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January 1, 2006
Anida Carpenter, operations manager for customer research BI; as told to Colin Beasty
Secret of My Success: Hughes Network Systems
Why did you need an enterprise feedback management (EFM) solution?
Before Perseus, Hughes was running two customer satisfaction surveys, one for its Internet services business and one for DirecTV. The surveys were similar, so we needed to create separate surveys for each one--it was twice the work. The workload was miserable. Everything was done via paper or telephone. The process of creating the questionnaire would take nearly a month.
Anytime we wanted to remeasure the customers, management would change the questions, so we could never do comparative analysis with the previous surveys. Plus, the entire process, including development, collection, analysis, and reporting, took two months. And if Hughes used that old survey data to respond to unhappy customers, they would say, "Why are you calling me now?" We needed a centralized solution that could tightly define and create consistent surveys so we could have a baseline to measure and cross-reference other surveys against.
Why did you select Perseus?
When we started searching for a solution, there weren't a lot of choices available. In addition, I had no budget, no personnel, no IT department, nothing. So I created an in-house Web survey system in 1999. It was clunky but it got the job done. In 2000, we were using SPSS for analysis so we looked at its Web survey system. It was going to cost us six figures just to consult with them. We ended up purchasing one of Perseus Development's original survey solutions, which increased our response collection rate 35 percent, but we were still spending a ton of time analyzing and making sure all departments within the company were using the same system. In 2002 Perseus came out with its EFM solution. I did a cost analysis for the executives about the cost savings if we implemented the EFM solution. We were spending about $35,000 per survey the old way and I only needed $70,000 to implement Perseus's EFM solution. I hadn't even gotten to the second page of the presentation when the executives approved. I had proposal offerings that afternoon from all departments in the company.
What have been the main rewards?
We've seen a 35 to 40 percent increase in customer satisfaction rates since implementing the solution in 2002. We've reduced the costs of conducting surveys by standardizing the entire organization on one solution. We completely eliminated the need to rely on our IT group to do programming. In addition, we've used Perseus to conduct in-house surveys for preproduct launch beta testing. Engineers now go out into the field to install a new system, and that night, go online to fill out a questionnaire to report any problems in the field. As a result, we've seen a drop in the number of problems we would normally encounter at the beginning of a product or service launch. Finally, all survey results are now stored in a central database. We can take that information and cross-reference it against other reports and surveys. That data in turn is integrated with other systems, such as PeopleSoft and SAP, to create a 360-degree view of our customers.
What are your next steps?
We're going to install a Perseus field mobile system for our installation teams. After a new system is installed in a customer's home, we send an auditor out to make a site inspection. Today, they go out with a paper form and come back to the office and enter the data manually. The mobile solution will enable us to collect the site information automatically, and let auditors issue a customer satisfaction survey while at the customer's house.
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