• Collecting customer feedback is imperative for B2B organizations
  • Many organizations struggle with how to integrate this customer intelligence into processes
  • Customer intelligence management solutions can help companies with this, so long as process are altered as well

For those of us who’ve had the experience of playing in a rock band, the annoying sound caused by electronic signals being returned to an amplifier (feedback) is unpleasant for band members (not to mention the audience!).

But feedback isn’t always a bad thing. B2B companies have recently begun to leverage technology to help them harness customer feedback, and this feedback can be music to their ears.

Customer intelligence management (CIM) technologies help companies collect, integrate, analyze and act on customer feedback. The challenges CIM solutions address are typically two-fold: the organization has no formal process in place to gather customer feedback, and/or disparate sources of customer insights exist but are not integrated in a way that makes the information actionable.

CIM technologies vary in terms of nuances within their platforms. Some vendors offer strong action management capabilities, while others are focused on data mining functionality, and others have created solutions designed for self-service application. Additional variances include differentiators focused on sentiment analysis, broad integrations or ease of use. However, at its core, this category of software typically includes the following five capabilities:

  • Monitoring. The CIM solution must allow for the creation of sophisticated business rules around tracking mentions or specific individuals for traditional and social media.

  • Surveying. Organizations must be able to solicit, validate, filter and classify omni-channel feedback by launching personalized surveys via the Web, mobile devices, telephone and direct mail.

  • Analyzing. The CIM solution must enable organizations to analyze quantitative feedback and qualitative conversations, filter the data and perform segmented multi-level analysis. Organizations must be able to extract that information in real time based on a variety of dimensions, allowing different functions to access various levels and types of customer data as needed.

  • Engaging. Organizations must be able to set alerting rules and workflow features to trigger emails or messages to a specific individual for follow-up, based on keywords, phrases or other attributes.

  • Reporting. The CIM solution must present a dashboard interface that enables access to customer insights across the organization by delivering role-based, customized reports with visual indicators and historical trends for specific customers, issues or product/solution offerings.

Customer intelligence management technology is radically changing the way companies interact with their customers. These platforms change the game by providing key insights that were likely unavailable or inaccessible in the past. These insights ultimately allow organizations to systematically respond to what their customers are telling them, improve their customer relationships, and develop and execute targeted marketing campaigns based on customer preferences and trends. Getting access to this critical feedback is only half the battle, however. The burden then rests with organizations to take meaningful actions mapped to what customers are actually saying.