Enterprise Feedback Management
Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) describes the process of systematically collecting, analyzing, consolidating, and then using all sources of customer feedback to improve your business and your overall profitability. EFM includes not only aggregating feedback from multiple stakeholders, across multiple channels, but also disseminating real-time, actionable information across the company to where the data is most relevant, and then enforcing accountability for follow-up and service lapse recovery.
Enterprise Feedback Management is not just a piece of evaluation software—it’s a way of doing business and goes hand-in-hand with a customer-centric culture. The implementation of creating this type of culture requires a demonstrated commitment of leadership, resources, and processes. The following elements are the main tactical levers you should use to ensure that an EFM implementation is successful:
- Senior management commitment and involvement
- Compensation and reward structures
- Recognition and appreciation
- Employee engagement
- Alignment and communication
- A structured process for using and acting on customer feedback
- Coaching and training
The Siloed Data Problem
Customer, vendor, employee, and performance feedback are being collected, but the data often gets mired in different silos within the company and doesn’t contribute to the company’s “big picture.” For example, many companies collect customer feedback using point-of-sale surveys or social channels, perform internal quality checks, or use third-party mystery shoppers to measure performance. These different types of customer feedback systems are never consolidated and presented back to the unit manager for follow-up and customer recovery.
But this is only the tip of the iceberg. What about customers who have a problem, but haven’t been proactively offered a survey? Think of the many ways a customer could give you feedback today through using Google to find your website and fill in a form you’ve created, sending an email, call your toll-free number, or complaining about you on the internet (social media, blog, etc.).
As you consider all the various platforms and social channels customers can use to engage with your company, here are some questions to ask yourself.
Does your company have the tools and resources to collect feedback from any of these methods and integrate them with each other? Are you set up to capture feedback in ways which are most convenient for your customers, or more convenient for you? Is customer feedback delivered to the appropriate employee in a simple, efficient fashion? Or does this information trickle in through multiple channels, over a number of weeks or months? This scenario is compounded even further when other types of feedback are included, like that from employees, vendors, and partners.
Enterprise Feedback Management helps solve each of these shortcomings. Feedback is collected, consolidated, analyzed, and promptly available to front-line managers to improve operations. The information is accessible up and down the organization’s hierarchy, with different reports, roles, and permission levels available for different types of users. With real-time feedback, consolidated from all sources, managers have a tool to make an immediate impact. When customers and employees see or hear their suggestions are being put into use, they become more invested as an emotional “owner” of the business, which brings a heightened level of attachment and loyalty.
A well-designed, properly executed EFM solution provides numerous benefits, but is especially useful in helping you understand your relationships with customers, employees, partners, suppliers, and others, regarding key issues and concerns, as well as noteworthy positive feedback. Some specific examples of the benefits of EFM include:
- Enabling real-time, customer-driven response.
- Understanding the key drivers that keep customers returning.
- Pinpointing specific store/team/employee training needs.
- Ensuring service-lapse recovery – fixing problems so they don’t recur.
- “Saving” customers (and their lifetime value) before they permanently defect.
- Compensating employees based directly on customer measurements.
- Providing integrated reporting of all feedback, from all “moments of truth.”
- Linking satisfaction to loyalty to financial results.
- Driving consistency across the organization by sharing results widely.
Robust EFM systems provide additional benefits by allowing companies to leverage data across departments. For example, transactional surveys can be augmented with additional market research-oriented questions, thereby saving time and resources.
Enterprise Feedback Management is not a “fad,” a “thing,” or a “system.” It’s a management process that enables organizations to collect feedback in real time through multiple channels and multiple data sources. EFM allows businesses to consolidate feedback from customers, employees, and other stakeholders, then integrates the feedback with other important financial and transactional data. This structure uses intelligent analytics to turn the data into actionable information, and distributes the information to the right person at the right time for follow up. Enterprise Feedback Management is being adopted as a best practice among leading organizations to collect, consolidate, and manage feedback from all sources and then acting on that feedback to set best-practice companies apart.