How a robust XM solution can support brands during a global pandemic

Bennett Gamel | Apr 28, 2020 Bennett Gamel 04/28/20

For quarterly product updates, we typically dive into the enhancements SMG’s tech team has made to the smg360® platform. As COVID-19 continues to impact our clients and their industries, we shifted our roadmap priorities to deliver enhancements that would allow for more informed decision-making during this unprecedented time. This blog details how strategic enhancements to your experience management (XM) platform can help with the transition into a new normal for business operations.   

Stay connected to employees with an EX solution

The global health pandemic introduced operational regulations and stay-at-home orders that forced retailers, restaurants, and healthcare organizations to look at the employee experience (EX) in a new light. To help brands engage with their employees and support them as much as possible, our Voice of Employee (VoE) solution offers multiple feedback channels, including: 

  • Always-on VoE: A lot is expected of employees right now, and they’ve earned the opportunity to provide feedback in the easiest way possible. With a 24/7 platform to share feedback with leadership, brands can gain insight into employee experiences, and front-line workers can relay any customer complaints or compliments they hear about.  
  • Pulse: Intermittent pulse surveys solicit employee feedback during designated time periods. For brands that have had to shift operations, SMG can help determine optimal pulse survey launch dates and what questions will provide the most useful information.  
  • Onboarding: While the job market has taken a tremendous hit, many essential businesses are hiring more employees to keep up with demand. With so many workers going through onboarding under unique circumstances, it’s imperative for brands to gain feedback on the process to know what they’re doing right and how they can improve.

As the pandemic continues to impact businesses and their employees, one thing is certain: how brands treat their employees amid coronavirus will determine how consumers feel about them after. We’re ensuring our clients are positioned to listen to their employees to provide the best experiences for them now and in the future. 

Text analytics enhancements keep field teams up to date

COVID-19 has caused a massive shift in the customer journey—and as this journey becomes more complex, your CX data might be overwhelming. Text analytics can help brands uncover targeted insights from mountains of data. While you can use the technology to dig deeper on a variety of topics, SMG’s text analytics technology is designed specifically to streamline the feedback-to-insight process, with features like:

  • Real-time, AI-based alerts: Text analytics alerts enable clients to automatically trigger email and reporting app notifications to key staff when customers mention keywords related to coronavirus (or other areas of concern).  
  • Emerging themes: These visualizations provide details on emerging themes by displaying the categories with the most change (both positively and negatively) between time periods. Brands can reference these themes to keep track of how key drivers shift during the pandemic.
  • Sentiment by region: This geographic visualization provides an aggregated report that indicates how locations are performing on sentiment compared to the company average. With customer preferences varying by region amid COVID-19, this tool is more critical than ever.


Get the insights you need from contactless feedback

It’s hard to improve on the customer experience without feedback—but when consumers expect it to be contactless, brands must improvise. That’s why SMG is prioritizing efforts to help clients collect feedback across all touchpoints.  

As physical locations are limited and more consumers shop from home, an increase in e-commerce traffic is expected—providing brands with the opportunity to measure the digital experience with an always-on feedback tab. This source of open-ended feedback allows customers to tell you about their experiences with your digital touchpoints without a prompt.


For brands still maintaining in-store operations, eliminating paper receipts is an easy way to avoid physical contact and support the health and safety of customers and employees alike. To that end, our platform allows for contactless feedback invitation methods, such as email and in-app invitations.  

What’s next?

Helping our clients provide customers and employees with positive experiences is our top priority, and we’re proactively working to develop solutions that support the evolving needs of our clients. For information on the tech offerings we’ve discussed today, reach out to your account team or contact us. And for more coronavirus-related content and best practices, visit our COVID-19 resource center.  

Bennett Gamel | VP, Product Management

Customer Experience Update