The Next Generation of Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) Solutions

Contributor:  Justin Schuster
Posted:  11/03/2010  12:00:00 AM EDT
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With companies taking customer feedback more seriously, we have reached a turning point for the Enterprise Feedback Management industry – which is driving a transformation to the next generation of EFM solutions.

Customer feedback has become an increasingly important source of business intelligence at many leading companies. What they began as an annual customer satisfaction survey has turned into a new way of life: the most successful organizations now continually capture and utilize customer feedback to refine their business processes for improved satisfaction, enhanced loyalty, reduced costs, and increased revenue.

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The only way that customer feedback can make that kind of impact is with a comprehensive approach to managing the feedback process across the enterprise – a formal “Voice of the Customer” (VOC) program powered by an EFM solution to capture, measure and act on the feedback from your customer base.

Here are some of the ways in which EFM has been evolving:

From Multi-Channel Customer Surveys to Multi-Channel Customer Feedback

In recent years, EFM solution providers have focused on rounding out their capabilities to conduct surveys across multiple deployment modes: email, website, phone, IVR, SMS, paper, fax, kiosk. The next generation of EFM solutions also enable companies to capture feedback from critical new sources including social media, online communities, call recordings, contact center notes, and more, to get a true “360-degree view” of the customer.

The ability to monitor feedback via social media has become increasingly important, as ever-growing numbers of customers are sharing their views via blogs, Facebook, Twitter, news sites, forums, review sites, and video sites.

From Siloed Insights to Integrated Insights

Capturing feedback is only the first step. Next generation EFM solutions also have the ability to generate unique insights by integrating and analyzing multi-channel feedback. For example, users can compare sentiment in social media data side-by-side with survey satisfaction and loyalty scores, and drill deeper than ever into feedback sources at the response level (verbatim survey responses, call recordings, etc.) for greater context. These insights enable companies to more easily identify the root causes of problems, determine the most appropriate actions, and target investments to deliver the most impact on the bottom line.

From Simple Survey Alerts to Advanced Case Management Across Feedback Channels

The next generation of EFM solutions goes far beyond basic alerts triggered by negative survey responses. Comprehensive EFM systems now offer full case management to respond efficiently to individual customers’ problems and comprehensive case analytics across feedback channels.

This enables organizations to respond to individual customers in a highly efficient manner that optimizes the use of scarce front-line and executive resources.

From Static Insights Seen by Few to Real-time Insights Accessible by All

In order to transform customer feedback into a strategic tool for driving competitive advantage, that data needs to be readily on-hand at the point of daily decision making. The next generation of EFM solutions automatically delivers the most relevant real-time feedback data to each user across the enterprise, according to his or her role – executive, manager, customer service agent, etc. – without creating undue burden for program administrators.

American General Life uses action management capabilities to address service and quality issues throughout the organization in real-time, with survey responses triggering email alerts and case management tools according to business rules. Action alerts allow the company to be more proactive and more quickly address issues with customers – and because they track issues at touch point levels, customer survey scores show directly how changes impact the customer experience.

With the information from their customer feedback program, American General Life has identified opportunities to reduce technology costs, avoid expenses, and optimize business processes. They track scores and trends to understand how each business area can enhance the customer experience. As a result, they have been able to dramatically increase overall customer satisfaction and positively impact customer retention.

As EFM continues its evolution, we will see it take an expanded role within leading organizations. EFM providers will continue to broaden the types of feedback channels supported. Employees throughout the enterprise will receive more relevant real-time insights across customer touch points – to become even more proactive in addressing customer issues.

By using comprehensive action management capabilities, customer-centric companies will ensure that they close the customer feedback loop to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty – and ultimately benefit the bottom line.

Justin Schuster Contributor:   Justin Schuster


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