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Whilst many businesses actively seek out feedback from their employees and their customers as separate activities, remarkably few integrate the resulting data.

According to a new survey by Questback*, 64% of companies do not combine customer experience data and employee engagement data, so they are missing out on a holistic picture of their business from both sides.

The benefits of data integration

The 26% that are planning to launch integration initiatives over the next 18 months have much to gain, according to Questback. Of the businesses surveyed who already integrate data, 83% saw it as a way to improve customer experience and 75% felt it had a motivational benefit for employees. As the report authors say:

“Given the proven benefits to integrating feedback, laggards may well find themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to understanding and retaining both staff and customers moving forward.”

Does technology help or hinder?

What is a little more concerning is that many companies saw technology as a barrier to integration. 36% of those not planning to integrate data thought their current systems would not cope, and 51% of those companies who were integrating data had to do it through manual exports and imports.

Questback sees feedback integration has having four main benefits:

    1. Increased understanding of customer behaviour
    2. The ability to link customer satisfaction with specific, engaged employees
    3. Listening to the voice of the non-responder … by analysing the unsolicited feedback that frontline employees hear
    4. Getting early warning of issues and processes that need to be changed

At TalkFreely, we would add an important action to that; identifying key issues from the feedback and creating related challenges within your innovation management to try and solve them. Data integration gives you the information, innovation management gives you the process to process and act on that information to make real and lasting changes.

Joint teams for feedback integration

Questback suggests that companies who integrate data best do so by creating joint teams between customer and employee departments. It certainly makes sense for this to happen, but again, we would suggest that it’s not just about the data, but the resulting actions, as part of the formation of company-wide innovation challenges.

Re-integration into innovation

The final step in our minds is re-integration, bringing the original respondents into the innovation process so they can be part of a transparent and dynamic process of using their feedback for the benefit of all. This should, of course, include both employees and customers, and some companies struggle with the practicalities of “outside involvement”.

A robust and secure online platform such as TalkFreely allows specific and definable elements of the innovation process to be opened up to external stakeholders, without risk to company systems or confidentiality. With care and time, that original customer and employee engagement can be converted into lasting and sustained involvement in innovation now and into the future.

Do call us to discuss further, or download the Questback report PDF using the link below.

* The 2014 Questback enterprise feedback study: Linking customer experience and employee engagement feedback