What is a CX program? 4 Signs It’s Time to Evolve Your Survey-Only Approach

What is a CX program? 4 Signs It’s Time to Evolve Your Survey-Only Approach

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What is a CX program? 4 Signs It’s Time to Evolve Your Survey-Only Approach

Most brands are running a customer experience (CX) survey program of some type. However, many of those programs use a survey-only approach and fall short of uncovering meaningful insights on the customer experience. But advancing those programs to a more comprehensive, holistic method can be overwhelming for brands, raising questions like:

  • How do we know when we’re ready to evolve with a CX program/vendor?
  • How can we implement a full-fledged program with ROI that impacts our bottom line?
  • What are the components of a comprehensive program?
  • How can we close the gap between surveys and a CX program?

If you’re trying to answer these questions alone, you should know there is value in program guidance and partnership. It takes more than just the right platform tech. It requires professional support that provides industry-specific expertise and a true understanding of your challenges, goals, and customer preferences + journeys.

In this blog, we’ll identify 4 signs it’s time to move your customer experience strategy beyond surveys, define what a CX program is, and provide next steps to take to invest in an experience management (XM) partnership. This will provide you with a more holistic answer to what is a CX program and help you take the best action for your brand.


Sign #1: Your customer experience feedback is becoming stagnant

One of the first indications your customer experience strategy is failing your brand is when your customer feedback starts to tell the same story over and over. This is a common issue for brands that are married to a one and done survey approach.

While there will of course be some consistencies to your customer experience data, it shouldn’t be one-note. But if the extent of your strategy is to put a survey out into the world and just let it live, be prepared for déjà vu insights—and a lack of ah-ha moments.

How to make your CX survey work harder for your company

As we’ve said before, surveys alone are not enough—but they are a very important component and if managed the right way, they can provide compelling information. The problem is, so many brands don’t know how to optimize and evolve their customer experience surveys.

Here are a best practices to reinvigorate your approach, improve response rates, and collect more meaningful data:

  • Expand your invitation methods – A POS receipt with a smart code is the most common way for brands to ask for CX feedback. But customers are interacting with your brand in a multitude of ways, and you could be missing important information if you’re not evolving with them. Consider invite options like pop-up surveys, branded apps, email invites, QR codes, or website feedback forms. By providing customers with more options to give their feedback, you’ll get a richer representation of the customer experience.
  • Implement smart surveys – By ingesting transaction data about the customer’s visit, smart surveys are more targeted to individual experiences. Customers appreciate the shorter feedback process, and brands benefit from richer insights.
  • Launch self-serve feedback – Your digital channels are a primary touchpoint for how consumers engage with your brand. But as behaviors and expectations continue to rapidly evolve, you need an agile approach to getting timely insight on what matters most. Designing and deploying self-service digital feedback is a powerful asset to any experience management program.
  • Think outside the survey – Try implementing or exploring new solutions outside traditional feedback tools, like conversational intelligence (think “AI chat bot”) to refresh insights

Sign #2: You lack insight across the full customer journey

As customers continue to interact with brands in new and evolved ways, organizations are realizing the limitations of feedback collection along the customer journey. And if you aren’t collecting data along the full customer journey, you’ve likely got massive cross-channel gaps that are impacting the customer experience.

Get a holistic view of the customer experience

By analyzing both solicited and unsolicited data across every customer touchpoint, you can truly understand the full scope of customer interactions with your brand and create an action plan focused on making targeted improvements. This customer journey map gives sound insight to the diverse array of customer touchpoints that exist in modern customer experience management. 


By capturing and analyzing consumer feedback and behavioral data across all channels—from social media, to apps, to your website, to in-store—you can connect with customers where they are, understand what motivates them, drive changes to meet their expectations, and increase loyalty across all touchpoints.

Sign #3: You’ve got a lot of data, but not a lot of answers

Perhaps your surveys are bringing in a lot of meaningful data—if someone knew what to do with it. But right now, it’s just sitting there, an untapped resource brimming with helpful information that no one knows how to translate into meaningful action. 

Drive better outcomes with customized analytics

With access to an experience management reporting + analytics platform—designed to deliver customizable data views, powerful analysis, and actionable information—your teams will be equipped to drive action that produces results.

While there are a lot of customer experience tools that will help you better analyze your feedback data, here are some of our VIPs:

  • Role-based reporting – Build customized dashboards based on the unique reporting needs in each level of your organization.
  • AI text analytics – The most effective approach to text analytics leverages cutting-edge research in neural networks + natural language processing (NLP) to analyze feedback the way a person would—going beyond individual words to surface emerging trends, themes, and sentiment with greater contextual accuracy.
  • Business intelligence – Answer complex business problems more efficiently + innovate with confidence with our advanced experience management analytics capabilities in a centralized reporting dashboard.
  • Mobile reporting app – With role-based views, benchmarks, and close-the-loop functionality, the industry’s highest-rated mobile reporting app helps you quickly move from insight to action—without taking anyone off the front lines.

Sign #4: You’re unable to link your work to business growth

Smart business expenses need to show ROI, and experience management programs are no exception. But when your CX team is on a time crunch to show benefits and results, it can be a challenge to show measurable impact on business—especially if your program has a data-driven, survey-only approach.

Become an insights-driven organization

Proving ROI is more than an exercise in accounting—it’s about aligning customer experience targets with growth strategies + tactical plans of action. Insights-driven organizations thrive by leveraging prescriptive reporting to target specific areas for focus and using predictive analytics to go beyond assessing impact to project the specific outcomes that success will be measured against.

When you’re able to demonstrate the causational relationships between experience management initiatives and critical business outcomes across channels, proving ROI isn’t a challenge—it’s an opportunity to align cross-functional strategies, create consistencies in the customer experience, and build a customer-centric culture.

So: What is a CX program?

The right customer experience program captures and analyzes consumer feedback and behavioral data across all channels (not just through solicited surveys) to better understand customer motivations and meet evolving expectations.

Because here’s the thing: If you’re a brand with an experience management strategy that lives and dies by a survey, you’re not getting the insights you need. But where do you go from here? Your leadership teams are already too busy to put forward the effort that’s needed to create a comprehensive CX program (hence the bare bones approach).

But creating a best-in-class program isn’t something you should do alone. You need the right XM partner to do the heavy lifting for you.

SMG’s unique software with a service (SwaS) approach helps organizations generate new revenue, grow existing revenue, reduce churn + detractors, and drive operational efficiencies. By delivering insights across the enterprise and measuring experiences at every touchpoint, our unique partnership model includes platform technology and professional services that help clients change the way they do business.

In fact, SMG commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact™ study of the smg360® CX solution, identifying the real-world ROI our customers can see through their programs. The study revealed how— within just 3 years—clients can see:


One of the defining characteristics of organizations that make the leap from being data-driven to insights-driven is how they approach ROI. It’s not just an after-the-fact calculation to justify expenditures—it’s an ongoing process embedded into each step of every customer-centric initiative. From aligning customer experience metrics to business challenges and organizational KPIs to putting systems in place to track progress, achieve improvement goals, and demonstrate bottom-line impact, it requires an iterative, cross-functional strategy.

Once that shift takes hold, the sky is the limit for your CX strategy.

To learn how SMG’s unique software with a service (SwaS) model can help you build + sustain an ROI-generating customer experience program, request a demo.