The Missing Link in CX Measurement is…

The Missing Link in CX Measurement is…

...Social Intelligence!

CX stands for customer experience for those of you who are not familiar with the acronym. There are more related acronyms that are sometimes used interchangeably: EFM (Enterprise Feedback Management), CEM or CXM (Customer Experience Management or Measurement). Measurement happens first, management follows. Titbit: managing the experience without measuring it first is like driving a car in complete darkness.


Forbes says that customer experience is the "cumulative impact of multiple touchpoints" over the course of a customer's interaction with an organisation.

A Wikipedia definition for EFM is: Enterprise feedback management is a system of processes and software that enables organizations to centrally manage deployment of surveys while dispersing authoring and analysis throughout an organization…

…Modern EFM systems can track feedback from a variety of sources including customers, market research, social media, employees, data collection, vendors, partners and audits in a privatized or public manner.”

This article is definitely about modern EFM systems, and the main point here is that it is not enough to use surveys as the operative word in the EFM definition above.

Data Sources

There are many sources for customer experience feedback but they can be classified in three main groups; these are data from:

  1. asking questions
  2. transactions or other recorded behaviour
  3. “listening” to unsolicited online feedback

The 3rd group is what we refer to as Social Intelligence.

The mainstream customer experience measurement vendors focus on surveys after each experience type; the really good ones also measure visits or sales, recording feedback on digital kiosks, using call centers, chat apps and even face to face interactions to record, measure and integrate.

Here is what the excellent ones do: they do a 360 degree measurement by including and integrating social intelligence on top of everything else. Although social Media is mentioned as a source of information by most, it is very rarely included in a customer experience measurement program. When it is actually included, it is limited by their language analytics capability, as the few tools that do this can only carry out text analysis - for sentiment in particular - in English, or translate another language into English and then annotate the data with sentiment. Most importantly, when they offer it their sentiment and topic accuracy is lower than 60%.

The Players

EFM is another case of disruption of a very specific part of market research: the stakeholder assessment. Unfortunately, the market research sector has been very slow in adapting to change, with the result being that tech companies have mushroomed in the areas of DIY, Social Media Monitoring, Mobile and EFM/CXM.

An organisation cannot replace their customer loyalty and employee engagement programmes (run by a market research agency), with a flashy software platform from one day to the next. Our suggestion to users is to always ‘connect the dots’ to combine multiple sources of information, i.e. “marry” state of the art technology with experienced analysts and data scientists; only then, can true insights be synthesized. A machine cannot do that on its own - even if the best machine learning algorithms are employed, utilising the best methods of predictive analytics.

Some multinational market research agencies that decided to fight back for what has been theirs are Nielsen, Ipsos, Maritz and Kantar. The tech companies that are leading the push and growth in this sector are the likes of: CloudCherry, Medallia, Qualtrics, Evaluagent, Usabilla, Aptean, Critizr, Verint and so on.

Social Intelligence Integration

Where should all the feedback from all the different sources “live” so that it can fulfill its destiny? Its destiny being to drive customer commitment and loyalty that is. Typically it should “live” on an online dashboard. Is it straightforward to integrate social intelligence to surveys? Nope. It takes a good thorough understanding of how customer satisfaction/loyalty and experience surveys work alongside the unsolicited online posts. Simple things are misunderstood and lead to confusion if the vendor is not experienced in all data sources. For example, someone who posts online is labelled as a “respondent” and their post is labelled as a “response” - which implies there was a question to begin with, when it is rather about an author and a post expressing an unsolicited opinion or fact.

Data integration happens at multiple levels:

  • the topics included in the surveys are also reported through the semantic analysis of the unsolicited feedback on social media
  • the brands, products and services mentioned in the questionnaires are also keywords used to harvest relevant online posts
  • The Net Promoter Score (NPS) from the surveys is mirrored by the Net Sentiment Score from social intelligence.


The feedback delivery mechanisms vary and it is best to use a combination of the following:

  • Online dashboard accessible by smartphones, tablets and desktops
  • Email and text Alerts for issues that need the immediate attention of someone
  • Periodic executive summaries
  • Periodic PPT reports and presentations

Everything described in this article boils down to one idea: delight is the sought after customer experience by the customers and the service organisations alike. It is rather simple when you think about it: understanding what the customer wants, needs and likes is a precondition to delight; without social intelligence an important piece and multiple experience touchpoints are missing from the full picture. As always please do reach out with your own feedback on Twitter @DigitalMR_CEO or by email.



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