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employee experience market forecast

Market Forecast Spotlight: Greater Spending on Employee Experience Software

Revenue from EX Software and Services is Expected to Reach $14.6 Billion in 2026

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Dash Research has released an updated and revised global market forecast covering CX software and services, which reflects the continued strategy of using CX as a key market differentiator among companies of all types. According to Dash Research, the global market for CX and customer engagement (CE) software and services revenue is projected to increase to $119.7 billion by 2026, up from $78.3 billion in 2019, reflecting a 2019-2026 compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.3%. The forecast considers the use of software platforms, standalone applications, and related consulting or integration services, but does not include hardware sales or CX employee training costs.

The new iteration of the forecast underscores several market trends that not only hold relevance for vendors, but also spotlight key implications for end users of CX software platforms, applications, and services. One of the key underlying trends is the increasing number of companies offering software platforms and applications focused on employee experience (EX).

The employee/employer experience has been strained by many factors, with the COVID-19 pandemic serving as a key catalyst. As evidenced by the so-called “Great Resignation,” workers are simply exiting jobs where they don’t feel happy, valued, and supported. Indeed, a February 2021 Harvard Business Review study found that 89% of workers said that their work life was getting worse, 85% said that their wellbeing declined, and 56% said that their job demands had increased. Further, a New York Times April 2021 story noted that that many workers, “burned out and flush with savings” after a year-plus of the pandemic, are leaving their jobs to focus on their passions, even if it involves taking a significant professional risk.

Providing an excellent employee experience has become a key selling point for many organizations, particularly in industries that have job functions that are exposed to significant levels of customer volume, complex interactions, or higher degrees of risk. These factors often lead to higher stress levels, increased frustration, and faster burnout, not to mention an increased likelihood that the employee may not provide the best possible customer experience if they’re unhappy themselves.

Many organizations are seeking software solutions to enable better levels of engagement and satisfaction. Dash Research projects that global EX software and services revenue will reach $14.6 billion annually by 2026, up from $5.8 billion, reflecting a 14.1% CAGR.

Some of the key features or elements of this type of platform or application include support for granular employee feedback, detailed analytics tools to assist with identifying points of friction with employee/customer interactions, and tools to support workers that want to address workflow, workplace, or personal issues. The end goal with any of these software applications is to formalize and measure feedback mechanisms so issues do not fall by the wayside, and changes can be made and assessed on an ongoing basis.

While implementation of new EX software can be useful, true improvements in the employee experience need to be addressed from an organizational perspective, which includes conducting an assessment of the organization culture, identifying points of frustration (not only in the day-to-day workflow processes, but in terms of whether employees feel valued and respected), and then devising mechanisms and procedures designed to support employees while still addressing business needs and goals.

Dash Research’s current forecast identified a trend of greater spending on employee experience platforms throughout the forecast, compared with standalone applications, reflecting the strong commitment of organizations to get the employee experience part of the CX puzzle right, without cutting corners. Perhaps this spending will serve as a foundation for creating a more collaborative employee-employer culture that will be required to attract and retain workers today and in the future.

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