Have you ever been to Wonderland?  

Companies accustomed to CX research expertise and ongoing service partners on the one hand, but seeking the newest, most powerful online VOC reporting sophistication on the other, face a dilemma...

To find the best reporting systems out there, we see many companies turning more and more to firms outside the typical research circles they've worked with in the past--firms whose roots are often in software, rather than research. Empowered by the kind of investor support researchers can only dream of, this combined with their software DNA permits them to develop amazing VOC platforms that, to their credit, solve most of the online reporting issues research firms have struggled to address--as well as some that weren't even thought possible years ago (think social media integration).  

Faced with compelling new players and the promise of exciting new software benefits, more and more companies have gone down this new path only to find they're now living in ‘Wonderland’.  Delighted with the operational delivery of the reporting platforms and the exciting features they offer, many still find themselves longing for something more--the specialized CX expertise and ongoing account management support their former research partners excelled at.

We know these software players promise much, particularly exciting technology platforms, but as the 'new kids on the block', given the evolutionary path some have taken it should come as little surprise that they may not always be fully prepared to meet your every research need.  These new SaaS players absolutely shine at building and delivering stellar reporting platforms but, to those accustomed to full service research expertise and guidance, at times these new partners are challenged to meet your expectations for a 'dedicated research partner'.

That said, in weighing the decision to pursue a pure software partner path, here are some frequent assumptions we've found can lead to misconceptions and, at times, unhappy experiences:

  • I'll get the same CX research expertise I'm used to
  • I'll get the same analytic expertise I'm used to
  • I'll get the same kind of dedicated team I'm used to
  • I'll get everything I used to get, for less money and with less overhead
  • My team will be able to absorb the extra work internally.

As those who've made these assumptions can attest, one or more of these may prove untrue if left unspoken or unplanned for.  At other times, when raised, both parties may end up talking past each other, misunderstanding the full expectations and capabilities each brings to the table.

Thus, today we find that as pure software firms have edged into areas outside their core competency, they've excelled in some specific ways (great systems) but struggled in others (full service research expertise/support).  Unless research/survey design, account management, ongoing client service/support, responsiveness, offline reporting/analytics, consulting, partnering and offline presentations aren't needed, be sure plan in advance for a different service experience, and to act with both eyes wide open.

Today's latest cutting edge reporting platforms will empower operations, but don't forget to be clear about what you need and expect to empower—and support—you. Keep this in mind as you weigh the benefits and the pros and cons of making the transition from your trusted 'old' research partners to these 'younger' new kids on the block.

If you enter with your eyes wide open, you can take steps and make plans to avoid some of these pitfalls.  And if you've ever experienced this new dynamic, let us know.  We'd love to hear your story!  

To better meet your research AND software support needs, contact us any time at info@duSentio.com.  

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