And the Survey Says…

I took note today of a new report by Forrester Research about EFM solutions and collecting customer feedback via surveying. In a nutshell, it outlines the rising tide of surveying tools with CRM solutions to create centralized repositories of customer satisfaction issues. In addition to Forrester, this was a hot topic at the Gartner CRM Summit this past September.

Traditionally, CRM solutions have always been good at providing transactional and behavioral information. Attitudinal represents the third pillar of CRM data, and it’s here that surveying/EFM (enterprise feedback management) solutions look to provide this information. EFM solutions are nearly mirror images of CRM, in the sense that

Surveying is an area, to be perfectly honest, that CRM suite vendors have been very weak in, and that customers have had to turn to best-of-breed providers in order to provide this functionality. But with Web 2.0 technologies and related concepts driving a renewed focus on customer experience management (CEM), I expect you’ll see this become a high priority for CRM vendors in the coming years.

As a result, integration between EFM and CRM solutions will become increasingly important, and thanks to EFM vendors such as Vovici and Confrimit taking similar “modulized” architectures similar to SugarCRM’s, those integrations should become easier.

It’ll also be interesting to watch the fallout of this on CRM end-users. On one hand, there are companies that rely heavily on information gathered from every point of customer contact. Institutions that rely heavily on the Internet to drive customer interactions, such as financial services, should be fine. But what about those that don’t?

All in all, it should be interesting to see how the mergence of these technologies will play out over the coming years.