As a result of their need to qualify customer perceptions, challenge their understanding of the market, and identify potential opportunities, HPT engaged DVIRC to develop and conduct a Voice of Customer primary research survey. The project was intended to capture specific quantitative and qualitative data and insights from key contacts within HPT’s current and prospective client base.
Using a scripted questionnaire developed specifically for this study, DVIRC completed surveys with 31 individuals from 24 unique companies. These individuals represented both current customers and prospects, and the questions were written to assess the following:
- Level of overall satisfaction with HPT;
- Areas in which HPT excels/could improve;
- HPT’s support strengths and opportunities for improvement;
- Key decision maker-level awareness of HPT, as well as customers’ knowledge of products/services;
- Preferred sources for industry information (print, web, word of mouth, etc.);
- Comparisons of HPT’s leadtimes to similar vendors; and
- Perceived capabilities and expertise between domestic and international players.
The survey also included questions aimed at determining the existence of sales opportunities among existing and prospective customers.
One of the most important assessment avenues, though, dealt with understanding customers’ primary decision factors.
“We gave respondents four purchasing-related decision factors as part of the survey,” says Hasson. “We believed we understood which considerations were primary to our customers and prospects when making purchasing decisions, and that if we did those things well, it would positively influence their decisions to buy our products. In this way, succeeding in a few targeted areas would enable us to both win over prospects and expand sales to existing customers.”
In the end, the survey results validated these beliefs to a point, but they also identified other areas that had not been on the company’s radar before the survey.
“We found our assumptions to be true in some cases,” Hasson says. “but there were others that we hadn’t really considered.”
As a result, the survey data enabled HPT to better understand the marketplace, and that understanding has informed and shaped short-term sales tactics. They can now apply this knowledge to appeal directly to those attributes that are most important to customers and prospects.
Moreover, Hasson says that the data also has had long-term benefits.
“I constantly refer to the DVIRC study,” he says. “When we consider making significant business- or product-development decisions or marketing strategies, I use the Voice of Customer report as an important component in the decision-making process. As we adjust our business practices now and in the future, we can go back to the same survey group to gauge our progress and uncover any opinion shifts that might impact longer-term opportunities.”