The Role of VoC Platforms in the Experience Economy: Astute Acquires iperceptions


Astute announced that it has acquired VoC software vendor, iperceptions

Astute, a customer engagement solutions vendor, announced its acquisition of iperceptions, a Voice of Customer (VoC) collection and analytics company, last week. The strategic acquisition bolsters Astute’s current capabilities in AI engagement solutions that include a CRM, digital self-service, first party consumer data analytics, email automation, social media monitoring, and more.

The Montreal-based company, iperceptions has been a dominant player in the VoC industry, having worked with global brands on survey design, deployment, reporting, and analysis. Founded in 1999, iperceptions specializes in tailored customer experience management solutions that help brands deliver unique experiences across the customer journey.

The acquisition will position Astute as a full-service experience management platform that provides clients with a unified view of their first-party data across surveys, email, phone calls, web interactions, mobile interactions, and in-store interactions.

Also read: How to Boost Customer Experience With Omnichannel DecisioningOpens a new window

“The future of customer engagement will require brands to be more flexible, responsive, and data-driven than ever before,” said Alex George, President of Astute. “Joining together the best of our software solutions will allow us to provide an intelligent platform for both customer experience and employee experience teams to easily access an integrated view of all customer data,” said George.

“As the market continues to evolve and consumers have increasingly higher expectations for a frictionless journey, we believe this combination will give our customers the tools they need to provide the high-quality experiences that will differentiate them from the competition. We look forward to being an integrated part of Astute” said Pascal Cardinal, current president and CEO of iperceptions.

Welcome to the Experience Economy

Astute joins a long list of CRM majors that have snapped up VoC specialists in recent times. Other notable acquisitions in this space include Qualtrics’ acquisition by SAP, ForeSee’s by Verint, and Cisco’s acquisition of customer feedback management provider, CloudCherry.

While consolidation within the VoC industry has also gained pace with SurveyMonkey acquiring Usabilla and GetFeedback in 2019, and Qualtrics acquiring Delighted, it is CRM vendors that stand to gain the most from acquiring VoC platforms.

Also read: AI-Powered Contact Centers of the Future: Verizon Partners with Google’s Cloud Contact Center Opens a new window
AI Solution to Improve CXOpens a new window

The past few months have given us a glimpse of what the future might look like – physical interaction is being replaced with virtual interaction across the board. Given this scenario, it is understandable why CRM providers are looking to diversify their offerings to cater to the evolving needs of brands and consumers.

Traditionally, contact centers and customer experience leaders would look for VoC solutions to support their operations. And for a VoC solution to be truly helpful, it needed to play well with CRMs, because data pulled from the CRM could be leveraged to deliver higher customer satisfaction and improve agent efficiency.

However, as brands and marketing leaders take a more holistic approach to customer experience, CRM vendors have been quick to respond by tweaking their offerings through new product development initiatives and strategic acquisitions.

Also read: Why Digital Experience Platforms (DXP) Must Offer Easy Integrations: Acquia Launches Its New Open DXPOpens a new window

With the pandemic serving as a catalyst for CX transformation, it will be fascinating to see how other players invested in this ecosystem respond to these developments. For instance, Salesforce’s acquisition of Tableau last year makes for an interesting exception to this trend – Salesforce being a CRM company decided to invest in business insights solution rather than a VoC platform. While analytics forms the backbone of data-driven personalization – it isn’t particularly helpful in collecting customer feedback.

It is likely that VoC capabilities might soon be a part of the standard CRM offering, and if we are headed there soon, early movers will undoubtedly have an edge over their competitors.