The 2015 CRM Service Leaders: Enterprise Feedback Management

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The Market

Big data analytics is still the name of the game in this category. Analyzing unstructured customer data and feedback continues to be a major obstacle for organizations, and the vendors competing in this market are constantly being challenged to deliver powerful solutions capable of making data actionable in real time. Predictive analytics are hotter than ever, and the technology is already spreading into the enterprise feedback management market. The vendors on our leaderboard are not only "pros" at analytics, but are also building "effective pathways for transforming feedback into improved customer experiences," one analyst says. It was a close race this year, which speaks to the caliber of the solutions in the category, analysts agree.

The Leaders

Allegiance is back on the leaderboard after being named One to Watch last year. The company was acquired by MaritzCX in 2014, and the recent merger could make the vendor "the only company matching the needs of the market and demands from customers," Esteban Kolsky, founder and principal analyst at ThinkJar, says. The vendor earned 4.0s for both customer satisfaction and depth of functionality, and earned a solid 4.1 for overall company direction, which underscores analysts' positive reaction to the acquisition. "Allegiance prospects see an opportunity to apply process to technology as Maritz and Allegiance come together to help customers address the last mile in customer experience," Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research, says.

Last year's winner, IBM, struggled in the company direction criterion this year, earning only a 3.6. IBM offers a "mixed bag of different products, but overall there isn't a consistent direction across the offerings," Kolsky says. The lack of focus could just be an indication of a transitional period for the vendor, but customers will "expect to see a more organized suite soon," another analyst says. However, the vendor earned respectable 3.9s for customer satisfaction and depth of functionality and is ripe with potential, analysts agree. The company is "all about Watson right now," one analyst says, and when it comes to enterprise feedback management, "customers are hoping to see more of Watson technology applied over time to the solution offerings," according to Wang.

Though Vovici's overall company direction was in question last year, analysts awarded the vendor a 3.9 in the category this year. Vovici's offering remains strong after the company was acquired by Verint, and its vast enterprise feedback management capabilities earned it a 3.8 for depth of functionality, up from a disappointing 3.2 last year. According to Wang, Vovici's "broader product footprint is attractive to customers seeking a one-stop-shop approach." To strengthen its solution, Vovici should pay more attention to the link between customer feedback and customer experience, analysts urge.

The Winner

The "darling" of the enterprise feedback management market, according to Wang, Medallia received scores of 4.0 and higher in all of this category's criteria. Medallia has been a steady presence in the enterprise feedback management space, and "now is its time to shine," one analyst says. It's been a big year for the vendor, which secured $50 million in funding and launched a solution on the Salesforce1 platform as well. After scoring a mere 3.7 for depth of functionality last year, Medallia earned a 4.2 this year. Its highest score, however, was for customer satisfaction. "Customers and prospects enjoy the personalized attention by the team," Wang says, and the company is "fanatical about satisfaction," Kolsky adds. Analysts are also impressed with the company's direction—it's growing quickly and expanding to new groups of customers. "The push out to new verticals will take some traction, but it looks promising," Wang says. "This is a good move for the company," another analyst agrees, "and it'll be interesting to see how the solution becomes robust as it evolves."

One to Watch

InMoment missed our leaderboard by a hair this year. According to analysts, the vendor is in the midst of a comeback, earning a 4.1 for customer satisfaction. Formerly Mindshare Technologies, InMoment is quickly gaining ground following its acquisition of Empathica because the move "puts the combined companies into a stronger technology and data insights position," Wang says. To beef up its offering, InMoment should target more verticals, Kolsky says, while another analyst predicts that the Empathica purchase will play a critical role in bolstering not only InMoment's capabilities, but also its reach.

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