Earlier this year, I blogged about how customer experience (CX) pros should be wary of what they hear about voice-of-the-customer (VoC) capabilities from some customer relationship management (CRM) vendors because customer feedback management (CFM) and VoC technologies offer more punch than CRM tools. Although this remains accurate as of today, recent announcements highlight that this is changing.

Microsoft announced Dynamics 365 Customer Voice, offering companies an easy way to get started collecting survey feedback from customers, especially Dynamics customers. And Salesforce quietly released Salesforce Feedback Management, enabling customers to take advantage of its survey capabilities. Both provide what seems to be a simple and cost-effective way to get a survey program off the ground while creating a unified view of the customer and making the most of other technology investments. This is especially timely given that many organizations are trying to reduce spend in the wake of current events. What’s more, for companies that are building a VoC program for the first time, CRM tools provide a practical approach for establishing a foundational-level program, getting some quick wins, and then building the case and strategy for a broader effort.

VoC programs need to go beyond surveys, though. So CX pros will need to take advantage of each vendor’s larger portfolio of offerings and rely on their integration capabilities to build a state-of-the-art-level VoC program that brings together sources such as contact center calls, chats, ratings and reviews, social media, and more.

Even though Microsoft and Salesforce — among others — continue to expand their offerings, there is not a single approach that is a slam dunk when it comes to creating a successful enterprise-grade VoC program. In fact, some organizations prefer to go with a best-in-breed approach and connect multiple solutions together. So as CX pros help their organization navigate the large sea of vendors that often sound the same, it will be critical to do your homework; collaborate with key stakeholders who will have a stake in an enterprise VoC program; focus on vendor differentiation; and identify the best vendor(s) that matches the defined short-, middle-, and long-range strategy of your enterprise. That requires focusing on people and process first and then technology.