Understanding Feedback Options, Part I

     As with almost everything else, technology and competition are giving us more and better feedback options, but it is difficult to know which ones to consider let alone which is optimum. This blog was written to help organization leaders start to better understand feedback solutions.

     Feedback solution options may now be divided into three categories:

  1. Surveys
  2. Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM)
  3. Effective Notification Systems

     Surveys are standalone solutions that collect responses to questions from specific constituencies generally during a specific time frame. They can be verbal – in person or via telephone, written, online, email or text. The first customer satisfaction survey that I am aware of accompanied an 1875 Montgomery Ward catalog order. The first employee “attitude” surveys were conducted in the 1920s.

     Enterprise Feedback Management was first defined in a 2004 article but became much better known the following year later when Gartner defined it as “formal tools for data collection and output analysis” and began writing about it. Enterprise Feedback Management is to surveys what targeted online advertising is to direct mail. EFM as it is commonly known, includes generally sophisticated processes and systems to conduct and analyze surveys and is most commonly used by large enterprises.

     Surveys and Enterprise Feedback Management are primarily intended to collect data after an event or experience. Customers evaluate products and services, and employees provide an opinion of the workplace, both generally when, how and what the organization wants.

     Effective Notification Systems were originally designed to prevent and detect criminal conduct in response to a Sarbanes-Oxley provision applying to all entities. Now organization experts and consumers strongly agree with the American Bar Association that  Effective Notification Systems are a good practice and regardless of governance or size, every organization should voluntarily implement them.

     More in Part II.