Customer feedback becomes a monkey business

by Scott Denne

As it pursues an audacious revenue goal, SurveyMonkey has inked its first acquisition in almost three years, spending $80m for Usabilla, a developer of voice-of-the-customer (VoC) software. Although SurveyMonkey debuted on Wall Street last year sporting 6% annual growth, the company plans to triple its topline in the next three years. It’s targeting a promising market, but faces an expanding roster of larger competitors.

Amsterdam-based Usabilla enables organizations to analyze customer feedback captured on their websites, apps and emails via its embedded scripts. The offering expands SurveyMonkey’s survey-based VoC software – an expansion it needs as it aims to land enterprise-wide licenses. SurveyMonkey’s revenue from such licenses rose 80% last year and made up 12% of its overall sales.

That initial success in selling enterprise licenses prompted the company to forecast a tripling of revenue in the next three years, which would bring it to about $750m annually. Last year, SurveyMonkey grew 16%. By marching into the enterprise, it will need to fend off competitors it didn’t encounter in its first two decades as a survey platform for teams and individuals.

Most notably, SAP nabbed SurveyMonkey’s main competitor, Qualtrics, in an $8bn deal last year. At the same time, call-center software vendors NICE and Verint Systems have expanded their VoC offerings through acquisition. According to 451 Research’s M&A KnowledgeBase, the latter bought ForeSee Results in December, a transaction that built off its 2016 purchase of OpinionLab. The former picked up net-promoter-score provider Satmetrix in 2017.

Those deals follow software budgets. In 451 Research’s VoCUL: Corporate Software report, 40% of software buyers told us that ‘customer feedback/voice-of-the-customer’ was among the reasons for using customer experience software, ranking higher than the more established category of ‘marketing automation.’

Posted in CRM