Calculating return on investment for a broad-based, multi-touch product like ours is challenging because the software impacts individuals and departments within an organization in multiple different ways.
Nevertheless, as part of our technology development program, we poll our customers constantly to understand more about how Issuetrak can benefit the bottom line.
In a recent exercise, we went much further, undertaking extensive research to create a valid ROI-calculation methodology, surveying our client base, and undertaking in-depth interviews with volunteer clients. The results were surprising: in particular, we found that unquantifiable benefits were equally as important to customers as the dollar value that could be calculated.
The four customers interviewed in depth were:
- One of the largest counties in the United States, using Issuetrak software as an internal help desk application for the public works department.
- A growing banking organization undergoing an aggressive expansion of branch services and using Issuetrak for problem and incident management.
- A nonprofit animal welfare organization that maintains a global database for zoos, aquariums, and conservation organizations, using the software to track issues with their desktop application.
- One of the nation’s largest developers, owners and managers of housing for students, which uses Issuetrak to manage IT helpdesk activity as well as their external relations customer contact program.
All four organizations assigned specific dollar values to various measurable aspects of our software functionality. The base conclusions from these calculations were that Issuetrak software provides an average return of 126% for every dollar invested.
Additionally, the four customers made it clear that Issuetrak provided benefits beyond the boundaries of the survey. One commented that, because of their ongoing and extremely rapid expansion, operating the business efficiently and maintaining consistent quality would not be possible without Issuetrak’s automated issue-tracking system.
Another customer noted a significant increase in customer satisfaction. According to their own surveys, customer satisfaction levels were pegged at 85 – 90% prior to using Issuetrak. After they began using Issuetrak, the customer satisfaction rate rose to a consistent 99%. Their IT Systems Manager also recorded a sharp reduction in the time required to compose her weekly report, from eight hours to just one.
Perhaps the important beyond-the-survey benefit, emphasized by each client, was the remarkable efficiency of Issuetrak’s support staff: their immediate availability to help solve a problem, and the short time frames to resolve issues that could not be dealt with on the spot. From this and other research, it is clear that users perceive support as one of Issuetrak’s biggest strengths.
These results provide us with important information about the elements of our software that make a difference to our customers, and help us continue to make our solution stronger. We now have a baseline ROI figure of $1.26 from which we can make continual improvements. Perhaps more importantly, we have an indication of the ‘soft’ benefits beyond dollar amounts that make a significant difference both to our customers and theirs.