CustomerGauge is the only platform that monitors this vital churn indicator. Our platform measures account response rates, not just individuals, and sends alerts on no-responses.
Receive insights from the right people in each account by running NPS surveys at multiple levels. Partner with our customer success team to improve your response rates. For example, ICON Communications secured a whopping 100% response rate!
Grow your revenue by tying CX to financial data. CustomerGauge helps you identify accounts that are ready to refer your brand or invest in your upsells.
Improve your customer experience program. With CustomerGauage’s widgets library, your team can pinpoint the source of NPS detractors and take relevant action. You’ll also gain insights into the financial value of CX improvements, helping your team prioritize better.
Here’s what our customers have to say:
“The account support is astounding. I like the ability for everyone to have a personalized look, and to share reporting inside the platform. We are able to reach out to customers near instantly so long as our employees are monitoring. That's been proven to us to impact CX as we have conducted follow-up interviews where a customer indicated this as their major point for higher satisfaction.”
Gregory D., Marketing Research and Analytics Specialist
Pricing: CustomerGauge’s pricing model is simple. The software typically costs $1,000 per user annually.
7 Alternative Customer Experience Platforms to Consider
Not sure if CustomerGauge is right for you? Here are some popular alternatives with different offerings in no particular order.
G2 score: 4.5/5
Medallia is one of the most well-known customer experience vendors that helps employees identify key CX drivers and take action based on customer feedback from various sources. These include employee feedback, surveys, customer reviews, and even unstructured sources (like live chat logs and contact center interactions).
Medallia’s platform is intuitive, user-friendly, and designed for cross-functional use. The platform also integrates with major CRMs and ERPs including Salesforce.
Medallia is an excellent tool, but it’s tailor-made for managing B2C CX.
One positive review highlights Medallia’s strengths:
“All customer feedback is in one easy to use platform and also integrated with SalesForce and our back-end system. The automation of the system and its closed loop process is key to our success and improving our customer retention. Having Medallia allows us to find the key drivers of customer loyalty and take action to improve.”
Pricing: Contact Medallia for a quote
G2 score: 4.3/5
Qualtrics is a robust voice of the customer solution that focuses on large enterprises. The tool has a dedicated CX platform, CustomerXM, that helps users improve both customer and employee experiences by analyzing unstructured (e.g. chat logs) and structured data (e.g. survey data).
Unlike Medallia, Qualtrics works well for both B2B and B2C businesses.
Qualtrics supports integrations so you can collect data from platforms like Salesforce, Marketo, JIRA, Genesys, Google, Facebook, and more.
One positive review says:
“The best part is the seamless connectivity between surveys and dashboards. The real time refresh of the dashboards is helpful in getting and disbursing the feedback from our customers without any delay. I also like their Text IQ tool that enables users to create automated verbatim analysis.”
And while Qualtrics is a great platform, it’s on the pricier side, so it’s not ideal for businesses with modest budgets.
Pricing: Qualtrics CustomerXM’s plans start at $1500/year
3. Alchemer (previously SurveyGizmo)
G2 score: 4.4/5
Alchemer is a simpler platform for managing customer feedback. It lets you conduct surveys, collect feedback, and automatically send insights to the relevant parts of your organization to drive voice of customer (VoC) efforts.
Compared to more mature CX tools like Medallia or Qualtrics, Alchemer is easy to implement and simple to use. The platform is a popular choice for small-to-medium sized B2C companies, rather than larger businesses and B2B brands.
One review highlights Alchemer’s limitations:
“I do not find the logic and custom reporting engine to be the strongest. The field labels are not intuitive, and we frequently have trouble with more complicated workflows because there isn't a good way to see what you're building while in-flight. I'd love to see either more of a reliance on a WYSIWYG format or some decision support/in-flight tools to ensure you get it right.
“I also have tested the functionality that is meant to weed out suspicious/duplicate responses and I was able to submit numerous ones without anything being flagged. This does not bode well for our particular use cases, namely anonymous surveys where we don't want to take the time to generate unique private links for every employee.”
On the other hand, some users prefer Alchemer’s simplicity stated in this positive review from Gartner:
"We decided that neither Qualtrics nor Medallia would be a good fit for us. Too complex, too time-intensive. We needed a lean, agile, and cost effective solution suited to our size of a company. When I'm told a product is easy and fast to implement - I usually roll my eyes and think - oh sure. Well, I had to eat crow on this one. It was. Within three weeks of the contract being signed, we were up and running and getting value from our investment."
Pricing: Alchemer’s basic plan (with very limited features) starts at $300/year per user, although the Professional plan (their most popular one) costs $1020/year per user.
G2 score: 4.2
Forsta is a self-service, versatile CX platform that focuses on market research, employee experiences, and CX. The platform was founded in 2021 via a merger of three industry-leading CX platforms: Confirmit, FocusVision, and Dapresy.
Like the other customer experience vendors we’ve reviewed, Forsta lets you collect large volumes of customer feedback across different channels. The software supports visual reporting that helps CX teams gain insights into specific decisions and take relevant action.
Forsta is easy to use. It has an intuitive user interface and survey programming is simple with this tool. The platform is feature-rich and the surveys are highly customizable thanks to the “questions” feature.
Here’s more on Forsta from a positive G2 review:
“Comprehensive platform. You have scripting surveys, reporting, dashboards, coding, panel, API, and much more. Confirmit helps fulfill different parts of our research goals from just one platform rather than having multiple platforms for various aspects of our research.”
Pricing: Contact Forsta for a quote
G2 score: 3.9
Verint offers a suite of enterprise software tools for business intelligence and customer engagement management. Their CX platform, Verint Experience Management, has strong VoC capabilities, helping customers collect feedback and turn insights into action.
Here’s more from a positive review left on Gartner:
"We have been using Verint to gauge CX on our higher ed website for more than three years. Initially, we launched the survey to identify possible pain points following a substantial overhaul in IA and new template design. The support services and analysis on the data we've collected have been superior.
“In addition to insights about the digital customer experience, we've also been able to better understand our consumers with sometimes surprising insights. The longevity of information for example recently proved interesting when a question we've always asked - how interested are you in completing your degree online - underwent a massive sentiment change in weeks to months during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Despite Verint’s strengths, it lacks departmental capabilities outside customer service and digital business, making it unsuitable for, say, sales and frontline operations.
Pricing: Contact Verint for a quote
6. NICE Satmetrix
G2 Score: 4.3
NICE Satmetrix is a robust VoC tool that’s focused on contact center performance. NICE itself is a contact-center-as-a-service, the company acquired Satmetrix to integrate VoC capabilities. The platform lets you collect insights via different survey types, which are mapped to the customer journey to help businesses identify weak areas.
Despite NICE Satmetrix’s powerful VoC functionality and deep analytics, the platform lacks departmental capabilities outside of customer service (like Verint). However, one point of caution is the possibly steep learning curve; a review on Gartner said:
“Training for the product is intense and can be overwhelming to the new user. It can take additional resources to work through the module.”
Pricing: Contact NICE Satmetrix for a quote
G2 score: 4.7
Unlike the other tools on our list, InMoment isn’t an independent software. It’s offered as part of a package that includes customer experience management (CXM) services, too.
However, InMoment is still one of the best customer experience platforms, particularly for B2C businesses. That’s because the platform’s customer base is primarily in the travel, retail, and hospitality sectors.
You can expect detailed VoC data and advanced analytics from InMoment. The platform gives deep insights into how users interact with your brand by exploring their in-app experience, helping you identify weak points.
A HR Brand Strategist praised InMoment’s data collection on G2:
“I like how much information can be pulled at any given moment. I also like that if I decide I would like certain info pulled on a regular basis, one email to the InMoment team and I can have any report auto generated to my team.”
Pricing: Contact InMoment for a quote
Get Started With CustomerGauge
Our list covers many exceptional customer experience vendors suited for different business needs. Some, like Medallia, are ideal for B2C brands looking to turbocharge their customer experience programs. However, if you’re a B2B or B2B2C business, CustomerGauge is the best choice.
Ready to improve your B2B customer experience program? Schedule a demo with our team to grow your revenue and fight churn!