[INTERVIEW] 5 Fears of Switching Survey Vendors and How to Overcome Them
by iperceptions, on Oct 11, 2017
So you’ve decided that you’re not getting as much out of your Voice of the Customer (VoC) research with your current survey vendor, and that a change is in order.
Naturally, you’re concerned about some of the implications of switching to a new vendor:
- How much time and effort would it take to get up and running with a new vendor?
- Would I lose my historical data and trending?
- How much time would I lose trying to learn another new survey platform?
- Can I integrate my VoC data from this new vendor with my existing marketing systems?
- Would there be any issues transferring my research to a full-service VoC vendor?
These are definitely common fears that you might experience, but none that you can’t overcome with the right full-service provider.
We recently interviewed Duff Anderson, Senior Vice President and Co-founder of iperceptions, during which Duff walked us through these fears, and how they can be addressed with the right mix of expertise, technology and guidance provided on behalf of a full-service provider.
Check out our interview with Duff below (full transcript provided below the video):
IPERCEPTIONS: Welcome to our interview with Duff Anderson, Senior Vice President and Co-founder of iperceptions.
Today, Duff's going to address some of the reasons why companies that are not happy with their current VoC provider don't make the switch.
The first reason that companies don't make the switch is because it just takes too much time and effort to get started with a new Voice of Customer provider.
Duff, how would you go about addressing that concern?
DUFF ANDERSON: Well, that's one of the major concerns I hear. The reality however, and the way iperceptions overcomes this, is providing clients with a Universal Code.
Now second of all, you need a team of experts to provide a detailed transition plan. So with a detailed transition plan not only can you execute quickly, you can limit the need for internal resources to be involved.
I mean, I have a really good story. Just last year we had a client coming towards the end of the summer needing to make a decision about whether or not to switch VoC vendors. However, they had a code freeze on October 1st, which is common in e-commerce. So with our Universal Code and a detailed transition plan, not only were we able to switch and get all their programs running live, we did it with a week to spare.
IPERCEPTIONS: So another fear that a lot of companies have is that they've collected a lot of data over a long period of time, and if they were to switch Voice of Customer providers they're worried that they are going to lose all of those insights.
DUFF: So first of all, you need to look for a VoC vendor that allows you to customize and tailor your research specifically to your internal goals. In that sense, if the clients using a particular scale that's not part of our frameworks we'll tailor our frameworks to meet their historical and particular implementation of those metrics.
I have a really good story for this one. The reason we initially got engaged with Dell is because they were trying to implement a particular scale that Michael Dell had mandated, and he wanted to implement it on these new online surveys. And all the vendors out there at their own approaches and they wouldn't do it, so they spent three four years trying to align globally to provide exactly what Michael wanted. iperceptions got involved we said, "You know what? It's not the same as our framework approach, but we'll make the adjustment and we'll tailor our program to Michael's specific requirements."
Within three months, we had a global program implemented using this scale. We then start running an A/B test using our proprietary satisfaction scale and we were able to show them that it created more reproducible and reliable results. We actually improved their program over time with the research expertise that we provided.
IPERCEPTIONS: A fear that a lot of companies have is retraining. They don't want to actually switch VoC providers because they're worried that they're going to have to retrain all of their team on a new system that they don't know. How would you go about alleviating that concern?
DUFF: Well isn't that part of the human condition? We're all, you know, a little afraid of change and the unknown unknowns. I think the big concern for people is that they are going to waste time on issues that they currently have no problem with.
So iperceptions' solution is to, first of all, provide a Customer Success Manager who provides in-depth training on the platform. So first of all we'll cover how it works, people are able to do that. But their real concern is hitting a roadblock; wasting an hour, wasting a day, wasting a week on issues they didn't used to encounter.
So our approach is to provide a Customer Success Manager not only to train but to troubleshoot and solve any roadblocks that the client might hit. And I think it's the right approach.
IPERCEPTIONS: A lot of companies have integrations. They're worried that if they were to switch VoC vendors that these integrations wouldn't work and that they'd lose the insights going directly into those systems. How would you address that concern?
DUFF: Well first of all Jon, VoC exponentially increases the value of web analytics solutions. So if you have a current integration, you certainly want to be able to maintain that.
At iperceptions, our solution is to provide a universal API for all web analytics solutions, so there is virtually no system that we can't integrate with. In my experience I've never seen two clients who use Adobe the same way, who use GA (Google Analytics) in the same way, who have the same variables.
So at iperceptions, we provide an expert team of implementation engineers who can not only help you get the API installed, but tweak it so you're getting specifically the integrations that you need for your particular set ups.
IPERCEPTIONS: A fear a number of companies also have is that senior management want to bring all of their Voice of Customer program internally. So how would you go about speaking directly to that?
DUFF: What I believe the concern is here, is to get maximum return on investment you need to use your internal resources to design and execute your VoC and web analytics programs, but not to write surveys, not to program survey logic, not to do integrations.
And so iperceptions' approach is to understand that we are VoC partners, and we exponentially increase the value of your internal resources by executing on these things that we've done thousands of times: proven research frameworks, proven approaches to different business objectives, understanding what works and what doesn't so that you don't spend time debating internally on how things should be executed, who will run the research and what agenda they have.
I can't stress enough to remind people that the value of VoC is to bring the Voice of the Customer to the decision-making table. It's about aligning more quickly, confirming assumptions, providing surprise results and executing on strategy.
You know Jon, we just had a client that was with us for a significant amount of time in the hospitality industry, and they had this mandate; bring it internally. There are great tools out there, we don't disagree with that. We have a great tool as well. However, we just heard from them. It's about six months later, and what we found out is for the last six months they've been debating what programs to run, what scales to use, how to write the questions, what sampling strategies to use, how to do the integrations.
So they've come back, they're leveraging our expertise to implement what they want and at the same time, they can execute ad-hoc projects using our self-serve capabilities.
IPERCEPTIONS: Thank you so much Duff for joining us for this interview. If you'd like to learn more about iperceptions, please visit iperceptions.com. Thanks.