What Do CX Leaders Expect from Their Technology Providers?

Between December and January, Aberdeen surveyed 369 customer experience (CX) executives across the world from companies of all sizes and industries to determine the key trends and best practices influencing CX programs. One of the questions in this survey was if respondents have changed their CX technology providers, and for those that did, the top reasons why they changed. The findings provide valuable insight into what CX leaders expect from their technology providers, as seen in Table 1.

But, before diving deeper into analysis of the findings, it's important to note that the term "CX solution" covers all technologies companies use to manage customer interactions. These include systems such as CRM, contact center, self-service, marketing automation, etc. As such, Table 1 shows the top reasons  companies have decided to change the technology providers of one or more of the solutions they replaced.

It's also important to note that this question was asked as a multiple-choice question because companies might change their CX technology providers for multiple reasons. Hence the percentages in the table don't add up to 100 percent. 

Table 1: The Top Reasons Companies Stop Doing Business with Their CX Solution Providers

Reasons for Leaving CX Solution Provider

All Respondents

Lack of value in comparison with pricing


Poor user experience


Lack of needed features & functionality


Poor customer support


Lack of reliability (e.g. long downtimes and regular failures)


Source: Aberdeen, February 2019

The number one reason why CX leaders abandoned their current technology providers is the lack of perceived value, compared to the cost of deploying and using related technology. Underlining the fact that lack of value refers to perceived value is critical here. Technology truly helps CX leaders address numerous challenges. However, the benefits from each technology depend on the maturity level of how CX leaders use relevant technology. For example, analytics is a very powerful technology. However, without a clear program for how to use analytics, which metrics to track and analyze, etc., companies won't get the most out of their investments in this technology.

If your company struggles to get the most out of your current technology, we recommend that you contact the provider to note your challenges and ask for guidance on how to get the most out of your current technology. You can also use online communities provided by many technology providers to interact with your peers (other CX leaders) to learn how they use the same technology to achieve the results you're struggling to achieve.

Almost equally rated as top reasons why firms changed their CX technology providers were poor user experiences and a lack of relevant features and functionality. Together, these two data points tell an important and compelling story.

Features and functionality of solutions are important early during the technology acquisition process. However, when those tools are deployed, employees must be able to easily use them to do their jobs. Hence, if user experience is not part of your solution evaluation criteria when buying CX technology, we recommend making it a part of your criteria in the future. This will help minimize the risk of employees struggling to use technology to accomplish CX objectives. It will also minimize the risk of potentially costly and complex technology replacements.

A surprising result from the survey was that a lack of solution reliability was the fifth top reason why CX leaders changed their technology providers (cited by only 5 percent of respondents). This is surprising, as unreliable solutions that don't function as needed or that result in excessive downtimes hinder the ability to accomplish CX objectives.

Most CX leaders expect reliability (the overall solution uptime and non-failure) to be part of the overall value they will get from their technology. As such, it's important for CX leaders to ascertain the reliability of their CX technologies, but also to consider it with other factors, such as the user experience, cost, etc.

Following the above recommendations will help CX leaders minimize the need to replace technology by following a more careful technology acquisition process. If you don't currently use the above factors as part of your evaluation criteria for new or existing CX technologies, we highly recommend you do so.

Omer Minkara is a vice president and principal analyst for contact center and customer experience management at Aberdeen. Follow him at @omerminkara.