Getty Images

Qualtrics tackles contact center experience measurement

Can employee experience improvement, especially in the contact center, improve the customer experience? Qualtrics wants users to measure it and find out.

The happier contact center agents are at work, the better service they provide and -- by extension -- a better customer experience, CX conventional wisdom says.

Qualtrics aims to measure that for users with a new product line, CrossXM, that analyzes contact center experience data as it relates to CX data. The new tools aim to expose where customer satisfaction scores (CSATs) are sagging in a contact center operation and then, through analytics, identify why -- and suggest remediations.

"Most people believe that happy, engaged employees go the extra mile to deliver the best possible experience to customers," said Brad Anderson, president of products and engineering at Qualtrics. "So the question that everybody has is, 'What are the levers in the employee experience that are going to increase their engagement?'"

The first CrossXM tool, CrossXM Employee and Customer Analytics, is currently available. It measures how manager support, career development, recognition and compensation figure into how contact center agents and field service technicians feel about their job -- and how it directly influences how the customers they help feel about the company. It also shows how the lack of those employee experience (EX) boosters can negatively affect customer satisfaction.

CrossXM can also measure how automations of low-level service problems affect the perceptions of both customers and contact center agents. For example, automating online account password changes might boost experience scores from customers, who don't have to wait on hold to do it, and for agents, who don't have to spend a chunk of their shifts changing passwords.

Qualtrics designed CrossXM Employee and Customer Analytics for organizations that have a large number of customer-facing employees, Anderson said, which makes the contact center the biggest potential user. Qualtrics believes customers in the retail and healthcare verticals might find it a useful tool as well to surface areas to improve service.

"None of us wake up in the morning and say, 'I want to call the call center,'" Anderson said. "The call center becomes the point where customer experiences are falling short, because you call the call center as a last resort."

Qualtrics CrossXM example widget screenshot
Qualtrics CrossXM takes contact center experience data and hashes it with metrics such as CSAT scores to inform users where employee experience can be improved.

Brand focus tool coming next year

Another tool, CrossXM Brand and Customer Analytics, is planned for rollout next year. It examines a user's customer experiences along different touchpoints to identify bottlenecks or other problems that are tarnishing customer perceptions of a company's brand. An example of this might be a rental car company having a long checkout or return process that could be streamlined -- and shortened -- with automation.

Gartner, which uses the term total experience to describe the commingling of CX and EX data, predicts that 60% of large enterprises will develop total experience strategies by 2026. These digital initiatives, in theory, will help turn employees and customers into brand advocates.

"The Qualtrics CrossXM offering is an example of tech providers recognizing this shift toward a more connected and holistic experience strategy for many organizations seeking an advantage," said Jason Wong, vice president analyst at Gartner.

Voice of the customer tools, themselves an evolution of 1990s online surveys, are evolving into more sophisticated data collection and analytics tools to manage experience insights, according to Gartner research. IT leaders on top of this trend can use fewer tech tools -- and fewer surveys -- to measure employee and customer sentiment and make quicker, more proactive decisions to improve experiences, and even product and process design. While the contact center might be where this commingling of CX and EX data begins, Wong said he sees emerging uses in B2B sales as well.

Qualtrics CrossXM products are priced according to a user's consumption, with volume discounts.

Don Fluckinger covers enterprise content management, CRM, marketing automation, e-commerce, customer service and enabling technologies for TechTarget Editorial.

Dig Deeper on Customer service and contact center

Content Management
Unified Communications
Data Management
Enterprise AI