As in the past two years, predictive analytics and real-time capabilities continue to be hot in the enterprise feedback management space. Last year saw consumer reliance on mobile devices have an impact on vendors’ solutions, and that trend persists this year as the number of smartphones and other mobile devices continues to rise. Moreover, it is likely that these trends will continue going forward, with customers expecting responses to their inquiries that match the speed of their fast-paced, mobile-first lives.
This year saw a mix of old and new names on the leaderboard, suggesting that while some of the standbys in the space continue to succeed, other vendors have identified areas where their often much larger competitors have made less of a mark. By providing services that address these gaps, smaller vendors can make a name for themselves.
Furthermore, many companies in this category, especially big names that have been dominant, received low scores on cost this time around, suggesting that the expensive nature of their solutions might be catching up with them.
As suggested by the number of new appearances on the leaderboard this year, vendors looking to break into the space can do well for themselves by providing streamlined, cost-effective solutions, particularly if they focus on addressing the increasing number of consumer devices and customer demand for real-time responses.
Confirmit made it onto the leaderboard again this year, largely on the strength of a 4.0 score in cost, an area where many vendors in this space have struggled. The vendor was also strong in customer satisfaction, earning a 3.9 score in that area. Ray Wang, principal analyst and founder at Constellation Research, notes the company’s expertise in the mobile arena, saying it “continues to lead in mobile experience.” Going forward, the vendor should look to improve in depth of functionality and company direction to remain competitive. The vendor tallied scores of 3.3 and 3.4 in these areas, respectively, well off pace compared to the other top companies.
Last year’s winner, IBM, had strong marks in depth of functionality, company direction, and customer satisfaction, scoring a 3.6, a 3.8, and a 3.5, respectively. However, the vendor struggled with cost this time around, an area where it had posted a 4.1 last year; it managed a score of only 2.5 this year. Nevertheless, Rebecca Wettemann, vice president at Nucleus Research, says Big Blue “benefits from a long history of investment in this product area,” and that “further integration and a leveraging of Watson technologies make it a player to watch.”
NICE jumped onto the leaderboard this year with a pair of 4.0 scores in company direction and customer satisfaction. The vendor also posted a solid score in depth of functionality (3.5). NICE has focused on incorporating a real-time element into its customer feedback systems—a component that reflects customer demand for expedited responses to their queries. Yet despite these successes, a low score of 2.0 in cost held the company back.
Oracle had a pair of strong scores in depth of functionality (4.0) and company direction (4.0), as well as a 3.5 in customer satisfaction. According to Wettemann, the company’s “focus on cloud and data cloud” has “important implications for the feedback management space.” However, as with NICE, analysts identified cost as a weak point for the vendor, as evidenced by a low score of 2.5.
Qualtrics rocketed onto the leaderboard and emerges as this year’s winner. The vendor, which has never been featured before, had strong scores in multiple areas, earning a 3.9 in depth of functionality, a 4.0 in company direction, and a 3.5 in customer satisfaction. Furthermore, despite a relatively low score of 3.0 in cost, the company beat out many of its competitors in that area. According to Wang, Qualtrics is “expensive but good” and “what most customers rave about.” The company should look to improve on cost to sustain its success and further distinguish itself from the competition. —Sam Del Rowe
ONE TO WATCH
Although many vendors in this category struggled with cost, that wasn’t at all the case for SurveyMonkey, which posted a market-high 5.0 in that area. The strength of this score earned the company its one-to-watch status this year, despite mediocre scores of 3.0 in the other three areas (depth of functionality, direction, and customer satisfaction). The vendor might be a good option for smaller organizations that don’t require the more extensive capabilities provided by larger, more expensive competitors, analysts suggest.
[Editor's note: The overall award rating is based on a composite score of analyst ratings for customer satisfaction, depth of functionality, company direction, and cost. For the cost score, analysts gave the highest marks to vendors with the lowest expected costs. Company revenues were also factored into the overall score, but these numbers are not included in the chart above.]