By Tom Ballard, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Initiatives, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C.
“You have an audience that is really, really loyal,” Survature’s Jian Huang told a gathering last week that included the Tennessee Theater Foundation’s Board of Directors and others interested in the theater.
The Co-Founder of the Knoxville-based start-up was presenting the findings of an on-going activity that Survature has been undertaking to help the historic venue better understand the priorities of its customers.
During the nearly 90-minute presentation and discussion, the audience peppered Huang and Becky Hancock, Foundation Executive Director, with a variety of questions. They ranged from better understanding Survature’s approach to understanding some of the limitations the Theater has.
For Hancock, Survature’s AnswerCloud tool is a way to continually improve the experience and satisfaction levels of those who attend events at the Tennessee Theater.
“We will continue to gather data (to) understand where to spend our marketing dollars and improve services,” she said.
The business relationship between the two organizations started in May, so the management team at Tennessee Theater is continuing to evaluate the results and expects to make changes in the marketing budget as a result of the findings. Before engaging with Survature, customer input was gleaned through the use of SurveyMonkey.
In describing the specific findings, Huang characterized those who attend events at the Tennessee as a “great and loyal customer base.” He noted that the “open rate” for the email-delivered surveys – those who click on the survey after receiving it – was 50 percent, well above the industry average. The same held true for the “completion rate” – those who completed the survey after opening it. That number was a staggering 83 percent.
To underscore the Theater’s brand loyalty, Huang described a typical question in which individuals are asked how likely they are to recommend something to others. He noted the results of some well-known institutions – the cable industry (14 percent), iPhone (70 percent), and Costco (78 percent).
By comparison, the Tennessee Theater was a “phenomenal 89 percent,” Huang said.
Hancock said that staff tries to get the survey to customers within two business days after an event, an important goal in light of Huang’s explanation that 95 to 98 percent of respondents complete the survey within 24 hours of receiving it.
One of the challenges the Tennessee faces in getting more input is the fact that the process requires an email address. Those are gathered for online purchases, but box office sales the day of an event don’t capture emails. The same holds true for those who received a ticket as a gift.
It’s clear that both Survature and the Tennessee Theater want to find a solution to that missing group of customers.