The Evolution Of Voice Of The Customer Programs

We just published a new report, The Evolution Of Voice Of The Customer Programs: Large Organizations Need Customer Insight And Action (CIA) Platforms

Download report for $195

We get a lot of requests for help with voice of the customer (VoC) programs, so we’ve been doing a lot of new research in the area. This is the first report to come from that effort, but there is a lot more to come.

Since there’s so much demand for this topic, we decided to offer a 50% discount to get the report “out there.” So, for a little while, you can use coupon code VOC50 for this report (we’re not sure when we’ll end the promotion).

For large organizations, building a closed-loop VoC program can quickly outgrow the capabilities of manual efforts and periodic market research reports. As these programs expand, they often require infrastructure for automating data collection, analysis, reporting, and workflow.

Temkin Group calls these applications Customer Insight and Action (CIA) platform, defined as:

A technology for automating multi-channel customer feedback, analysis, and response and the related workflow associated with closed-loop voice of the customer programs

Here’s the executive summary of the report:

Voice of the customer (VoC) programs are often key components of customer experience efforts and most companies report positive results from these efforts. To thrive, these programs need closed-loop processes in four areas: Listen, Interpret, Respond, and Monitor. As VoC programs evolve, they often outgrow manual processes and existing market research programs. Companies should consider deploying what Temkin Group calls Customer Insight and Action (CIA) platforms that automate the collection, analysis, and workflow associated with closed-loop VoC programs across multiple channels. To aid in that effort, Temkin Group has assembled information on 11 vendors that provide CIA platforms.

The end of the report assembles about three pages of information on each of 11 CIA platform vendors (provided by the vendors). Click on this link and you will see the entire post which includes an overview of all 11 vendors.

Download report for $195

In case you’re wondering, Temkin Group has done work for several of the vendors listed in this report, But we are not being paid for doing this research and these vendors have had no input on our research methodology or any involvement in the editorial decisions in this report except for the content they provided about their companies.

We have a number fo other VoC research projects underway looking at the state of VoC programs and the leading-edge VoC practices. Stay tuned!

The bottom line: Are you prepared to evolve your VoC program?

Here are links to overview information of those vendors:

Company Name: Allegiance
Platform Name: Engage Platform
Headquarters location: Salt Lake City, UT
Website: www.allegiance.com
Countries/regions where you currently have sales and support coverage: North America, Europe, with partner resellers in various regions including South America, APAC, Middle East and North Africa
Key reference clients: Nicor National, Zions Bancorporation, Otis Spunkmeyer. Additional references available upon request
OVERVIEW:Allegiance offers next generation Voice of the Customer (VOC) and feedback management software to help organizations grow customer and employee loyalty and engagement. The Allegiance Engage software platform facilitates survey creation and gathers responses and unsolicited comments in real-time into a centralized online system, saving time, effort and money. Allegiance solutions automatically provide actionable insights, and measure customer and employee engagement, revealing precise actions to grow engagement and increase revenue. Allegiance Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM), predictive analytics, and professional services combine to help businesses capitalize on voice of customer. In 2009, Allegiance was ranked 58th on the list of the 500 fastest growing, privately held companies in the U.S. by Inc. Magazine.

Company Name: Confirmit
Platform Name: Confirmit Horizons
Headquarters location: Oslo, Norway
Website: www.confirmit.com
Countries/regions where you currently have sales and support coverage: Norway, UK, US.Resellers in Italy, Spain, Kuwait,  Thailand, Australia, and Japan.
Key reference clients: Ariba, Farmers Insurance, Best Buy, Zip Realty
OVERVIEW:Confirmit was established in 1996, and became the leading provider of Software-as-a-Service feedback and research solutions. In 2007, the company merged with market research software provider Pulse Train. Since the merger, Confirmit has evolved its product portfolio to offer a range of solutions, based on the combined 40 years of software expertise and market knowledge of the two companies. There are now over 200 employees of the company.The company’s core product is Confirmit Horizons, a multi-channel feedback platform that enables businesses to gather feedback to measure and improve customer experiences.Confirmit is 100% owned by Alexander Vik, following his purchase of the business in 2008.

Confirmit has partnerships with a number of businesses offering service that complement the platform. These partnerships include; systems integrators, consultants and technology providers. These relationships help customers to get more from the Confirmit, and ensure all their needs are met.

Company Name: Empathica
Platform Name: DriveExperience, DriveEngagement and GoRecommend
Headquarters location: Mississauga, ON, Canada
Website: www.empathica.com
Countries/regions where you currently have sales and support coverage: Canada, USA, UK, Australia
Key reference clients: Brinker International, Red Robin, Canadian Tire, and Citibank
OVERVIEW:Empathica provides Customer Experience Management programs to over 200 of the world’s leading brands, ranging from multi-unit retailers, to banks and restaurants. Its rich analysis of survey data using state-of-the-art surveying and dashboard reporting software allows for performance-improvement solutions, evidence-based marketing insights, and customer experience management consulting. Annually, Empathica’s 30 million customer surveys in 17 languages reach more than 70,000 locations. A privately-held organization, Empathica is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada and also has offices in Birmingham, England and Alpharetta, GA, in the United States.

Company Name: MarketTools, Inc.
Platform Name: MarketTools® CustomerSat™
Headquarters Location: San Francisco, CA
Website: www.markettools.comwww.markettools.com/customersat
Countries with sales / support coverage: US, Canada, Europe
Key Reference Clients: American General Life Companies, Bally’s Total Fitness, Canon USA, CareFusion, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, CyberSource (Visa), Honeywell, JP Morgan Chase, Merck, Pitney Bowes, Salesforce.com, SimplexGrinnell (a Tyco company), Wind River (Intel). Additional reference customers available upon request.
OVERVIEW:MarketTools is the leading provider of software and services for enterprise feedback management (EFM) and market research. The company is focused on providing leading organizations the actionable customer insights they need to make better business decisions that lead to high-value business impact. As the first company to make online surveys widely available on the Web, MarketTools continues its market-leading position by providing the broadest range of powerful, accurate and integrated customer insight technologies that empower companies to become the most customer-centric organizations in their industries. MarketTools’ premier portfolio of technology-based insight brands includes CustomerSat™,TrueSample®, Zoomerang®, ZoomPanel® and ZoomPanel Tech™.

Company Name: Medallia, Inc.
Platform Name: Medallia Customer Experience Management platform
Headquarters location: Menlo Park, CA
Website: www.medallia.com
Countries/regions where you currently have sales and support coverage: North America, Europe, APAC
Key reference clients: Four Seasons, eBay, Sephora, Golds Gym, Fidelity, Pella, Honeywell, Facebook, Hyatt, JP Morgan Chase
OVERVIEW:Medallia, a leader in SaaS customer experience and enterprise feedback management, provides solutions to Global 2000 companies. More than 50,000 businesses and business units around the world use the Medallia system to track customer satisfaction. Medallia’s solutions enable companies to gather, monitor, and act on feedback from customers, partners, and employees. Customers include global financial services, retail, high-tech, business-to-business, and hotel companies. The company is headquartered in Silicon Valley.

Company Name: Mindshare Technologies
Platform Name: Mindshare
Headquarters Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Website: www.mshare.net
Countries/regions where you currently have sales and support coverage: Mindshare Technologies serves clients in over 106 countries and 26 languages and is constantly expanding.  Mindshare is based in Salt Lake City with additional offices in Boston and Dallas, and has a strategic partner with offices throughout Europe.
Key Reference Clients: Arby’s Restaurant Group, Comcast, Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC, Hertz, Marriot International, Inc, Café Rio, The Melting Pot, Papa Murphy’s International, Express, Sprint, The Maids, Dave & Buster’s, Tony Roma’s, IHOP
OVERVIEW:Mindshare Technologies’ Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) tools help companies improve operational excellence, foster consumer satisfaction, build customer loyalty, and minimize customer attrition through direct customer involvement. Mindshare’s proprietary survey technology captures feedback from all customer touch-points, in real-time, and immediately transforms it into actionable intelligence.As a hosted system, Mindshare Technologies is affordable and flexible, delivering highly actionable information to each management level in formats tailored to their specific needs, especially front-line managers. Reports are web-accessible 24/7 or by scheduled email delivery. Real-time alerts, which identify service break-downs so recovery can begin, are sent immediately.Mindshare serves more than 25 different industries, including: retail, restaurant, travel, hospitality, financial, salon, automotive, etc. Clients range from small regional chains to large multinational corporations.

Feedback channels include: Phone (inbound and outbound), web, email, mobile devices, social media, etc.

Feedback types include: Customer satisfaction, post-transaction surveys, quality audits, market research, employee satisfaction, HR, corporate website, relationship surveys, etc.

Company Name: Ransys Feedback Technologies
Platform Name: Attentive® Suite
Headquarters location: Ramat-Gan, Israel
Website: www.ransys.com
Countries/regions where you currently have sales and support coverage: South Africa, Benelux, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Israel
Key reference clients: Metropolitan SA, Teva, Nice,  Orange Israel, IDI Insurance, Bezeq Online, MobilKom
OVERVIEW:Ransys Feedback Technologies (Ransys) focuses on providing enterprise feedback management (EFM) solutions. Attentive® Feedback Management (Attentive® FM) is Ransys’ core, end-to-end platform for creating, deploying, collecting results, managing, and analyzing survey projects. Ransys’ underlying technology provides a platform on which it have created external, customer-focused feedback solutions for periodic, ad hoc, and event-driven surveys.  Attentive® Customer Experience (Attentive ACE®) is the contact center customer feedback solution, which can be deployed  at many different customer touch points including online (Web and email), short message service (SMS), phone, smartphone, mail, personal digital assistant (PDA), kiosks, and interactive voice response (IVR). In addition to their customer solutions, Ransys also offers internal, employee-focused solutions for performance appraisal, training effectiveness, and employee opinion surveys.Attentive ACE® is available on-premise, as a hosted software-as-a–service (SaaS), and as a managed service. Ransys is marketed primarily in Israel, South Africa, Spain, Portugal, Benelux, Austria and a number of other European countries.

Company Name: ResponseTek
Platform Name: ResponseTek:CEM
Headquarters location: Vancouver, BC  Canada
Website: www.responsetek.com
Countries/regions where you currently have sales and support coverage: North America, United Kingdom, Western Europe
Key reference clients: HSBC, TalkTalk, WestJet, Aon, Sabre Airline Solutions, Pacific Blue Cross
OVERVIEW:ResponseTek was founded in 1999 and provides actionable business intelligence software that is driven by customer experience and social media data feeds.Our CEM software platform is designed to capture the voice of the customer at every touchpoint and deliver automated insights across the organization in real-time.Currently ResponseTek offers four products, all of which are integrated together into the ResponseTek:CEM suite of CEM software:

Market Research – a set of tools to survey and analyze all types of customer and employee data.

Feedback Management – deploy listening posts that let your customers have a voice at any time, and close the communication loop with powerful feedback management functionality.

Media Monitoring – constantly monitor social media, news sites, blogs, and other online sources for opinion and sentiment about your brand and competitors.

Knowledge Management – enables customer self-service through an integrated knowledge base to reduce costs.

Company Name RightNow
Platform Name RightNow CX August 2010
Headquarters Location Bozeman, MT
Website www.rightnow.com
Countries/regions where you currently have sales and support coverage: RightNow provides global sales and support coverage from offices across North America, and in Munich, Germany; London, UK; Utrecht, Netherlands; Sydney, Australia; Tokyo, Japan.  RightNow also has Five global datacenters: US (2), US Government, Canada, UK.
Key Reference Clients RightNow’s clients have been successful in delivering extraordinary results:

  • Nikon realized 3,200% ROI over three years
  • Overstock.com saw email volumes drop 72%, as well as FCR up 10% and AHT down 25%
  • Drugstore.com sees 25% of Beauty.com chat sessions convert to sales

RightNow also makes it easy to connect with CX Ambassadors, experts in the art and science of customer experience.  CX Ambassadors include iRobot, Electronic Arts, drugstore.com, RealNetworks, and MySpace.

OVERVIEW:RightNow is helping rid the world of bad experiences one consumer interaction at a time, 7 million times a day. RightNow CX, the customer experience suite, provides what an organization needs to deliver exceptional customer experiences across the web, social networks, and contact centers, all delivered via the cloud.CX is a revolutionary approach to delivering great customer experiences that create loyalty, grow sales, and increase efficiency. It is built from the ground up for consumer-centric organizations and puts customers at the center of the experience. CX marks the shift from internally focused solutions to solutions that focus externally to deliver superior customer experiences.Founded in 1997, RightNow is headquartered in Bozeman, Montana, employs more than 800 people, and serves nearly 2,000 organizations worldwide. RightNow is listed on the NASDAQ under the symbol RNOW.

RightNow has won Gartner & 1to1 Media awards four years running.

Company Name Satmetrix
Platform Name Satmetrix Xperience™
Headquarters Location San Mateo, CA (international headquarters in London, UK)
Website www.satmetrix.com
Locations Where You Have Sales/Support Coverage San Mateo, CA; New York, NY; London, UK; Paris, France; Trivandrum, India
Key Reference Clients Experian, Symantec, Virgin Media, Verizon Business, tw telecom, Sony
OVERVIEW:Satmetrix is the leading provider of successful customer experience management programs and the co‑developer of Net Promoter.® We offer a winning combination of software as a service (SaaS) and best-practice consulting that delivers actionable customer feedback to drive growth, fuel innovation, and amplify positive word of mouth. Satmetrix has a proven track record of accelerating the success of large-scale, integrated customer experience programs with more than 700 enterprise deployments in 40 languages. Our clients include some of the world’s most customer-centric companies, including Verizon Business, Symantec, ING, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, and Sony. In addition, Satmetrix offers Net Promoter Customer Loyalty Certification for professionals responsible for customer experience, customer loyalty, and customer feedback and maintains the online community. For more information visit http://www.satmetrix.com or call 888.800.2313 in the US or +44 845 371 1040 in Europe.

Company Name: Vovici Corporation
Platform Name: Survey Workbench
Headquarters location: Dulles, Virginia
Website: www.vovici.com
Countries/regions where you currently have sales and support coverage: United States (Offices in Virginia and Massachusetts)Europe (Office in London, England)Asia (through partnership)Australia (through partnership)
Key reference clients: NPR, Marriott, BAE Systems, Honda, SYKES, Plymouth Rock Insurance, SERCO, United Nations
OVERVIEW:Vovici is the leading provider of online survey management and enterprise feedback solutions. Powerful, scalable and easy to use, Vovici’s solutions help companies engage customers, employees and partners to increase loyalty, facilitate innovation, and influence critical business decisions. Thousands of organizations worldwide, including more than half of the Fortune 500, rely on Vovici to turn feedback into action.

  • We have nearly two decades of industry experience
  • We have over 1,500 customers, including 50% of the Fortune 500
  • We invented the term Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM)
  • We have executed over 200 million surveys on behalf of our customers’ VoC, VoE, HR and training programs

About Bruce Temkin
I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, marketing, interaction design, customer service, and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

5 Responses to The Evolution Of Voice Of The Customer Programs

  1. Ryan Lyster says:

    Do you have any details on the type of critical analysis done in this report? Just trying to clarify whether this is strictly information provided by the vendors, or if it provides a look at the strengths and weaknesses of each.

    We’re in the initial phases of gathering exactly this type of information, so this report could be of good use for us.

    • Bruce Temkin says:

      Ryan: The report was not setup to evaluate the vendors as much as it provides an overview to several of the key vendors in this space. The report outlines some of the key functionality and questions you should think about when evaluating these vendors. The information supplied by the vendors does a nice job of providing a contrast since I had each of the companies answer the same 12 questions:

      (1) Company and product information:
      Company Name:
      Platform Name:
      Headquarters location:
      Website:
      Countries/regions where you currently have sales and support coverage:
      Key reference clients:
      (2) Provide an overall description of your company:
      (3) Describe the most common industries and/or environments in which your platform is being used:
      (4) Describe your platform’s key capabilities for collecting customer feedback:
      (5) Describe your platform’s key capabilities for analyzing customer data:
      (6) Describe your platform’s key capabilities for reporting and sharing insights across an organization:
      (7) Describe your platform’s key capabilities for helping companies take action based on customer feedback:
      (8) Describe the technical benefits of your software platform:
      (9) Describe your service and support offerings:
      (10) Describe the typical process for a company to start using your platform (include your typical start-up times):
      (11) Describe your pricing structure and business model:
      (12) Provide any important information about your company or offering that was not covered in previous sections:

  2. Paul Clark says:

    Bruce, a very interesting collection of vendors, but surprisingly all very much based on the solicitation of feedback. My business(es) proposition offers the benefit of the opposing approach of gathering unsolicited feedback, which has the benefit of accurately presenting the true Customer experience and where the feedback is a complaint, offers a ‘golden’ retention opportunity.

    I can also offer an impressive list of blue-chip clients who will all attest to the value gained.

    My point is that the true, completely rounded, voice of the Customer should be a combination of listening to and acting on the feedback freely given and the answers to questions asked.
    Happy to debate my assertion.

    • Bruce Temkin says:

      Paul: I totally agree with your assessment of the market. One of my “8 Customer Experience Megatrends” is “Unstructured Data Appreciation.” VoC programs are definitely evolving from a world of “solicited/structured” feedback to “unsolicited/unstructured” feedback. See my post: It’s Time For Text Analytics. In a recent report, Profiling Customer Experience Leaders, we found that customer experience leaders were using text analytics significantly more than customer experience laggards.

      Having said that, I don’t think these vendors are stuck in the “old world” of structured/solicited feedback. Many of them are feedback/data agnostic, they’ll accept inputs from any listening post or external data source. As new channels and techniques for getting customer feedback (like your company’s) show up, I would expect these vendors to incorporate that data into their platforms. There may be many “listening posts” from customers, but there should be a consolidated approach/system to developing and acting on insights.

      Key an eye out for my upcoming research and posts about best/next practices.

  3. Pingback: Customer Insight and Action (CIA) Platforms Emerge « Customer Experience Matters

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