We’ve published a lot of content since we launched xminstitute.com, so I thought this was a good time to share some insight into how XM Institute approaches its research and the thought leadership content we produce from it.
Research is foundational to everything we do. The Institute’s goal is to inspire XM leaders and equip them with the skills and knowledge to drive the most value from their efforts. We believe that this requires us to constantly push the envelope on our thinking. Here are some of the macro questions we aim to answer with our research:
- What is the future of XM and how should XM leaders prepare for it?
- How can organizations embed XM across their day-to-day operations?
- How can we better understand people, and apply that knowledge to all of the experiences that an organization creates?
- What are the most effective ways to initiate and evolve XM efforts to drive value?
There’s no simple way to address these questions, and the answers actually change over time. To keep a pulse on this shifting XM landscape and uncover best practices that help XM leaders succeed, our research taps into a variety of different sources, such as:
- Consumer studies. We do large scale annual consumer surveys, leading to some quantitative findings that inform our other research. From that, we gain insight into customer and employee experiences including data points like the correlation between CX perceptions and future purchase intentions and respondents’ satisfaction with employers.
- Organizational studies. We also do annual studies to get a picture of XM leaders’ efforts to meet experience expectations and the challenges they face along the way. We survey XM leaders to understand things like the positive business impact of CX and EX management on revenue growth, profitability, and employee retention. We also survey both CX leaders and EX leaders to understand things like program maturity levels.
- Interviews with XM leaders. To uncover best practices for everything from developing foundational XM competencies to maturing, modernizing and maximizing the value of XM programs, we do in-depth interviews with XM leaders and practitioners. In those discussions, we test our research hypotheses and look for examples of both best practices and pitfalls to avoid.
- XM subject matter experts. One of the great things about Qualtrics is that we have many of the world’s best XM experts in different roles across the company. They’re a valuable extension to our XM Institute team. In addition to tapping into this in-house expertise, we interview people at XM advisory, services, and technology organizations that work with XM leaders, including those within the Qualtrics’ Partner Network.
We analyze those different research inputs to deliver a variety of outputs, including:
- Data reports to understand the current state of XM. Our data reports — based on analysis from our annual studies — provide overviews of the consumer and the organizational sides of the XM equation. Reports like What Happens After A Bad Experience, 2019, and ROI of Customer Experience, 2020 provide insight into consumers’ experience-related perceptions and their correlation to loyalty behaviors. Reports like The Global State of XM, 2020 and The State of Customer Experience Management, 2019 detail organizations’ XM activities, capabilities, and business value delivered. Our Data Snippets feature key data points from both types of studies that you can incorporate into your own presentations.
- Benchmarks that put metrics into context. We also use our data to publish benchmarks (available only to Qualtrics clients): the XMI Customer Ratings – one on overall experiences, a second for digital-only interactions, and a third based on Net Promoter Score. This data is available in a traditional report form, and also can be accessed within the Qualtrics platform.
- Foundational reports with frameworks for success. In these reports, we outline the essential elements of XM. For example, Operationalizing XM details the XM Operating Framework — including the discipline of XM, its core competencies, and the 5 stages of XM maturity. The XM Diffusion Cycle describes the techniques organizations use to strategically expand XM across experience types and use cases, and The Six Laws of Experience Management outlines the realities of how humans and organizations behave. In addition to reports, we also create Tools you can use to put key framework elements into practice at your organization.
- Best practice reports that detail how to apply XM. Another important category of reports is those where we focus on best practices for putting XM in action in areas like Employee Experience, Experience Design, and Metrics. You’ll also find best practice guidance in our blog posts — especially when we want to dig in on specific topics like the right mix of O-Data and X-Data, the role of XM in HR, creating engaging contact center interactions, key components of Modern XM, or XM practices for accelerating digital transformation.
Bottom line: XM Institute’s research is meant to help and inspire you.
Moira Dorsey is an XM Catalyst with the Qualtrics XM Institute