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How Autodesk Drew Up a Better Data Architecture

Autodesk was able to consolidate numerous customer feedback sources onto a single platform, yielding integrated insights with the benefit of stronger customer relations.

Editor’s Intro: Jitesh presents a really nice case study about an important topic facing many client organizations today:  how to pull together data from disparate sources into one platform for the benefit of both the larger organization and customers.  The lessons about cooperation across and within organizations, and the use of technology, all while keeping client issues and benefits at the center, are valuable for us all.

The fundamental challenge of market research used to be about gathering information. Now, it often feels like almost the complete opposite. There is so much available information, the challenge is to sift through all of it, consolidate your efforts and make sure you’re actually getting value out of all the data sources at your disposal. Increasingly, we have customers coming to us looking for help making sense out of the mountains of customer data they’re collecting. Autodesk was one such organization.

Autodesk has fascinating customers. Known for its popular AutoCAD software product, among many others, Autodesk is a company that provides tools to creative people who make cool stuff, ranging from special effects to robots to skyscrapers. It turns out that processing feedback from such an array of brilliant minds is no simple task.

The company asked Ugam if we could help figure out what to do with all the feedback data they were collecting from those customers. There were eight different customer touchpoints providing continuous data, which was getting stuck in silos at different locations across their CRM and survey data platform.

As a result, Autodesk wasn’t gaining actionable insights from the information it gathered. Each stakeholder was receiving di­fferent feedback, which was not shared across teams. Without a unified customer view, the customer service team was essentially flying blind and struggling to identify, conclusively, what it could to improve customer health.

We advised Autodesk to consolidate their feedback using the Qualtrics Vocalize research platform. They could use that to create a new, comprehensive, single-view reporting dashboard that would be available throughout the entire organization. To help set that up, we met with Autodesk customer service managers (CSMs) to understand the eight different touchpoints, as well as what type of insights they could use to improve customer health.

The next step was to create an accurate mapping to each attribute in Autodesk’s survey questions. The mapping was further supplemented with a robust reporting dashboard which, in addition providing a unified view of customer health, would be the place where CSMs could measure NPS in a granular way. Now, they could assess it by touchpoint, category or audience profile, identify its key drivers and also get an average score of each attribute within a survey.

The key throughout this process was taking an empathetic approach to understanding the business problem and its nuances, to keep open lines of clear and concise communication, and maintain strict adherence to execution milestones to make it a seamless transition to the new setup.

All of this took about five weeks. Once that transition was complete, Autodesk had truer customer reporting that enabled more effective customer-facing business reviews and internal account health reviews, as well as more fair employee performance reviews. Armed with better information, they started deploying robust processes for tracking problems and their mitigation steps and establishing active closed-loop action management. This was key to improving customer satisfaction. Overall, using a single source for customer feedback was a catalyst for increased awareness for each of Autodesk’s account teams, and throughout the entire organization.

When all was said and done, the true customer reporting allowed Autodesk to get 24 percent of its customers to become, or on the path to becoming, promoters. At renewal, promoters spent 6 percent more than passives and 18 percent more than detractors. Now, there’s no telling what kind of cool stuff those happy customers will build next.

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