Author Solutions, Inc.(ASI) is leading the indie book publishing revolution by introducing new technologies and services to help more authors than ever achieve their personal publishing goals. ASI has helped more than 90,000 authors self-publish, promote and bring to market nearly 140,000 new titles.Download Whitepaper
In 2009, Author Solutions debuted on the Inc. 5000, which recognizes America's fastest-growing private companies.
Author feedback is critical to the ASI support department which continually measures and tracks author-publisher relationships, customer satisfaction and strives to respond to issues immediately. Unfortunately, ASI outgrew its process for collecting feedback as it became too labor intensive. When it first began collecting feedback from authors and publishers, authors were mailed a questionnaire, complete with a pre-postage return envelope. Looking back, Eugene Hopkins, client services manager at ASI, said "I'm sure we more than amply wasted postage back then."
As ASI grew, it needed an online survey tool to automate feedback collection. ASI's previous survey vendor required a lot of manual work when it came to analyzing responses, a single brand's survey taking 10-12 hours a week to manage.
"We just outgrew our previous tool from a size standpoint, a features standpoint and a professional standpoint."
—Eugene Hopkins, Customer Service Manager, ASI
The client services team spent a lot of time using Excel to manipulate survey data so results could be imported into ASI's in-house reporting tool and findings could be disseminated to management. Feedback is reviewed at a weekly meeting when the team has a chance to discuss changes to improve relationships and the value delivered to both the authors and publishers. In addition, the management team also discusses ideas to prevent issues from repeating themselves.
When asked about his experience with the previous online survey vendor, Hopkins stated, "it didn't do everything we wanted, but it was functional. When you only have a nominal amount invested, you're willing to make a lot more concessions."
ASI's biggest complaint about the tool was its lack of customization. "It wasn't designed for company or professional use," said Hopkins, who was frustrated he couldn't manipulate the look and feel of his surveys. Author Solutions needed a survey tool that could match its organization's branding and look professional. Hopkins even questioned the reliability of the email system and mentioned he felt the emails were unprofessional, "they looked like an email a friend would send asking if I wanted to go to a baseball game."
With ASI's success and continued growth, the previous vendor's tool could no longer keep up with its needs, and a professional survey solution became imperative. "We just outgrew it from a size standpoint, a features standpoint and a professional standpoint," explained Hopkins.
After completing a comprehensive evaluation process, ASI selected Cvent because of its ease-of-use, superior customer service and cost-to-value ratio.
In selecting a new solution, ASI wanted to make sure it was user-friendly. They did not have the time to invest in learning a complex system. The feedback process is too critical to have it put on hold while associates learned a complex system. "Cvent's platform is so intuitive it's easy to figure out. The help section within the tool is incredibly robust so it answers almost any question I've ever had," explained Hopkins.
"Without the logic capabilities, ASI would not be able to clearly identify and fix underlying issues, not just the symptoms."
The Cvent Web Surveys solution provides ASI with more style options, layouts and question types. The customization allows ASI to design an improved respondent experience, as well as craft better question and response sets that produce more actionable data. In addition, Cvent was easier to build surveys and include logic.
Now, ASI asks authors and publishers for feedback about its services without having to waste extra time ensuring all of the programming was done correctly. Without the logic capabilities, ASI would not be able to clearly identify underlying customer issues and fix the problem, not just the symptoms.
Finally, the improved reporting capabilities make it easier for the ASI's team to update their weekly reports. Now, instead of having to manipulate responses to input them into the in-house reporting tool, Author Solutions simply copies directly from Cvent reports. Cvent also offers a superior system that allows users to better slice up their data.
With the help of the Cvent Web Surveys tool, ASI now manages three times the number of feedback projects in the time it would have taken them with their prior survey vendor. This makes it easier to keep up with responses. Executives and unit managers of each brand are sent weekly reports from the various surveys. With ASI running up to 20 different surveys at a time, the impact of a professional solution is unmatched.
Hopkins can easily build 20 surveys in a few hours using Cvent. "It's easier to build a survey and more time effective," said Hopkins when comparing Cvent to his experience with ASI's previous vendor.
The survey respondent experience has been greatly improved with the move to Cvent. Now ASI's emails and surveys are appropriately branded and look professional. ASI regularly sees an average survey response rate of 25% and an average email open rate of 46% – a metric it was unable to track with its previous vendor. However, some ASI brands see responses rates as high as 41%.
The ASI team spends 75% less time per brand to measure referral rates, reuse rates and experience rates for customers at the various stages of the customer lifecycle than with prior survey tools. The time savings allows the customer service team to spend more time proactively identifying problems before they spiral out of control.
Founded in 1999, Cvent is the world's largest meetings and event management technology company and has 1,200 employees worldwide. Cvent offers web-based software for online event registration, meeting site selection, event management, mobile apps for events, e-mail marketing and web surveys, and helps more than 10,000 clients in 90 countries manage hundreds of thousands of events, surveys and e-mail campaigns. Cvent's client base includes corporations from every major industry, associations, universities, and non-profit organizations. For more information, please visit www.cvent.com, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.