EFM/Survey Space is Starting to Heat Up

Patrick Barnard
Group Managing Editor, TMCnet

EFM/Survey Space is Starting to Heat Up

I just now completed a brief, over-the-phone survey with my bank, one of the biggest in the U.S., following a routine balance inquiry. They’re trying to determine my satisfaction with their speech-enabled self-serve banking service. My bank has been “tweaking” this service (which, by the way, is actually “either/or” -- i.e., touchtone or speech activated) for about a year now – and it works pretty darn well, if you ask me. I think about 18 months ago it was touchtone only, but now it gives me the choice “enter or say.” Usually, I take the touchtone option, but the speech-enabled system works really well, and when I’ve used it, it has never misinterpreted what I said or asked me to repeat (should I say thank you to Nuance?).

Anyway, I’m finding that more and more organizations are asking me for my opinion of their services, following an interaction … and I’m finding, almost to my own surprise, that I’m amenable to giving it to them. The survey I just took was only three questions and it took a total of about 60 seconds to complete. I was happy to rate their over-the-phone self-service a “10” across the board because I really do feel it works very well.

The rising preponderance of these post-interaction surveys just proves that the Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) space is starting to really heat up – and I think it will soon be commonplace for most organizations to ask you to take a brief survey after you complete an interaction (at least occasionally, or after so many transactions). I’ve heard that some organizations are even offering incentives such as discounts and freebies if you take brief survey.

Of course, the data gathered from these post-interaction surveys is only meaningful depending on what is done with it – and by that I mean how much of it you collect, how you combine it with other customer “meta-data,” and whether you integrate it into your CRM. Some solutions let you readily combine the data with the other data you gather through your speech analytics, for example, to get an amazingly accurate picture of your customer satisfaction and customer loyalty levels.

One of the leaders in this new EFM space is Allegiance – and I’ve written about them a few times in this blog. I think they have a hot product and we’ll be hearing more about them in the future. One of the great things about EFM companies like Allegiance is their willingness to uncover industry trends through their own surveys – and by that I mean Allegiance does its own surveys and releases the data through its Pulse of America offering. Of course, Allegiance even gives its own customers the chance to express their opinions about the company right on its own website – obviously it would seem hypocritical if they didn’t use their own product to gather opinions from their customers!

While Allegiance might be viewed as a “pioneer” in the EFM space and a pure-play provider of EFM solutions, I’m seeing survey solutions for both speech and Web popping up everywhere across all facets the call center software space. For example, call recording/quality monitoring/analytics solutions provider CallCopy – which just recently launched its new Survey Channel on TMCnet – offers a really cool survey app offering some advanced functionality that I haven’t seen in other survey products. Of course, I need to drive home the point here that there is a huge distinction to be made between harvesting opinions and what you do with the data afterward. But CallCopy is definitely an innovative company and after doing an interview with them this past week (article in the works) I must say I’m impressed with their offerings.

Keep an eye on this EFM/survey space – and make sure you check out CallCopy’s new Survey Channel on TMCnet.

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