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.
Richard J. Snow
VP & Research Director