Yesterday (when I began to write this) Allegiance (a Voice of the Customer – nee Enterprise Feedback Management vendor) announced they were launching their platform to deliver Voice of the Customer functionality via Social Media channels. I saw a demo of SocialVoice last week, and there are some very interesting features.
First, they went beyond the simple Twitter pull-and-monitor gambit, which is where most people get stuck when first entering into Social Media, and can tap into communities, Twitter, and blogs.
Second, they provide workflows that can even be <gasp> automated to respond to specific feedback or complaints. If, for example, someone tweets that their experience was good with product X or service Y, Allegiance can tweet back an automatic reply (with a link to a VOC Survey) asking for more information. If automation is not desired, the response is presented to an operator that can then tweet in a human way (no jokes will be inserted here as to the value of said human in this interaction; bring your own). Of course, a different workflow can be started for a negative tweet, asking for a DM, contact information, or notifying the tweep (a word I swore I would never use) of their options or next steps. Different workflows for different sentiments and for different channels — very cool (my words).
Third, all this data can and is aggregated in a central data store to be analyzed together — so the results from a traditional survey campaign sits next to the results from a blog-campaign, and together with the responses to a Twitter feedback event. All this transforms feedback into the fourth pillar of CRM when moving into a Social CRM deployment (which I discussed briefly before) and allows the organization to generate insights from any channel and feedback event, while cross-referencing to any other channel or feedback event. My words: very cool.
My first impression (if all the very cools above did not make it apparent) is that this moves the needle in the field of Feedback Management. There are the usual caveats (have not seen how customers use it, a good product design means nothing without good users, and there are ways that this can be misused — but I believe in the good in people), but it introduces a method to collect valuable information from social channels to derive good insights. I wrote about using managed conversations before, and this lines up in the same field — collecting valuable feedback to generate actionable insights – not just noise. While putting data together does not mean it will be properly analyzed, we are sufficient early on in the world of SCRM for this launch to be a significant step forward. People will figure out in time how to do it better.
I am looking forward to talking to their customers (in about two weeks) and to write more about how they use it and what they found to be useful. I am also looking forward to seeing the next steps from Allegiance.
As a first step towards Social-VOC – I like it.Disclaimer: Allegiance is not my client, nor do I expect them to become one as a result of this writing. While true that I am a guest at their user conference in about two weeks, they are no different from any other vendor who invites me to their user conferences and pays my expenses. This is no more than my opinion, you are welcome to tell me I am wrong (there is an entire comments section below), and how I missed the obvious and / or don’t know what I am talking about. You won’t be original, but you will feel better…