Consolidate CX Stack

Craig, an executive at ACNE Enterprises gets a call from Fred, his top sales guy. Fred says, “I lost that big deal, because of our Google Reviews.” Ouch, Craig is not happy. He runs down the hall and quickly sticks his head in Stephanie’s office—the head of marketing. “Steph, what’s up with all these Google reviews,” Craig says angrily. “We just missed out on a massive deal that we couldn’t afford to lose. Fix it.”

And there it is, a box to check.  

There are over 400 companies in the reputation management space, each attempting to solve some piece of the reputation management puzzle. Most are more “box checkers” than business solutions. In this example, Craig wants to “fix” the company’s reviews. He has no visibility past the problem in front of him. He just wants happy customers writing reviews. Of these 400, nearly 30% can check that box—well, kind of. That is how the reputation management world has evolved, one problem at a time, one box to check and then on to the next.

“Fix it!”

That’s usually how it starts. That’s also the reason many marketers choose solutions that limit their outcomes. Stephanie needs to fix the company’s Google reviews, so she hires Podium to manage interactions. Podium focuses on Google and is funded by Google Ventures. They seem like a good solution to check this box. 

Six months later, ACNE opens up its fifteenth office. Stephanie notices that all of the listings websites have inconsistent data. For example, her Danville, California location shows 723 Becker Street on Yelp. That’s an old address. Bing and Yahoo have the correct address information, but both have an old 1-800 number. In fact, there are over 100 listings online for the Danville location and none of them perfectly match the ACNE website. Stephanie has another box to check. This time, she goes with Yext. They seem to have the best listings management solution.

A few months later, Craig is in a board meeting, and is pressured for deeper insights from the customer base. Brian, the chair of the board, has a lot of experience with NPS reports and wants to see how ACNE stacks up against the competition. Brian has worked with Qualtrics in the past, so it’s an easy choice to use them for business intelligence reporting. ACNE is now sending the Podium survey to all closed transactions and using the Qualtrics survey for all support and success team interactions. Another box checked. 

After a few months with Qualtrics insights, Craig, Brian and the board realize they have an employee engagement problem. This time they need a survey to collect employee sentiment and will likely need an engagement partner. Good news, Qualtrics has an employee survey. It’s an additional fee, but they won’t need another vendor to check that box. For employee engagement, Success Factors must be the right partner since they were purchased by SAP, a trusted software company. Their “Total Workforce” product seems like the right solution. And yet another box checked.

We could go on and on about all the boxes that get checked one by one. We haven’t discussed employee scorecards, or company online mentions monitoring, or employee social monitoring or third-party reviews sites beyond Google. Check, check, check, check—and ACNE further silos functions that should work together. They hire people, select software, spend money, react to the problem of the day and check box after box, one at a time.


They are a part of a single puzzle. Piece it together and you will discover a beautiful picture of your company: happy employees and happy customers partnering as advocates and fanatics of your brand.It is a picture of consistent data for all locations and lots of happy customer reviews everywhere. Each of the individual providers are checking a Reputation Management Box. Together, it is a Customer and Employee Experience strategy. Evolving your ideas and seeing it as a single problem will create better outcomes than any of the box checking solutions could individually.

Customer and Employee Experience Management is not a list of individual problems and solutions. It a single puzzle. When it is put together properly, each piece works far more efficiently than it possible could as an individual solution.

Craig wanted to fix his Google reviews so he could stop losing business. What he didn’t know was that he should be focused on putting together a complete, interconnected strategy. Instead, the ACNE Enterprises team took two years and spent millions of dollars checking boxes, only to build siloed technologies and teams.

Siloed technologies are often managed by different stakeholders within the organization. The head of HR may start kicking and screaming if you try to remove software they have been using for years. Department heads and their teams often protect their domains and stay with bad tech because of a relationship with the vendor or familiarity with the product. You might find yourself building a highly integrated strategy and only deploying a few pieces of the puzzle at a time. 

The CX 2.0 Audit is coming soon! In the meantime, here’s a challenge guaranteed to make any CEO uncomfortable.