As part of my research on voice of the customer (VoC) programs, I run into a lot of vendors in the enterprise feedback management (EFM) space. In general, these vendors provide the technology to enable feedback collection, analysis, reporting, and action management. Many also provide professional services to help clients build their VoC programs and drive results.

The EFM space is an essential piece of the customer experience puzzle, but it’s still loosely defined. I’m not even sure that the term EFM accurately describes many of the vendors in the space — with all due respect to the term’s creator, Carl Henning.  

My colleague Roxana Strohmenger and I are kicking off some new research to better understand this market — and help you make the most of your vendor relationships.

Roxana will tackle the research from a market research perspective, which means more focus on controlling data quality, increasing efficiency through consolidation, and synthesizing data from multiple sources.

I’ll tackle the research from a customer experience perspective. While the issues mentioned above are still important in this context, I’ll focus on the customer experience applications of the activities. For example, here are two areas where I already see customer experience pros getting significant value from EFM:

  1. Centralizing experience-related data. EFM platforms can serve as the foundations of companywide VoC programs. They can collect feedback at multiple touchpoints across multiple channels. They can collect feedback from employees as well as customers. Many can also pipe in nonsurvey data, such as online community conversations, as well as operational data. This centralization can help firms create better linkages between things like customer experience and revenue. It can also help drive internal adoption by giving employees a one-stop shop for relevant insight.
  2. Enabling timely responses to feedback. EFM platforms can also drive action by automatically distributing insights to relevant stakeholders. For example, most EFM platforms can alert employees when customers rate experiences poorly (enabling speedy service recovery) or highly (enabling quick value reinforcement or upselling). Many platforms also provide relatively simple interfaces that frontline managers can access to quickly see top issues and make changes, rather than wait for reports to slowly trickle down through their organizations.

As I explore this space further, I’d love to hear about your experiences with EFM vendors. Feel free to contact me in the comments section below or via email. I look forward to hearing from you!