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Hughes Network Systems: A Case Study

By implementing Perseus SurveySolutions®, Hughes Network Systems was able to achieve a 40% increase in customer satisfaction rates. Response rates were also significantly improved, which allowed the company to gain critical insight into its customer base. By leveraging the Perseus solution, Hughes realized a 70% reduction in the total cost for conducting surveys, as well as commensurate increases in survey response rates.

Customer Background
Hughes Network Systems (HNS) is the world's leading provider of broadband satellite network solutions of businesses and consumers, with more than 800,000 systems in 85 countries. HNS helped develop high-speed satellite internet access service and IP-based networks, marketed under the DIRECWAY brand worldwide. DIRECWAY terminals are based on the IPoS (IP over Satellite) global standard, approved by TIA, ETSI, and the ITU standards organizations.

The Challenge
For HNS to remain successful in this highly competitive market, it needs accurate and up-to-date customer satisfaction information. Since the late 1990's, HNS has relied on various survey tools to capture this information, from home-grown web applications to commonly available vendor tools, which allow the company to monitor customer feedback, make changes to service levels, and ensure high customer retention levels.

Early on, HNS encountered several limitations with these applications, as well as problems with third-party research vendors. This was due in part to methods employed to collect survey information, particularly those which relied on paper forms for manual data entry and analysis. Predictably, these surveys were plagued with problems including a lack of data consistency between multiple projects, as well as the time required to generate finished survey results. The company then implemented a rudimentary web-based solution, yet this solution still required manual data collection from email responses, compiled via spreadsheet, and then shared company-wide via hand-delivered hard copy reports.

With the cost associated with in-house manual and outsourced surveys estimated at over $1,000,000, it was clear to HNS that it needed a more streamlined, secure, centrally-integrated, and cost-efficient survey tool.

Based on its evaluation of available survey systems which would meet key requirements such as scalability, ease of integration, and the capability for automated and centralized feedback management control, HNS selected Perseus SurveySolutions. SurveySolutions also met additional HNS requirements, including data that can support multiple departmental initiatives, true centralized management including the ability to control accounts and survey frequency, security and remote access management, and the ability to customize and create no-standard applications.

SurveySolutions is currently being utilized to solve several needs including:

  • Customer Service, to measure the performance of call center agents;
  • Product Readiness, for developing and deployment of beta test applications to identify bugs and make adjustments to product and software prior to release;
  • Customer Feedback surveys used to identify and resolve dissatisfaction and help the company exploit potential market opportunities;
  • Human Resources surveys which include benefits studies, job satisfaction, exit interviews, retention analysis, and suggestion boxes;
  • Training and Education, SurveySolutions is used for course evaluations, curriculum development, and retention measurement;
  • Web Interaction surveys utilized to help with customer experience management, as well as behavioral/buying trends and web registration, and;
  • Market Research surveys help determine the success of targeted product, service, or message offerings.

Implementing SurveySolutions resulted in a 70% reduction in the total cost of conducting surveys, as well as an increase in survey response rates and 40% percent growth in the company's customer satisfaction rate. Surveys are now conducted in varying frequency; customer satisfaction surveys are done daily, international surveys are conducted biannually, and ad hoc surveys, on a project basis, are done quickly and easily as needed.

HNS has realized business value from SurveySoutions in several significant areas. It is now able to monitor customer feedback and quickly identify problem areas and make adjustments to business processes more rapidly. HNS has reduced the cost of its survey program, eliminated reliance on third-party vendors for survey projects, and realized cost savings stemming from reduced call volumes and streamlined processes. The company is now able to rapidly develop new surveys from within a MS Word interface and deploy them without the involvement of the IT department. HNS can also perform pre-launch beta testing of new products and services, as well as perform on-site quality audits of field installs.