• February 8, 2007
  • By Colin Beasty, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

All Hail EFM

Allegiance unveiled the latest update to its enterprise feedback management (EFM) solution yesterday, version 4 of the company's flagship Active Listening System solution. Enhancements to Active Listening System (ALS), a suite of six Web-based feedback management tools that collect, categorize, and analyze customer feedback from different sources, focus on helping organizations tie survey results to customer and employee loyalty and enhancing financial performance. ALS comprises six surveying tools that measure customer, employee, and partner feedback, and tools for Sarbanes-Oxley compliance and point-of-sale surveying capabilities. Each of the ALS tools operates as a case management system, allowing customers to track questions, comments, or concerns from submission to resolution, and the enhancements to version 4 touch on all six tools. The on-demand EFM provider upgraded the suite's usability and trending analysis capabilities, focused primarily for managers and administrators. A new user interface with dashboards has been incorporated for easier navigation and management of information while beefed-up trending analysis tools allow users to link survey results with customer and employee satisfaction and loyalty metrics. There is also increased online support for international languages and a new Task Manager for adding and managing tasks related to feedback. "With this version we simplified the way feedback is submitted, managed, and analyzed, which will make it easier for managers and administrators to identify challenges," said Adam Edmunds, president and CEO of Allegiance, in a written statement. "We're ensuring that no feedback falls through the cracks." Allegiance's emphasis on usability and analysis is representative of the push vendors in this market are making, says Esteban Kolsky, senior research director at Gartner. "They're looking to embed templates and best practices that are representative of the types of interactions a company might have with a customer. They're providing the end user with an outline based on best practices." Reporting has also gained importance among customers. "The big trend right now is customers want tools that provide them with reporting features that allow them to do something with the data, not just slice and dice it," Kolsky says. "The want to be able to make business-focused decisions based off a summary of the information." CRM has always been strong in providing behavioral, or transactional, customer information. Measuring and predicting a customer's attitude toward a company's brand and its products is quite new. Kolsky says these tools will help map this uncharted ground. "Reduce, reuse, and recycle feedback information with adherence to corporate goals," he says. "That's the real benefit of EFM." Related articles: Feedback Mountain
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