Richard Snow's Analyst Perspectives

Confirmit Moves to Voice of Customer and Feedback Management

Posted by Richard Snow on Sep 28, 2012 11:20:21 AM

Confirmit is one of the leading vendors of market research services. It has a full range of products that support every step of the market research cycle. Its software lets users create surveys that can be delivered through multiple channels, perform panel management (managing teams of people that contribute to research programs), collect the data from completed surveys, and use a suite of reporting and analysis tools to gain in-depth insights from the data collected. The company has been steadily moving into the enterprise feedback market, using similar products and services that allow companies to focus on customers and employees. These developments have been accelerating, as evidenced by three recent announcements: the release of the company’s latest Horizons 17 software, a new set of services that focuses on the customer, and the acquisition of CustomerSat, an enterprise feedback management software and services provider.

Horizons 17 offers several enhancements to core capabilities, but the most exciting developments take Confirmit into the areas of mobility and big data, two of the technologies that Ventana Research believes have a major impact on how companies develop and consume IT today. Mobility impacts both internal users and the way customers interact with companies. Confirmit now allows internal users to access reports and analysis on their smart devices, and lets companies deliver surveys on consumers’ smart devices. Big data comes into play as the software supports more channels for collecting completed surveys, and thus collects higher volumes of data in more formats, including unstructured data.

The new services take Confirmit into voice of the customer (VoC), but with a twist. At the center of the services, voice of the market systems gather market research data and voice of the customer gathers feedback for customers, and these are combined with voice of the employee, which gathers input from employees, and voice of the business, which brings together key business-related data. The combination of all this data enables companies to derive a near 360-degree of the customer, something my benchmark research into customer relationship maturity shows less than a third (31%) of companies can produce today. This view becomes the foundation of a series of interconnected services that Ventana Research defines as performance management – understand (analyze past and current information), optimize (identify what changes need to be made) and align (put in place programs that bring about the changes needed to achieve the desired improvements). Confirmit refer to these in its own terminology but the result is the same; the services help organizations get the best of market, customer, employee and business feedback to improve business outcomes.

The acquisition of CustomerSat shows further intentions to increase the focus on VoC. Having the services and systems to support VoC is a big step, but my research into customer feedback management shows that as yet companies are largely at what we call the tactical level of maturity. Although the majority (67%) of companies see the importance of collecting customer feedback, they face a series of challenges in how, when and from whom they collect feedback, how they analyze the feedback, and how they respond to customers based on the feedback. The new Confirmit services should help companies in these areas. I recommend those companies that want to improve their focus on the customer look at how Confirmit can help.

Regards,

Richard J. Snow

VP & Research Director

Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Experience Management, Customer Feedback Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, 360-degree view of the Customer, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Text Analytics, Confirmit

Richard Snow

Written by Richard Snow

Richard leads Ventana Research’s Customer and Contact Center Performance Management research practice, which is dedicated to helping organizations improve the efficiency and effectiveness of managing their customers, throughout their lifetime and across all touch points, including the contact center. He conducts research exploring the people, process, information and technology issues behind customer operations management, contact center management, and customer experience management. He also works with senior business operations and IT managers to ensure that companies get the best performance from today’s highly complex application products. Richard has worked in management and consulting leadership positions in the technology industry including with Price Waterhouse, Sema Group and Valors. In his work, he has been involved with all aspects of delivering highly complex IT solutions to a variety of clients in the telecommunications, financial services and public sectors. Richard has specialized in delivering customer care and billing solutions for telecommunications operators, and several multi-channel contact centers for organizations in both the public and private sectors.