Winners: 2018 CX Vendor Excellence Awards

Temkin Group's 2018 Customer Experience (CX) Vendor Excellence Award WinnersCongratulations!

Temkin Group announces the winners of its 2018 Customer Experience Vendor Excellence Awards:

Clicktale, Medallia, Qualtrics, Rant & Rave, Waypoint Group

Vendors were evaluated based on their nomination forms that included five sections: 1) company overview, 2) “make the case” for their nomination, 3) three detailed case studies, 4) future direction, and 5) three or more customer references.

Below we share the first two sections of the winners’ submissions (which have only been slightly edited, but not validated by Temkin Group).



Clicktale is a leading provider of ‘Experience Analytics’ software. Unlike other analytics platforms, Clicktale’s Experience Cloud helps improve customer experiences and inform brands though both data collection and human psychology. Developed by data analysis experts, CX professionals and behavioral psychologists, Clicktale’s platform provides a completely unique approach to understanding the customer journey online.

At the heart of this understanding is an ability to analyze customers’ “digital body language”. Using a combination of mouse movements, heatmaps, click tracking and session recordings, Clicktale allows brands to understand the psychology of their site visitors, ultimately using this data to improve the customer experience.

Make The Case:

Where other CX products and platforms focus exclusively on quantitative data, Clicktale goes much further in understanding the psychology behind customer experiences, helping the world’s leading brands to understand their customers as people, rather than just as numbers on a spreadsheet. Rather than relying on surveys or customer testimonials – which suffer from numerous testing biases, Clicktale relies on real world data and an in-depth understanding of consumer psychology.

When Clicktale is installed on a brand’s site, every interaction can be captured, by the millisecond, across every device.

The platform combines cognitive and behavioral science, neural network algorithms and machine learning technology. These tools collect a vast dataset of micro-gestures and behaviors, including swipes, scrolls, pitches, zooms, clicks and mouse-paths, all of which provide an in-depth understanding of consumer behaviors. Clicktale then outputs these insights in the form of heatmaps and click-paths, allowing brands to see which areas of their apps and sites are leading to confusion, frustration and disorientation. These areas can then be redesigned to maximum the customer experience.

In addition to heatmaps and mouse-tracking technology, Clicktale also incorporate session replays – a complete recording of the visitor’s journey throughout a site. When managing a complaint, these replays prove vital in allowing customer service teams to relive the negative experiences of their customers. By seeing this experience first-hand, brands can examine exactly what is going wrong and can guarantee that it will be fixed ready for the customer’s next interaction.



Medallia helps companies deliver better customer experiences by creating create close connections between employees and their customers. Our Medallia Experience Cloud platform enables companies to capture customer feedback everywhere the customer is (including digital, social, physical, and contact center channels), understand it in real time, and deliver action-oriented insights everywhere in the business—from the C-suite to the frontline.

By improving CX, Medallia customers can better differentiate and drive business impact such as higher margins, better retention rates, decreased employee churn, and lower operating costs. Medallia is trusted by hundreds of the world’s leading brands across multiple industries.

Make The Case:

Medallia’s core differentiation lies in our ability to…

Understand the entire customer journey:
Medallia Experience Cloud serves as a single source of truth for everything our clients know about their customers’ experience. That requires best-in-class survey modes covering every customer touchpoint (e.g. physical locations, contact centers, web, mobile, in-app, SMS/Messaging, and more, as well as advanced survey sampling and quota management capabilities to ensure that customers are surveyed in the right mode at the right time in their journey. Further, we include other non-feedback data sources in the same view to complete the picture – sources such as social reviews, observed feedback (e.g. seeing that a customer needed to restart their device), and employee ideas provide critical CX insights without requiring additional surveys.

Activate employees across the business: 
Tens of thousands of employees at industry leaders like PayPal, Mercedes-Benz USA, Four Seasons, and Marriott log into Medallia Experience Cloud daily. These users see feedback that is real time and jurisdictionally appropriate, with tailored reporting designed to make the data actionable for their role. Our desktop application, two mobile applications, and integrations with systems like SFDC ensure that employees see customer feedback wherever it fits seamlessly into their existing workday and workflows.

Getting employees widely engaged with data on the full customer journey is transformational. It breaks silos, puts the customer at the center of decision-making, creates more accountable, empowered and engaged employees, and ultimately drives business results. In short, it is how companies can win through CX.



Qualtrics is a rapidly growing software-as-a-service company and the leader in experience management. More than 8,500 enterprises worldwide, including more than 75 percent of the Fortune 100 and 99 of the top 100 U.S. business schools, rely on Qualtrics. Our solutions make it easy to measure, prioritize, and optimize the experiences organizations provide across the four foundations of business: customer, product, employee and brand experiences.

Make The Case:

Since introducing the Qualtrics XM Platform™, Qualtrics has been adopted to unlock human-factor databeliefs, emotions, and sentiments that explain “why” things are happening. The Qualtrics predictive intelligence layer allows users to respond to the experiences they have delivered in the past and predict how changes will influence customer satisfaction in the future.

Differentiating tools for consideration are Qualtrics iQ, which democratize the ability to gather incredible insights for anyone, regardless of training or level of technical expertise. Components include:

  • Text iQ: Uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning algorithms to analyze open text feedback and surface trends in data. It automatically groups responses by suggesting relevant or related topics and assigns sentiment scores to individual text comments (positive, negative, neutral or mixed).
  • Driver iQ: Statistically identifies ‘key experience drivers’ and prioritizes these variables so organizations know where to focus efforts for biggest impact. Driver iQ provides real-time filtering so every individual in the organization knows where the biggest improvement opportunities are specific to their domains.
  • Stats iQ: Makes advanced statistical analysis accessible for average users with automated and instant data analysis. Stats iQ chooses the appropriate statistical analyses for data, then translates the results into plain English.

Qualtrics iQ hunts down experience gaps automatically, predicting what customers want and helping organizations find and address issues before they have negative impact. Machine learning helps automate tasks that were previously time consuming or impossible to scale, like analyzing open text feedback or finding key drivers buried in data.

Rant & Rave


Rant & Rave provides customer engagement solutions with a difference. Created with the belief that fundamentally brands and consumers want the same thing – to deliver and receive great service – half of the FTSE rely on the Rant & Rave Platform to proactively communicate with and gather fast feedback from their customers. By reducing customer effort and taking real-time inspired action, brands are able to transform Ranters into Ravers and happy customers into engaged Ravers – lifelong advocates.

Make The Case:

It’s our mission to shake up the CX industry and provide clients with a disruptive customer engagement model. Whilst most VoC vendors stick to traditional lengthy surveys, innovation is at our core. The Rant & Rave Platform provides real-time, actionable feedback in consumer’s own words, and our latest developments continue this forward-thinking ethos.

Our Listening Post innovation brings the power of AI to VoC, enabling consumers to reach out to brands and share feedback through Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and Picture Messaging. Intelligent facial recognition technology analyses the images and provides a contextually relevant response to consumers, starting a sentiment-driven dialogue.

We believe great CX starts at home, so we’re bringing employees into the VoC sphere. Expanding on our Frontline Engagement solution, which presents customer feedback to staff on a gamified dashboard, we’ve now introduced a Voice of Employee solution. Evidence shows the direct correlation between eNPS and customer satisfaction, so we’ve applied our “one score, one comment” approach to employees too. Brands can capture employee emotion in real-time, drive immediate action, and close-the-loop with colleagues on how feedback is driving change.

Still not convinced?

  • We’re the only UK VoC provider to offer a unified Platform proposition, enabling brands to capture real-time feedback and close the loop at scale with proactive communication.
  • We guarantee to help clients save more customers than anyone else. How? By focusing on customer emotion over company survey, addressing the ‘silent shopper’ through always-on feedback channels, proactively communicating and closing-the-loop with customers and empowering employees.

Waypoint Group


Waypoint Group provides TopBox, a SaaS-based Customer Insight and Action platform. TopBox helps B2B companies strengthen and optimize their complex set of customer relationships, consisting of multiple contacts within a variety of different account segments and experiences (e.g. high-touch / low-touch / tech-touch). Through elegant analytics, unique role-based visualizations, clear workflow management, and smart Salesforce integration, TopBox enables front-line account teams and company leadership to drive the right actions that improve customer experiences and success for retention and expansion. As one example, the B2B SaaS firm Humanity was able to save 46 accounts from churning in just 3 months.

Make The Case:

TopBox connects customer feedback with operational and financial data via powerful, turnkey visualizations that drive action. Example 1: Since there really is no “customer” in B2B environments – rather, a set of contacts that collectively make purchase decisions – TopBox provides account-level insights for account teams, while also appropriately aggregating data across accounts. In this example each circle is a customer account:

1. Y-axis = Relationship depth: engaging the right contacts in the account is key. TopBox shows how well we know the decision makers, influencers, key users, and other persona for which the account team should have a relationship. 2. X-Axis = engagement level from those contacts 3. Circle Size = account value 4. Color = account sentiment

Many insights are evident in this example:

1. Circle 1 = account has a deep footprint from engaged contacts that are happy. Yet this account is relatively small: Is there an expansion opportunity here? 2. Circle 2 = high-value account with a low footprint and low engagement. Plus, the contacts there are unhappy. Listen to those people to turn the account green and prevent them from disengaging!  3. Circle 3 = a totally disengaged, high-value account. Uh-oh… are they about to churn? Perhaps an executive sponsor should reach out. Example 2: Click a circle above to see the Account “X-Ray” where an account team can understand the experiences and drivers of the account’s sentiment:

TopBox also provides unique visualizations for root-cause analysis across key customer segments, oversight reporting for action management, and more.

Winners: 2017 CX Vendor Excellence Awards


Temkin Group announces the winners of its 2017 Customer Experience Vendor Excellence Awards:

Clarabridge, Medallia, Qualtrics, Rant & Rave, and Root.


Here are excerpts from the winners’ submissions:

  • Clarabridge’s CX Suite helps companies understand and manage the customer experience. Customer feedback is taken in and analyzed, using Clarabridge’s advanced text analytics and sentiment analysis capabilities. The meaning of the text is analyzed, and the underlying root causes of each trend, complaint, and compliment is identified.
  • Medallia strives to be a single source of truth across all customer touchpoints and to make real-time customer feedback available to employees across the organization. Medallia’s core differentiation lies in our ability to drive thousands of active users to our application rather than depending on centralized CX teams to interpret customer feedback and share periodic reports.
  • Qualtrics’ XM Platform™ provides human-factor data–the beliefs, emotions, and sentiments that tell you “why” things are happening. The predictive intelligence layer within the platform allows companies to not only respond to the experiences they have delivered in the past, but also predict how changes will influence customer satisfaction in the future.
  • Rant & Rave helps businesses profit from customer sentiment, turning customers into Ravers by reacting and responding to their emotions and feelings in realtime. Whilst traditional CX vendors continue to rely on the collation and reporting of feedback through lengthy surveys and market research, we provide our clients with a disruptive engagement model, which delivers industry-leading response rates.
  • Root Inc.’s Customers for Life process includes defining a customer-first culture at the leader level, empowering managers to make customer-focused decisions, and providing the front line with coaching and tools to deliver an authentic customer experience. This approach engages employees at every level so they can internalize their specific role in driving the customer experience and how they impact big-picture outcomes.

Below are the first two sections from the winners’ nomination forms, Company Overview and Make The CaseRead More …

Formation of MaritzCX is Sign of VoC Times

In case you missed it, the VoC technology provider Allegiance was purchased by Maritz Holdings and then combined with Maritz Research (a part of the acquiring company) to form MaritzCX. Carine Clark, the CEO of Allegiance, was named CEO of the new company.

My take: First of all, I like the move for both Martiz and Allegiance. MaritzCX can offer a strong technology platform and a strong services capability. The newly formed company has the scale and capabilities to compete effectively for most large-scale VoC implementations.

Allegiance has been one of the growing class of applications that I call Customer Insight and Action (CIA) Platforms. I coined this term in 2010 while other people were calling them Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) systems. As the dynamics in the market continue to play out, these technologies are looking even more like CIA Platforms. Rather than just focusing on surveys and other forms of feedback, these systems increasingly:

  • Incorporate non-feedback data like customer profiles and transactional history
  • Distribute tailored, contextual insights across an organization
  • Provide alerts based on specific criteria
  • Support workflow associated with taking action based on the insights
  • Integrate with other applications like CRM and workforce management

The acquisition/merger is an acknowledgement that running a leading-edge VoC program requires more than a technology platform. Recent Temkin Group shows that only 11% of VoC programs within large companies have reached the top levels of maturity. These efforts aren’t easy. This graphic from our report, Text Analytics Reshapes VoCs, highlights some of the capabilities that future VoC programs will need: TAVoCChanges

To implement a world-class VoC program, companies need to undergo significant change. It takes a combination of:

  • CIA Platform for gathering customer data, uncovering insights, and sharing actionable insights across the organization.
  • Skills for defining research methodologies, managing the data flow, analyzing data, and building processes for sharing actionable insights and driving continuous improvement.
  • Governance for ensuring that the company makes changes across the company based on the flow of actionable insights.

MaritzCX is an attempt to combine those capabilities into a single provider. That’s the same motivation that led Mindshare (renamed InMoment) to acquire Empathica last year (which was a move that I liked for those companies as well).

This acquisition will push other aspiring CIA Platform vendors such as Clarabridge, Confirmit, Kampyle, Medallia, NICE, Qualtrics, ResponseTek, and Verint to strengthen their relationships with services companies.

Will there be more acquisition in the VoC arena? Absolutely. CIA Platforms are a natural extension to CRM and analytics applications, so watch for the big software players (e.g., Oracle,, IBM, SAP) to get more active into this space.

The bottom line: MaritzCX is a sign of things to come.



Congratulations to the 2013 Customer Experience Vendor Excellence Award Winners!

Customer Experience Vendor Excellence AwardsCongratulations to the 2013 winners of our Customer Experience Vendor Excellence Awards:


NICE Systems

Walker Information

In addition to those three winners, seven other companies were named as finalists: ForeSeeIpsos LoyaltyMattersightMedalliaRapideTeamSupport, and Waypoint Group.

We received 24 strong nominees, which highlights the strengthening ecosystem for supporting customer experience efforts. Here’s what a couple of the judges had to say about the nominees:

Kate Woodcock: “The breadth and depth of capability shown by all the submissions bodes very well for our still-maturing industry.  We’re in good hands – with help from these organizations, companies that choose to commit to and adopt customer-driven change can expect to differentiate themselves in their industry and reap the rewards.”

Mila D’Antonio: “The winners and finalists demonstrate a real commitment to integrating their clients’ voice of the customer data across channels, and helping their clients enable customer-focused cultures. Their customers show proven results that a focus on the customer experience can directly correlate to financial benefits.”

Nominations were judged on rhe following criteria:

  • Capabilities. What products and/or services do you offer that are uniquely able to help companies improve their customer experience?
  • Results. How have you helped companies improve their customer experience and overall business results?
  • References. What do clients say about your work?

For more information about the awards, visit the CX Vendor Excellence Awards page.

If you want to more information about the winners and finalists, I’ve included the first two sections of their nomination forms (“Company Overview” and “Make the Case”)  below. Read More …

Confirmit Buys CustomerSat As CIA Platforms Evolve

As I’ve mentioned in the past, the customer experience management space is ripe for M&A activity. So it wasn’t a big surprise last week when Confirmit announced that it had acquired CustomerSat from MarketTools. For those of you who don’t know these firms, they both provide what I call Customer Insight and Action (CIA) platforms that are sometimes referred to as Enterprise Feedback Management or EFM. These vendors provide tools and capabilities for organizations to manage their voice of the customer (VoC) programs.

I spoke with Confirmit CEO Henning Hansen and members of his management team about this move. Not surprisingly, they were excited about the opportunities for both companies. CustomerSat brings 120 or so enterprise customers and a strong services team. The execs also spoke about how CustomerSat customers will get access to new capabilities such as Confirmit’s mobile features from its previous acquisition of Techneos. Here are some other tidbits from my discussion:

  • Confirmit is committed to supporting both platforms. Hansen told me that they “will not lose one customer because of shutting off support.” Having said that, the company has not yet defined the combined product roadmap that (from my point of view) must eventually merge the platforms.
  • CustomerSat’s services capabilities will help Confirmit accelerate its plans to add more services around its CIA technology platform.
  • Confirmit will be able to incorporate parts of CustomerSat’s reporting and dashboard capabilities since it is better suited for access by untrained, non-analysts.
  • The companies will not immediately combine the two sales forces, but will incent the two groups to help each other with joint customers and opportunities. I expect that they will combine the salesforce by the beginning of 2013.
  • I suggested that the company should consider rebranding itself from Confirmit to CustomerSat. Hansen said that they were open to looking at all possibilities as they complete the post-acquisition plans.

My take: Although Confirmit did not share any of the financial details of this deal, it appears to be an excellent move. Confirmit has had a strong foothold in Europe and with market research companies that use its platforms as part of their offerings. CustomerSat provides the company with significant scale in the US and a stronger base of enterprise customers. It also needed to round out its platform with more services, which was a strong area for CustomerSat.

This is also an excellent move for CustomerSat and its customers. While CustomerSat is one of the most tenured CIA vendors and has had a strong offering, it was somewhat orphaned when TPG Growth purchased MarketTools to combine other pieces of the company with SurveyMonkey. This move should provide more stability for CustomerSat customers and a stronger long-term roadmap. Having said that, both CustomerSat and Confirmit customers will likely have to deal with some migration issues in the future when Confirmit merges the platforms. I would expect the company to invest heavily in minimizing the impact of these transitions.

More importantly, this solidifies Confirmit as one of the leading CIA vendors for large enterprises along with vendors such as Allegiance, Medallia, Mindshare Technologies, ResponseTek, and Vovici.

As VoC programs continue to expand and mature (see Temkin Group report: Prepare For Next Generation Voice of the Customer Programs), we expect to see demand continue to grow for CIA platforms. These vendors will need to increasingly build out their social media, analytics and mobile capabilities while adding services to support more advanced VoC programs within large enterprises.

I expect to see additional acquisitions in this market as the CIA vendors creep into other markets such as CRM, analytics, market research, and business intelligence.

The bottom line: The CIA market will continue to evolve

Verint Buys Vovici; Let The Games Begin

I spoke with Verint and Vovici execs today about Verint’s acquisition of Vovici for an estimated $76 million. For those of you who don’t know these vendors, Verint provides workforce management, call recording, and analytical capabilities targeted at contact centers. Vovici is an Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) vendor (I consider EFM an outdated term) that provides voice of the customer (VoC) software and services. It appears that Vovici will continue to operate somewhat independently as “A Verint Company.”

My take: First of all, kudos to Verint. It’s a good extension to its offering and the price tag seems fair (although I don’t get too involved in valuations). And, they can share all of the company towels that have a “V” monogram. 🙂 This is a natural evolution in the market, and is consistent with the M&A activity I’ve expected and have been writing about for a while. Here are some things that I think we can learn from this acquisition:

  • The contact center is a VoC goldmine. There’s a ton of insights about customers that remain locked inside of contact centers. Companies can learn a lot by blending their contact center interactions into their voice of the customer programs.
  • Unstructured data is critical. Vovici grew up as a survey vendor which is the heritage of most of the “EFM” firms. But there’s a ton of lost insight in unstructured content such as social media conversations, call center interactions, sales notes, etc. That’s why “unstructured data appreciation” is one of our 8 customer experience megatrends. Vovici will be able to tap into Verint’s voice analytics to offer compelling capabilities around things like mobile voice feedback.
  • Look for a NICE next move. Verint’s largest competitor, Israel-based Nice Systems, needs to make a move. With a ton of “EFM” vendors around, there are a lot to choose from (including Allegiance, Medallia, Mindshare, and even another Israeli firm, Ransys, to name just a few of the many vendors).
  • The big boys will awaken. Verint’s acquisition of a major player in this market will accelerate the moves by large software players such as SAP, Oracle, SAS, and IBM. I’ve discussed that this market was heading away from “EFM” vendors towards what I’ve called “Customer Insight And Action (CIA) Platforms.” These vendors are evolving into other categories like CRM, BI, analytics, contact center, and BPM in which much larger vendors play.
  • Voice of the customer programs are evolving. All of these vendor moves will make it easier for companies to develop actionable insights from a variety of data sources. That’s why firms must continue to update and evolve their VoC programs.

The bottom line: This is the start of a busy M&A season.

P.S. Check out our Voice Of The Customer Topic Page

Congrats to VoC Winners: Experian, Progressive, and Vanguard

Well, it’s been a wild day; the Grand Hyatt was hopping today as we kicked off our Customer Experience Forum.

My opening keynote speech seemed to go over really well. I weaved the story of the customer experience journey together with the story of Dorothy’s journey in the Wizard Of Oz. I actually ended my speech with a rewritten version of the song “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” I also showcased some data from my new report that went live today called “Customer Experience Boosts Revenue.” I’ll talk more about my speech and that research in future posts.

For now, I want to congratulate the three winners of Forrester’s 2009 Voice Of The Customer (VoC) Award: Experian, Progressive, and Vanguard. We received 40 strong nominations, so these winners did a really great job. They all were adept at the four key elements of a VoC program: Listening, Interpreting, Reacting, and Monitoring and were able to identify significant business results from those efforts. You can download their nomination forms from Forrester’s customer experience blog.

There were so many outstanding nominations, that we named 11 finalists:

  • Cardinal Health
  • Experian
  • Gaylord
  • Hyatt Place
  • iRobot
  • Logitech
  • Oracle
  • Progressive Insurance
  • Symantec
  • Vanguard

Voice of the customer is a critical component for just about any customer experience effort. And the trends indicate that VoC will become even more important in the future. A lot of the advances in VoC are coming from innovative work from a number of vendors. That’s why one of the questions we asked was: “What technology vendors or service providers are critical to your success?”

Here’s a shout out to the vendors that were mentioned by the 11 finalists:

Bain and Company, Burke Research, CAHPS, Clarabridge, Cognos, Convergys, ECHO, Healthways, iModerate, JD Power, Lotus Notes, M/A/R/C, Medallia, Microsoft, National Committee for Quality Assurance, NICE, Opinion Lab, Oracle, Radiano, RightNow Technologies, Satmetrix, Somentics, TeaLeaf, Vovici, and Webtrends.

The nominations were loaded with great insights, so I’ll be writing a lot more about what we found.

The bottom line: Congratulations to all of the winners, finalists, and the vendors that helped!