There is a lot of confusion surrounding what EFM (Enterprise Feedback Management) is and what is not.
Lately it has been used as a substitute for surveys. Whenever we used to say “surveys” we now say Enterprise Feedback Management. Problem is we are just using a fancy term to describe the same, short-sighted approach to managing customer feedback: ask ‘em and forget ‘em.
Enterprise Feedback Management goes much further, if done properly, than that. Contrast the two following cases:
Case A – company purchases an “EFM” system (surveys by any other name). Produces and distributes a few surveys a year, mostly for customer satisfaction (another no-no), and collects some data. They look at the data collected, produce some simple reports (x% said this, y% said that), and are overall satisfied with their results. Yet, they cannot seem to affect their churn rate, nor can they focus on bringing new customers — not to mention that their marketing program seems to be aiming for the wrong customers. They conclude, erroneously, that EFM is not really a solution for them… even though the vendor told them they would be able to understand their customers better, they are at the same place they were before… but with a “good” customer satisfaction score.
Case B – a similar company deploys an EFM initiative within their organization. They create a strategy to manage customer feedback, which tells them where the feedback can obtained (no more than 40-50% should come from surveys), what they can do with the feedback they collect (think insights and data-mining for new data), how are they going to integrate and mix their survey-data with existing enterprise-data, what metrics they need to implement and follow, what insights and analysis they need to perform — in short, a complete strategy on how to collect, manage, leverage and utilize customer feedback. As a result, they can identify the three sources of churn and address the problems, they can create a better demographic, socio-graphic, and psycho-graphic picture of their clients, they can finally focus on improving and developing new products per the needs of their customers, and more.
You probably already noticed the difference in the two cases above, but just in case you need to read it. Enterprise Feedback Management is NOT a piece of software, it is a organization-wide initiative that needs to leverage three infrastructure elements: surveying software, data-mining and analysis software, and integration points into existing data and applications. When you implement it you will spend more time building a comprehensive strategy to understand where the feedback is (surveys, blogs, unstructured data through the world, interaction wrap-up notes, etc.), and how to collect it and integrate with your existing data. You will also know, before you seek feedback, what you will find out, how to analyze it, and what you will do with the insights your obtain.
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