What’s the Future of Feedback? Stay Tuned…

Back in 2001 – while an incredible talented, young, and successful Gartner analyst – I wrote a research note introducing  the concept of Customer Feedback Systems.

In it I wrote about how feedback was poorly done as stand-alone surveys or outsourced entirely to market research firms (that in turn took too long to deliver insights) and that it never really looked at the bigger issue: how to coordinate and integrate the existing data with the data collected via surveys.

Through a couple of naming conventions and work done with Perseus and Jeffrey Henning we finally settled on EFM (Enterprise Feedback Management) as the name for the solution.  The birth of the EFM market was simple and unassuming.

Fast forward five years, and 2006 saw me fielding 10-12 inquiries about EFM a day, and the market grow from non-existing to nearly $100 million in software sales and related fees.  Fast forward another five years, and the market had been changed from EFM to VoC and was nearing $250-300 million in software sales and related fees – and began to slow-down in adoption.  I even had to come to the defense of the market in a blog post.

While the growth had not stalled, it was certainly beginning to slow down considerably and adoption of VoC was not as interesting as it had been for EFM.  What was the change? Why did organizations began to slow down adoption? What did the future hold for EFM  and VoC?

I have been researching the market from the beginning and I can honestly say that the future is bright as it ever was, it not brighter, and that the major shift in vendor behavior the past four years is responsible for it.

I am writing a detailed report on the new realities of Feedback, EFM, and VoC now that we saw a major change in data collection, analysis, and integration into everyday processes.  I have met and talked to the relevant vendors and consultants, interviewed many practitioners, and discussed the perspectives with analysts and pundits – and am ready to publish my findings.

Although this won’t be for another four-to-six weeks, I participated in a panel earlier this year at Allegiance’s VoCFusion conference where I shared the major findings so far – and they are very interesting.

Watch this video summary of that conference, whet your appetite for the future of Feedback, and let me know if you have something you want to contribute or discuss on this topic.  Happy to engage and extend my knowledge.

Anything you want to add? Comment box is below…

One thought on “What’s the Future of Feedback? Stay Tuned…”

  1. Is it about analyzing the feedback or creating the right environment to generate quality feedback (yes, I know, both.. .and more). But what is the bigger issue? There is an implication that we have plenty of good customer feedback but we just need to analyze it better. Are we really promoting useful feedback? Surveys generally suck and get ignored.

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