Mini-Survey: Customer Service and Technical Support for Life Science Products

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In this special study, we explore a few of customers' experiences with solving non-technical and technical problems, and their preferences when contacting life science suppliers' support departments.

This report is based on the responses of 278 life science researchers from around the globe who have had a customer service and/or technical support related problem in the last 6 months, completed this survey between March 8 and March 15, 2013.

Customer Service and Technical Support were defined in this study the following ways:

Customer Service: assistance provided after a purchase decision has been made related to order fulfillment, delivery and billing of products (e.g., a non-technical problem)

Technical Support: advice and assistance provided related to the use of a product/instrument and identifying the correct product for a particular application/experiment based on your technical needs

Readers of this report are encouraged to contact us with any questions or requests to explore this issue further and its implications for your current customer service and technical support offerings in 2013.

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Mini-Survey: Customer Service and Technical Support for Life Science Products

  1. 1. Mini Survey: Customer Service and Technical Support for Life Science Products Courtesy of BioInformatics, LLC June 2013 BioInformatics, LLC 2111 Wilson Boulevard Suite 250 Arlington, VA 22201 703.778.3080 703.778.3081 fax www.gene2drug.com Market Insights From Gene to Drug
  2. 2. BioInformatics, LLC • Confidential • Page 2 of 20 Study Overview In Customer Service and Technical Support for Life Science Products, we explore a few of the customers’ experiences with solving non-technical and technical problems and their preferences when contacting life science suppliers’ support departments. 278 scientists from around the globe who have had a customer service and/or technical support related problem in the last 6 months completed this survey between March 8 and March 15, 2013. Customer Service and Technical Support were defined in this study the following ways: Customer Service: assistance provided after a purchase decision has been made related to order fulfillment, delivery and billing of products (e.g., a non-technical problem). Technical Support: advice and assistance provided related to the use and performance of a product/instrument and identifying the correct product for a particular application/experiment based on your technical needs.
  3. 3. BioInformatics, LLC • Confidential • Page 3 of 20 Customer Service Customer Service
  4. 4. BioInformatics, LLC • Confidential • Page 4 of 20 Frequently 22% Rarely 35% Constantly 4% Never 3% Occasionally 36% Customer Service Answer choice definitions: Constantly: several time a week Frequently: more than once a month Occasionally: once a month Rarely: once or twice a year *Customer Service and Technical Support for Life Science Products: Customer Preferences, Report #11-002, April 2011, BioInformatics, LLC Overall, compared to 2011 results*, respondents report an increase in the frequency with which they contact customer service. Specifically, there was a 20% increase from 2011 to 2013 in the number of respondents who contacted customer service “frequently” or “occasionally”. Question 1 — Customer Service In the last 6 months, approximately how often have you contacted customer service for your research products and/or instrumentation? (choose only one) Respondents=278
  5. 5. BioInformatics, LLC • Confidential • Page 5 of 20 43% 36% 36% 33% 24% 24% 23% 18% 17% 12% 1% Biologicals Accessories/replacement parts Equipment/instrumentation costing >$5,000 USD Chemicals Research/specialty kits Equipment/instrumentation costing !$5,000 USD Custom products Data analysis software Apparatus Glassware/plastics Other Customer Service Respondents more often cite needing customer service for their equipment/instrumentation over $5,000 USD (+11%), and $5,000 USD or less (+8%) and their data analysis software (+9%) than they did in 2011. Question 2 For which type(s) of products have you most often needed to contact/obtain customer service for a non-technical problem in the last 6 months? (check all that apply) Respondents=269
  6. 6. BioInformatics, LLC • Confidential • Page 6 of 20 Customer Service Respondents overwhelmingly prefer contacting customer service via email and phone for their non-technical problems. Question 3 Assuming all of the following channels were available from each life science supplier, which THREE would you most prefer to use when interacting with the customer service department about a non-technical problem? (check up to THREE) Respondents=268 84% 80% 37% 16% 10% 6% 6% 3% 2% 1% Email Phone "Live"/"Real-time" chat w/ representative Web self-service Website FAQ section Phone/voice self-service Website complaint form Supplier-sponsored customer/ peer community Social media/Public platform Other
  7. 7. BioInformatics, LLC • Confidential • Page 7 of 20 48% 21% 30% 27% 28% 18% 37% 6% 34% 32% 16% 39% 12% 28% 23% 31% 28% 26% 22% 29% 8% 26% 30% 20% 31% 22% 18% 19% 16% 16% 9% 17% 20% 17% 5% 16% 9% 14% 11% 19% 8% 18% 14% 11% 14% 6% 10% 5% 9% 10% 7% 5% 6% 8% 14% 10% 6% 18% 15% 19% 26% 18% 13% 8% 9% 5% 5% 6% 6% 7% 6% 6% 12% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 24/7 availability Ability to help fix a problem quickly Access to troubleshooting help Customer-focused attitude Diagnosing order-related problems efficiently Immediate access to "live" help Immediate access to "live" help Managing customer complaints promptly and efficiently Mobile customer service solutions On-time delivery Patience and politeness when dealing with customers "Personal" service Responding to customer requests promptly 10. Extremely Important 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0. Not At All Important Customer Service *Highly important is defined as the percentage of respondents who selected 8, 9 and 10 on the 11-point scale. Respondents consider the customer service department’s ability to help fix a problem quickly (91%), prompt response to customer requests (87%) and prompt and efficient management of customer complaints (82%) to be highly important*. Question 4 How IMPORTANT are the following qualities of a life science supplier’s customer service department to you? (choose only one for each) Respondents=269
  8. 8. BioInformatics, LLC • Confidential • Page 8 of 20 49% 26% 14% 9% 2% Completeness in solving my problem Speed of solving my problem Solving my problem with one channel Online tools that allow me to solve a problem myself Linking me with other customers for advice and problem solving tips Customer Service Slightly more respondents (+3%) than in 2011 believe that online tools that allow them to solve problems themselves should be a priority of a supplier’s customer service department. Question 5 What do you believe should be the MOST important priority of a life science supplier’s customer service department to address your non-technical problems? (choose only one) Respondents=268
  9. 9. BioInformatics, LLC • Confidential • Page 9 of 20 32% 20% 19% 19% 3% 3% 2% 1% <1% <1% Competent/capable personnel Ability to understand my problem quickly Ability to access to a "live" representative quickly Accurate problem recognition Follow-up after an incident to ensure issue(s) are resolved Fast response to my inquiry Multiple sources of assistance available Social media responsiveness Comprehensive FAQ section on the website User-friendly, helpful website Customer Service One-third of respondents indicate that competent and capable personnel are the key to a responsive customer service department. This is different than the 2011 results where the ability to access a rep quickly defined “responsive” customer service. Question 6 What do you believe makes the most responsive customer service? (choose only one) Respondents=269
  10. 10. BioInformatics, LLC • Confidential • Page 10 of 20 Technical Support Technical Support
  11. 11. BioInformatics, LLC • Confidential • Page 11 of 20 Constantly 4% Frequently 23% Rarely 32% Never 3% Occasionally 38% Technical Support Overall, compared to 2011 results*, respondents report an increase in the frequency with which they contact technical support. Specifically, from 2011 to 2013, there was a 22% increase in the number of respondents who contacted technical support “frequently” or “occasionally”. Question 1 — Technical Support In the last 6 months, approximately how often have you contacted technical support for your research products and/or instrumentation? (choose only one) Respondents=278 Answer choice definitions: Constantly: several time a week Frequently: more than once a month Occasionally: once a month Rarely: once or twice a year *Customer Service and Technical Support for Life Science Products: Customer Preferences, Report #11-002, April 2011, BioInformatics, LLC
  12. 12. BioInformatics, LLC • Confidential • Page 12 of 20 Technical Support Respondents more often cite needing technical support for their equipment/instrumentation costing $5,000 USD or less (+10%) and their accessories/ replacement parts (+5%) but less often cite needing technical support for their equipment/ instrumentation costing more than $5,000 USD (-7%) and their research/specialty kits (-7%) than they did in 2011. Question 7 For which type(s) of products have you most often required technical support for a technical problem in the last 6 months? (check all that apply) Respondents=271 41% 33% 27% 25% 18% 17% 17% 16% 14% 5% <1% Equipment/instrumentation costing >$5,000 USD Biologicals Equipment/instrumentation costing !$5,000 USD Accessories/replacement parts Custom products Research/specialty kits Data analysis software Chemicals Apparatus Glassware/plastics Other
  13. 13. BioInformatics, LLC • Confidential • Page 13 of 20 Technical Service Respondents overwhelmingly prefer contacting technical support via phone and email for their technical problems. Question 8 Assuming all of the following methods were available from each life science supplier, which THREE would you most prefer to use when interacting with the technical service department about a technical problem? (check up to THREE) Respondents=270 79% 77% 43% 10% 10% 9% 7% 6% 6% 3% 1% 1% 1% Phone Email "Live"/"Real-time" chat w/ representative Web self-service Support documentation Phone/voice self-service Software downloads Training courses/webinars/tutorial Website FAQ section Website complaint form Social media/Public platform Supplier-sponsored customer/ Other
  14. 14. BioInformatics, LLC • Confidential • Page 14 of 20 Technical Support *Highly important is defined as the percentage of respondents who selected 8, 9 and 10 on the 11-point scale. Question 9 How IMPORTANT are the following qualities of life science supplier’s technical support department to you? (choose only one for each) Respondents=271 47% 23% 34% 38% 29% 18% 34% 11% 31% 18% 22% 18% 41% 14% 31% 22% 28% 34% 30% 26% 35% 10% 30% 25% 25% 21% 35% 22% 17% 17% 21% 16% 11% 20% 21% 18% 14% 13% 9% 6% 10% 13% 8% 14% 9% 13% 11% 15% 6% 9% 10% 8% 5% 5% 15% 23% 14% 23% 22% 20% 12% 11% 7% 9% 5% 7% 8% 10% 8% 8% 5% 5% 11% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 24/7 availability Ability to help fix a problem quickly Access to troubleshooting help Customer-focused attitude Diagnosing product-related problems efficiently Immediate access to "live" help Immediate access to "live" help Managing customer complaints promptly and efficiently Mobile technical support solutions Patience and politeness when dealing with customers "Personal" service Personnel with 2+ years of laboratory experience Personnel with advanced scientific degrees Responding to customer requests promptly 10. Extremely Important 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0. Not At All Important Respondents consider the technical support department’s ability to help fix a problem quickly (92%), prompt response to customer requests (90%) and efficient diagnosis of product-related problems (89%) to be highly important*.
  15. 15. BioInformatics, LLC • Confidential • Page 15 of 20 Technical Support Question 10 What do you believe should be the MOST important priority of life science supplier’s technical support department to address your technical problems? (choose only one) Respondents=269 56% 19% 14% 5% 4% 2% Completeness in solving my problem Personnel with "hands- on" knowledge of the product line Speed of solving my problem Solving my problem with one channel Online tools that allow me to solve a problem myself Linking me with other customers for advice and problem solving tips Completeness in solving their problems was the highest priority for respondents in 2011 and even more so in 2013 (+8%).
  16. 16. BioInformatics, LLC • Confidential • Page 16 of 20 Technical Support As they did in 2011, respondents indicate that competent or capable personnel make the most responsive technical support and they believe this even more so today (+4%). Question 11 What do you believe makes the most responsive technical support? (choose only one) Respondents=268 27% 20% 20% 19% 4% 3% 3% 2% 1% <1% <1% Competent/capable personnel Ability to access to a "live" representative quickly Accurate problem recognition Ability to understand my problem quickly Technically qualified Follow-up after an incident to ensure issue(s) are resolved Fast response to my inquiry Multiple sources of assistance available Comprehensive FAQ section on the website Social media responsiveness User-friendly, helpful website
  17. 17. BioInformatics, LLC • Confidential • Page 17 of 20 Demographics Demographics
  18. 18. BioInformatics, LLC • Confidential • Page 18 of 20 Demographics Geographic Region Respondents=278 North America 39% Europe 30% Rest of World 4% Asia/Pacific 27%
  19. 19. BioInformatics, LLC • Confidential • Page 19 of 20 Demographics Market Segment Respondents=278 Academic 68% Industrial 32% 44% 8% 6% 5% 3% 1% 1% 13% 11% 2% 2% 2% 1% <1% <1% Academic/University Research Institute (non-profit) Government Hospital University Medical Center Healthcare Network/Facility Research Foundation Biopharmaceutical Company Pharmaceutical Company Agriculture/Agricultural Biotechnology Contract Research Organization Research Institute (for profit) Medical Devices Commercial Testing Lab Diagnostics Academic (n=188) Industrial (n=90)
  20. 20. BioInformatics, LLC • Confidential • Page 20 of 20 Placeholder, enter your own text here BioInformatics LLC is the premier research and advisory firm serving the life science tools industry. By leveraging our online professional network of tens of thousands of biomedical researchers, we have supported more than 400 companies and provided insights that lead to better business decisions. Our expertise includes assessing the size and attractiveness of markets, optimizing product configurations and pricing, validating corporate acquisitions, measuring customers’ brand loyalty, and evaluating brand strength and positioning. Since 1994, BioInformatics LLC has been providing off-the-shelf reports, custom-designed studies and market analysis that enable companies to understand their market and competitors through the eyes of the most important information source of all—the people who buy their products. BioInformatics, LLC CONTACT: Bill Kelly President 703.778.3080 x15 b.kelly@gene2drug.com Greg Thompson Director, Business Development 703.778.3080 x22 g.thompson@gene2drug.com Mary Follin Marketing Manager 703.778.3080 x13 m.follin@gene2drug.com

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