September 27, 2011
Over the past year, my colleague Andrew McInnes and I have immersed ourselves in the world of enterprise feedback management (EFM), which we define as follows:
A system of software and processes that enables organizations to centrally collect, analyze, and report on feedback from key customer groups and tailor insights for various internal users.
During this time, it has been a great experience talking with vendors and clients about how this technology tool enables companies to bring all of the customer data and information collected across channels together into one platform. This ability is more important than ever given that we have entered the “age of the customer” — a period marked by the rise of the empowered customer, who is armed with more information than ever before and who is now using a rapidly evolving set of devices as a means of engaging not only with friends and family but also with companies anytime and anywhere. To be successful in this new world, companies must understand how consumers interact across these multiple touchpoints; failure to do so can lead to a fragmented view of the customer.
While it is clear that companies must embrace EFM, what is not as clear is how they should navigate the EFM vendor landscape. This is due to the dozens of small vendors, evolving market segments, and increasing M&A activity. To help professionals within the marketing and strategy organization, Andrew and I decided to conduct a Forrester Wave™ evaluation of the EFM vendors.
During our preparations, we saw a natural divide among the EFM vendors that aligned with the roles we serve. One group of EFM vendors provided a powerful slate of tools to collect feedback to support the research needs of connecting, engaging, and understanding the consumer. Another group focused primarily on creating packaged solutions to drive improvements in satisfaction and loyalty. Therefore, rather than evaluating all the EFM vendors together in one Forrester Wave, we took a role-focused approach and conducted two side-by-side evaluations leveraging similar criteria. I focused on the first group of EFM vendors, and Andrew focused on the latter.
In my Forrester Wave report for the market insights professional, I evaluated the following vendors: Confirmit; Globalpark, a QuestBack company; IBM SPSS; Vision Critical; and Vovici, a Verint Systems company. In Andrew’s Forrester Wave report for the customer experience professional, he evaluated the following vendors: Allegiance; Empathica; MarketTools; Medallia; Mindshare Technologies; and Satmetrix Systems.
I hope that the two Forrester Wave evaluations of the EFM landscape are beneficial as you try to select the appropriate EFM vendor to help you succeed in the age of the customer. Happy reading!
(Market insights professionals unfamiliar with Forrester’s Wave methodology should be aware that it is a starting point for evaluating vendors operating in a given market. The Excel-based vendor comparison tool is completely transparent and gives product strategists the flexibility to adapt the criteria weightings to fit their individual needs.)