Today’s customers and clients interact with businesses, organizations and suppliers via multiple channels. Email, telephone, social media, online forms, knowledge bases, customer portals, SMS text, online chat, mobile apps and face-to-face – are all used for customer feedback and interaction. In addition people leave online reviews and widely exchange and share opinions on forums and other platforms. There is clearly a massive challenge to remain in touch with this feedback.
What is Enterprise Feedback Management?
Techopedia.com provides the following definition of Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM):
“Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) is an enterprise-wide and centrally panel managed system of processes and survey software that facilitates data collection, authoring, statistical analysis and reporting.”
Remaining aware of customer opinions and how these might be changing is obviously essential. The challenge is magnified for larger enterprises that may operate multiple business locations, possibly worldwide.
A key objective of Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) is to facilitate and support clear and effective communications between businesses, their staff, their customers and all stakeholders – in order to identify issues and concerns and ensure these are shared appropriately so that action can be taken.
Enterprise Feedback Management History
“formal tools for data collection and output analysis”
Over the past 15 years an increasing number of enterprises have embraced Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) in order to solicit, centrally manage and analyse data from customers. They are using ever-more sophisticated EFM tools and software to transform survey feedback into actionable data and ensure this is presented to the right people in their organizations, enabling them to respond to continuously evolving customer needs and desires.
Enterprise Feedback Management Benefits
Effective Enterprise Feedback Management is all about the systematic collection and management of feedback. EFM should improve efficiencies and reduce the overall costs involved in gaining valuable feedback. Key attributes of an effective EFM system include:
- Centralized data collection.
- Insights derived from customers, employees and market research combined.
- Integration with existing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, help desks, databases and IT systems.
Some of the key benefits of a good EFM system and strategy are these:
- Gathered information can be readily shared, internally, between staff.
- Ideas and insights are easily shared and collaboration is supported.
- Data is rigorously protected by IT security and permissions.
- Individual system users each have their own, appropriate system permissions.
- Surveys present a consistent brand image.
- Teamwork is simplified and more efficient.
- Sharing across an organization means that duplication of effort is avoided.
By using EFM an organization can integrate customer feedback directly into day-to-day business operations. It enables businesses to develop a more holistic understanding of the opinions and needs of customers and stakeholders. It can also be hugely beneficial in identifying negative issues in real-time which can then be promptly addressed before they become much bigger problems.
Importantly, Enterprise Feedback Management will help improve customer loyalty, reduce customer churn and maximize revenue.
How to Deploy Enterprise Feedback Management
Enterprise Feedback Management is very much based around the chosen software platform – and there are a lot of them. EFM software systems should enable the managed deployment of customer surveys, measure customer satisfaction and share results with appropriate people.
If you search for ‘Enterprise Feedback Management Software’ via Google you’ll see that there are an astronomical (176,000,000 at the time of writing) number of returned results. Finding the system that is right for your organization can therefore be daunting.
Clarify Your Aims and Objectives
As for other highly important pieces of enterprise-wide software, you need to have clearly defined exactly what you want your Enterprise Feedback Management system to do. It’s worthwhile consulting with all parties in your organization and collating their defined needs and requirements.
Consider Systems Integration
A very important aspect of EFM software is that it must integrate with your organization’s existing software systems. If your organization is distributed over multiple locations and possibly different countries you need to clarify exactly how the EFM system is required to interconnect and interact with all of them.
Examine What Others in Your Sector are Using
This approach is often the fastest and most efficient way to identify an Enterprise Management System that will work for your organization. By looking into the EFM software platform used by other organizations in your sector you will stand a very good chance of finding a system that will also work for you. But don’t overlook the need to verify that the software will integrate with your existing IT systems, will provide what all stakeholders require and will meet the future needs of your enterprise.
Consider the customer’s survey experience
Bear in mind that many EFM platforms focus on the reporting output and yet the survey experience your customer has can be sadly lacking.
Ensure that surveys sent are as engaging and interesting as possible. Ask as few questions as you possibly can and try to keep survey invitation emails to a minimum. Just because you can ask something doesn’t mean you should.
Give Customer Thermometer a try in your customer programmes. Send yourself an example here: