SMG’s 3 key takeaways from The Forrester Wave™: Customer Feedback Management Platforms, Q1 2020

Ken White | Feb 13, 2020 Ken White 02/13/20

SMG has been recognized as a Strong Performer in The Forrester Wave™: Customer Feedback Management Platforms, Q1 2020 report, one of the industry’s most thorough and detailed analyses of the customer feedback management (CFM) marketplace. For those unfamiliar, this Forrester report is an independent evaluation of the 10 most significant CFM vendors on 40 criteria across three categories: current offering, strategy, and market presence.

As you can imagine, there’s a wealth of information to glean from such a comprehensive evaluation process, but I thought it would be worthwhile to highlight some key themes for SMG and our clients:

      1. SMG’s unique partnership model provides a differentiated level of service

Without a doubt, our most rewarding takeaway is that the report acknowledges our differentiated approach to client relationships with the highest possible score in the managed + professional services criterion. This resonates with what our clients want, as we know they value the relationship with their SMG teams and are looking for more than just a software solution. SMG’s feature-rich, scalable, and reliable technology platform held its own against the competition. But we continue to stand out by delivering the most value to clients through collaborative partnership, account management, and ongoing strategic insight delivery.

We believe this differentiated approach to partnership is evidenced by the fact that SMG was the only vendor to receive the highest possible score in the managed + professional services criterion. Specifically, client references raved about our “actionable high-quality insights” and unanimously agree that we “help them show business impact on an ongoing basis.” We’re absolutely proud of our performance across all categories and metrics, but it’s hard to top hearing clients mention those kinds of meaningful program outcomes. 

     2. It’s more critical than ever to establish effective listening posts + action-
         oriented reporting tools

­­The Forrester Wave report provides an extremely detailed breakdown across numerous CFM criteria—and if you’re not immersed in the world of customer insights, it can seem a bit overwhelming to try and determine what matters most to your organization. Aside from the professional services mentioned above, a best-in-class program requires:

  • Research-backed data collection technologies for solicited + unsolicited feedback
  • Multi-source reporting views that break down data silos between measurement channels
  • Intuitive reporting tools that engage field teams + democratize insights across the enterprise

While SMG has helped clients evolve their measurement strategies by incorporating unsolicited feedback sources and maximizing the value of unstructured data with AI-based text analytics, we’re especially proud to receive the highest possible score in the dashboards + reporting criterion in this  report. By making it easier to distribute the data and insights to the teams tasked with acting on them, we help clients build a customer-centric company culture across their organization and take an outcomes-based approach to managing the customer experience.

     3. We’re committed to keeping our strategies in lockstep with client needs +
         market expectations

Just like our clients and their customers, we aim to be responsive in soliciting client feedback and using it to fine-tune our own strategies accordingly. Whether it’s our client advisory board, usability testing, or regular program check-ins, we realize one of our core responsibilities is to align SMG’s product roadmap and long-term strategic initiatives with client needs. Beyond priding ourselves on being a collaborative partner, we’re fortunate to work with some of the world’s most innovative brands—and we’ve found that keeping pace with their expectations has historically kept us at the forefront of the CFM space.

One of the primary benefits of participating in something like The Forrester Wave is that it challenges you to take a step back from the day-to-day and validate those efforts by cross-checking them against an independent perspective. We’ve made significant inroads in evolving our technology over the last several years—from new leadership and development positions to largescale investments in data science and AI-based analytics. This evaluation has made us more confident than ever that we’re allocating those resources in the right areas.

Check out the full report for more detail
Those are the 3 takeaways I wanted to highlight and share immediately. As I said, there’s an endless amount to gain from a process like this—and we’ll spend a lot of time over the coming weeks combing (and re-combing) the report to make sure we benefit from all of it. We’re proud of our evaluation and where we stand today, but also eager to get back to making sure we’re even better positioned to help our clients change the way they do business tomorrow.

If you’d like to get a deeper read on Forrester’s analysis of the CFM space, you can access the full report here.

Ken White | Chief Operating Officer

Customer Experience Update