Allegiance Pledges to Be Social
The enterprise feedback management vendor's Engage 7 adds social media to its toolbox of surveying options, unveils a new interface, and introduces text analysis.
Posted Jun 2, 2010
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Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) player Allegiance released the newest version of its platform, Engage 7, this week. According to Allegiance Vice President of Marketing Chris Cottle, this release brings together formerly disparate survey and customer streams that enable companies to get a clear view of "what's happening." Although EFM vendors have been working to incorporate the social media channel into the feedback funnel for several years now, the Engage platform enables companies to be more proactive in getting VOC from social networks such as Twitter.

In fact, Cottlesays, the ad hoc survey area has yet to be truly included and integrated in VOC platforms. "Having them integrated into the platform hasn't been done well," he says. ThinkJar Principal and Founder Esteban Kolsky says that ad hoc surveying applied to social media is what's compelling to him. "The ability to manage the Twitter interactions as part of the VOC is actually pretty interesting." He runs through a scenario where a person through Twitter might mention that she just saw a play the evening before. In an instance like that, the theater company could reach out proactively and tweet the play attendee a quick survey about her reactions to the play. The company can begin to manage the conversations, get information from the people they want to be in touch with, and then apply analytics to what those customers are saying.

The Engage 7 platform is made up of four engines, Cottle explains:

  1. Feedback engine: It gathers customer responses from areas such as phone, email, portal, and now social media.
  2. Insight engine: It shows the pulse of conversations and feedback. The insight engine also enables companies to solicit feedback.
  3. Reporting engine: Once you got insights, this engine enables companies to get them out to everyone, so managers and front-line employees can see trends and scores.
  4. Action engine: This alerts employees to case that might need to be managed, or prompts on-the-spot interventions.

Engage 7 includes text analytics at no extra charge. The tool, through natural language processing, essentially scrapes all the open-ended comments that people give and enables that unstructured data to be captured. Allegiance also introduced a new mobile/SMS surveying tool that enables companies to send out surveys to a customer's mobile device.

In addition to revamping its features, Allegiance worked with an interface engineer to rethink the user experience and omit any unnecessary buttons. Likening it to a "Google experience," Cottle says he thinks the new UI will better equip Allegiance for bringing the platform to the masses.

Kolsky says that Allegiance a good product and has added a handful of good features. Soon, he says, he imagines that social media, EFM, and VOC will all come together.

"We want to help companies capitalize and monetize VOC through advanced feedback solutions," Cottle says. "We think some of their best decisions will be made from our dashboards."

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