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The last time I was briefed by Confirmit it had just acquired CustomerSat and, in addition to undergoing a number of internal developments, was transitioning from supporting market research, customer and employee feedback to focusing more on voice of the customer (VOC). One of its key differentiators has been its ability to combine market research, customer and employee feedback to close the loop and produce VOC reports and analysis that include all three perspectives. Confirmit added the ability to collect feedback throughvr_cfm_methods_for_collecting_customer_feedback unstructured “conversations” on smart mobile devices, in recognition that these devices are being used more frequently by consumers and therefore such capabilities increase the likelihood of consumers responding to requests to provide feedback. Although my research on customer feedback management  shows this to be an important, growing requirement, the Confirmit products continue to support the creation and analysis of surveys as a core way of collecting and understanding customer feedback.

This year Confirmit has concentrated on incremental improvements to its two products, Horizons v17.5 and CustomerSat v12.2, and although there has been some sharing of capabilities, they remain mostly independent products. Enhancements to Horizons have improved the following: the look and feel of its reporting capabilities, making it easier to use the features, set up ad hoc reports and interpret outputs; feedback collection, to support more desktop and mobile devices; survey design and management, making it easier to design and produce multichannel surveys that can be customized to particular project requirements; panel management, enabling easier setup of customer, employee and market research panels; and data management, making it easier to integrate more external data sources, automate transfer of data to and from Horizons, and use scripting tools to reduce setup times.

Feature enhancements to CustomerSat have focused on usability and production of dashboards. Its newest feature is Active Dashboards™, which provides each user with a personalized, interactive view of customer feedback tailored to the specific role of the user within the organization. Designed for the unique needs of VOC programs, it delivers real-time customer survey data through a custom-selected set of colorful charts, tables and widgets that enable users to visualize and analyze survey results at a glance. Users can also create, edit and manage their own dashboards using simple-to-use drag-and-drop capabilities. In addition, new features allow data to automatically update dashboards based on the user profile. The other main area of improvement focuses on the collection of feedback from mobile devices, to take advantage of newer device capabilities.

Confirmit has also improved the technical aspects of the products, making them more scalable, as well as enhancing data security and supporting both on-premises and cloud-based delivery models.

One of Confirmit’s strengths has always been its professional services and support for what Ventana Research defines as a performance management approach. In the context of VOC, this means its products and service support the definition and design of surveys and other methods for collecting feedback, analyzing the data to determine areas that require improvement and then ensuring action is taken to bring about those improvements, whethervr_cfm_who_takes_action_on_customer_feedback to products, services, processes, training or other employee-related tasks. This last step is vital because my research into customer feedback management shows that organizations are particularly bad at sharing feedback information and taking action: Only about one-third (34%) of organizations always respond to customers that complete surveys. The research also shows that more than two-thirds (67%) think it is very important to collect feedback, and nothing puts customers off more than spending time giving companies feedback and then not seeing it put to any use.

It has been a busy year for Confirmit, but as of yet, there has been only minimal convergence of its products. I was assured that this will happen in the next big release, v18, which is due at beginning of 2014. The promise is more convergence, changes to the technical architecture, more data management capabilities to support even more feature enhancements and processing of more feedback types and big data, more analytics capabilities, more mobile capabilities to support access to product features and collection of feedback, and features to support more collaboration across the enterprise. I will be keeping track of these advances, but companies wanting to improve their VOC programs would do well to evaluate how Confirmit can support and enhance initiatives to better understand customer, employee and market feedback.


Richard J. Snow

VP & Research Director

Confirmit is one of the leading vendors of market research services. It has a full range of products that support every step of the market research cycle. Its software lets users create surveys that can be delivered through multiple channels, perform panel management (managing teams of people that contribute to research programs), collect the data from completed surveys, and use a suite of reporting and analysis tools to gain in-depth insights from the data collected. The company has been steadily moving into the enterprise feedback market, using similar products and services that allow companies to focus on customers and employees. These developments have been accelerating, as evidenced by three recent announcements: the release of the company’s latest Horizons 17 software, a new set of services that focuses on the customer, and the acquisition of CustomerSat, an enterprise feedback management software and services provider.

Horizons 17 offers several enhancements to core capabilities, but the most exciting developments take Confirmit into the areas of mobility and big data, two of the technologies that Ventana Research believes have a major impact on how companies develop and consume IT today. Mobility impacts both internal users and the way customers interact with companies. Confirmit now allows internal users to access reports and analysis on their smart devices, and lets companies deliver surveys on consumers’ smart devices. Big data comes into play as the software supports more channels for collecting completed surveys, and thus collects higher volumes of data in more formats, including unstructured data.

The new services take Confirmit into voice of the customer (VoC), but with a twist. At the center of the services, voice of the market systems gather market research data and voice of the customer gathers feedback for customers, and these are combined with voice of the employee, which gathers input from employees, and voice of the business, which brings together key business-related data. The combination of all this data enables companies to derive a near 360-degree of the customer, something my benchmark research into customer relationship maturity shows less than a third (31%) of companies can produce today. This view becomes the foundation of a series of interconnected services that Ventana Research defines as performance management – understand (analyze past and current information), optimize (identify what changes need to be made) and align (put in place programs that bring about the changes needed to achieve the desired improvements). Confirmit refer to these in its own terminology but the result is the same; the services help organizations get the best of market, customer, employee and business feedback to improve business outcomes.

The acquisition of CustomerSat shows further intentions to increase the focus on VoC. Having the services and systems to support VoC is a big step, but my research into customer feedback management shows that as yet companies are largely at what we call the tactical level of maturity. Although the majority (67%) of companies see the importance of collecting customer feedback, they face a series of challenges in how, when and from whom they collect feedback, how they analyze the feedback, and how they respond to customers based on the feedback. The new Confirmit services should help companies in these areas. I recommend those companies that want to improve their focus on the customer look at how Confirmit can help.


Richard J. Snow

VP & Research Director

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