What is enterprise feedback management (EFM)?

An overview of enterprise feedback management, its benefits, and how to effectively execute the software.

Article

Sara Staffaroni

August 17, 2020

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Knowing exactly what your customers want, and delivering it to them effectively, is the cornerstone of your business’ success. In an increasingly competitive and crowded marketplace, your customers have many choices that offer similar products and pricing. What sets successful businesses apart from their competitors is how their customer experience matches up with customer expectations.

Measuring where your company stands in providing an exceptional customer experience from start to finish is essential and difficult. It requires you to develop a deep understanding of what your customers want and why they want it. That requires soliciting feedback and opinions from thousands of people, analyzing the data, and making changes based on what you’ve learned. 

None of this is easy. In fact, it can sound almost overwhelming to take on if you don’t have a program in place right now. But it’s made possible with enterprise feedback management, or EFM. 

EFM allows every part of your business to develop a thorough understanding of customer needs and expectations, and to measure how you’re living up to those expectations or falling short of them. When executed correctly, it provides actionable information so you can improve your relationship with customers over time. 

What is enterprise feedback management (EFM)? 

Enterprise feedback management is a system of processes and software that enables organizations to centrally manage sending surveys to gather qualitative and quantitative customer feedback. It also allows organizations to disperse authoring surveys and analyze the results throughout the whole company so that each department can access the information they need to improve the customer experience.

EFM consists of data collection, analysis, and reporting about every touchpoint of the customer journey. The key objective of enterprise feedback management is to allow effective communications between businesses, employees, customers, and stakeholders. These communications are used to identify issues and concerns and ensure action is taken to resolve them quickly and effectively. 

Your customers already have expectations for your business, your products or services, and your customer experience. EFM helps you evaluate how well you’re meeting those expectations, where you’re exceeding them, and where you’re falling short. Without a centralized and effective way to gather and analyze this feedback across the whole organization, you won’t know how you’re doing or where you can make improvements.

Sources of feedback for your enterprise feedback management program can include: 

  • Employees

  • Customers

  • Market research

  • Social media

  • Vendors

You can set up surveys to be automatically sent out when a trigger action is taken, such as a purchase or renewal, a customer service call, or at a certain time interval such as yearly or quarterly. Once the feedback comes in, you can set up a relevant response to go out automatically so customers know you’ve heard what they have to say. 

When the feedback you get is great, send those customers to ratings or review sites to share their praise with other potential buyers. If the feedback is negative, you can contact the customer with a proactive solution. Overall, your enterprise feedback management system should make gathering, analyzing, and responding to feedback scalable and effective, helping you create the ultimate customer experience.  

Benefits of EFM

Enterprise feedback management has many benefits for your business. It’s a powerful tool to drive growth, customer satisfaction and loyalty, and profitability. 

Establish dialogue with employees, customers, and partners 

Building a strong and lasting relationship with your new and existing customers requires two-way communication. You can’t simply send them information and offers and hope you’re satisfying them. Rather, you need to allow them to give you feedback and share their thoughts, or otherwise, you might end up in the dark when it comes to the customer experience. EFM allows you to establish a dialogue about key issues and concerns. 

And the benefits aren’t limited to your customers either. Your EFM system also allows you to open that dialogue with your employees, who are the face of your business and essential to creating an excellent customer experience. Partners, including vendors and stakeholders,  should be included in your EFM program to ensure you’re covering all your bases.

Centralized data collection 

Every part of your organization has a part to play in the customer journey. But customer experience information and metrics often are confined to the marketing, product, and customer service teams. Other areas of your business may not have access to the data they need to play their part. 

An EFM system combats this problem by providing a centralized place to collect data and deliver analytics that can be used across the entire organization. 

Combine insights from customers, employees, market research, and more

Your business may already be gathering insights from customers, employees, market research, or other sources. But if those insights are kept separate, you won’t be able to gain the maximum impact from them. For example, a trend you’re seeing among customers could correlate to something your market research uncovered in parallel, but you need to have all these insights in one place to see how that is happening. An EFM system allows you to combine and examine this information in one central place so you’re on top of everything happening across the organization. 

Improve customer loyalty

Customer loyalty is incredibly valuable to your organization but it’s also a constantly moving target. EFM can help you stay on top of the main drivers of customer loyalty for your business to ensure they’re still keeping customers happy. Plus it can help you identify the factors that are keeping customers from staying loyal, like issues with customer service or bugs in your app or website.  

Reduce customer churn

Just one negative interaction with your business can cause a current customer to churn and find a competitor to purchase from instead. Enterprise feedback management can help you avoid negative events that cause churn by allowing you to make customer-specific interventions when something goes wrong. 

If a customer experiences an issue when trying to make a purchase from your e-commerce store, that can drive them away. But if your EFM system solicits their immediate feedback, the relationship can be salvaged and your customer may stick with you. For example, your EFM system will allow you to identify the issue, resolve it, communicate the fix, and thank your customer for their feedback. 

Maximize revenue 

Happy and loyal customers are highly profitable ones. And gaining new customers is an expensive proposition. In fact, customer acquisition costs have risen by almost 50% in the past five years. So ensuring your customers stay with your business helps you maximize your revenue and minimize your costs. An enterprise feedback management system helps you notice if your customer loyalty levels are dipping so you can take appropriate action. 

Reduce negative feedback 

Online reviews and ratings are incredibly popular. After all, customers and prospects want to know what people like them think about products and services before they buy. Just a few negative reviews can tank your ratings. Enterprise feedback management helps you encourage happy customers to leave positive reviews while addressing issues and problems before customers have time to write a negative review. 

Why is enterprise feedback management important?

EFM is vital to running an effective customer experience management (CXM) program and providing top-notch services and products to your customers. It’s important because it allows you to accomplish two key business objectives. 

Understand your customers 

You can’t simply guess what your customers want or assume that you know. Rather, you need to ask them for their opinions and listen carefully to what they have to say. That’s how you develop a deep understanding of their needs, desires, and pain points. Customer views and expectations are not static but change over time. An EFM program allows your business to stay on top of these changes and develop accurate, up-to-date ideal customer profiles. 

Give you a holistic view of your company 

It’s difficult to gain a complete view of your company from the inside. The views of employees might not mirror those of customers, and you can miss out on important trends and issues. Since enterprise feedback management allows your business to gather feedback and analyze data from all parts of your organization, like employees, market research, and customers, you can be sure you’re gaining a holistic view of your company and making it stronger as a result. 

Enterprise feedback management software 

EFM software allows your business to ask for feedback from customers and employees, manage and analyze that feedback, and integrate that information and data with the various information systems used across the company. It’s powerful and it’s almost impossible to run an EFM program without it. 

As recognition of the importance of the customer experience has grown over the past few years, EFM software has become increasingly sophisticated. That’s great news for businesses that want to ensure their CX strategy is up to the mark. Picking the right EFM software for your needs begins with understanding what it is, what it does, and how you should use it to build your enterprise feedback management program. 

What is EFM software?

Many businesses have realized the importance of creating their own enterprise feedback management systems, so it's no surprise that there are several types of EFM software on the market. They all have a similar goal at their core: help your business understand your customers, respond to their feedback, and deliver an elevated customer experience. 

You can use different types of software to tackle many tasks enterprise feedback management systems provide (e.g. sending surveys to customers and employees), but using too many different systems can create gaps and laps in your program. Instead, EFM software works best when it is comprehensive. Find a complete EFM software platform that lets you take on every task you need to complete to reduce manual effort and increase efficiency. 

How is EFM software used? 

Your business can use EFM software to set up and run your own EFM program from start to finish. Most versions of EFM software allow you to accomplish the following tasks. 

  • Creating surveys. Writing and building effective customer and employee feedback surveys is the first step in creating your enterprise feedback management program. EFM software allows your business to design surveys that align with your business goals, look great, and function flawlessly. 

  • Sending surveys. Once your surveys are created, you will need to send them to your customers or employees. EFM software helps you to do this by either allowing you to send a batch or surveys at an appointed time, such as monthly or quarterly, or after an action triggers them. For example, you can set up surveys to be sent automatically after a customer makes a purchase or calls a customer service rep. 

  • Collecting data. When your surveys have been sent and your customers have responded, the resulting data needs to be collected, and EFM software allows you to do this all in one place. This data can be used to evaluate where your customer experience currently stands, and track trends over time to better understand how your company’s efforts to improve the customer experience are performing. 

  • Responding to feedback. The key to creating a scalable CX program is ensuring you can respond to customer feedback with a minimum of manual effort. EFM software can allow your business to automate responses to your customers based on their feedback. For example, thank customers who indicated they were highly satisfied and ask them to leave a review. You can also inform customers who responded negatively that a customer service rep will be reaching out shortly to resolve their issue. 

  • Analyzing information. The data you collect from customer surveys has no power on its own. It needs to be analyzed in order to have value. EFM software allows you to analyze both qualitative and quantitative feedback so you have a firm grasp on what your customers and employees are telling you. It should also allow you to include analytics from your market research efforts so you can tie trends together seamlessly. 

  • Centralizing data. Every department in your organization has an impact on the customer experience. Therefore, people across every team need access to the data and analytics you’ve gleaned from your feedback surveys and market research. A good EFM software system will allow your teams to share relevant information and pull accurate reports easily, while ensuring that customer information stays safe and compliant. 

  • Integrate with other systems. Your organization already uses other information systems like your CRM, databases, and other software that contain valuable customer and employee information. A top-notch EFM platform integrates seamlessly with those systems to ensure that all of your customer data is usable and contributes to your customer experiment management strategy, without any unnecessary siloes. 

Benefits of EFM software 

EFM software ensures you understand your customer’s expectations and enables you to improve customer relationships at scale. While you may be able to maintain a more manual system when your company is small, as it grows it becomes more challenging. 

Gathering and responding to feedback, analyzing data, tracking trends, and sharing reporting across your organization takes a great deal of time and effort when you’re using multiple systems to manage it. And that leaves plenty of room for information or customer interactions to slip between the cracks. Using a comprehensive EFM software platform enables your organization to scale up those customer experience efforts and enhance every part of the customer journey with minimum effort. 

The importance of gaining and using customer and employee insights can’t be overstated. In today’s competitive marketplace, customer experience is one of the biggest ways to gain market share and increase your profitability. By developing a deep understanding of what customers need, want, and expect from your business, you can create products and services that fulfill their desires and keep them coming back for years to come.

EFM software allows you to stay on top of trends and shifts in consumer and employee mindsets. Consumer expectations and preferences are changing rapidly and your business can’t risk being left behind because you’re not up to date. A good EFM software platform allows you to stay aware of trends, or even ahead of them, so you’re confident that your business is delivering exactly what your customers want right now. 

Key takeaways 

Improving your customer experience and building strong relationships with your customers is a constant challenge for any business. That’s why you need to have an enterprise feedback management strategy in place, and pick the EFM software that allows you to gather feedback and take action to make improvements. 

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