With Steven Hill, Senior Manager Voice of Member
customers in research panel
With over 1.2 million members, the Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia (RAC) needed a way to process vast amounts of text data from member feedback to respond to its demand for research insights. Thanks to Kapiche, RAC has managed to quickly understand what members are talking about so they can develop and offer them the products and services they really need.
RAC is over 100 years old, but that doesn’t mean it’s averse to change. Quite the contrary. The organization has over 1.2 million members and is undergoing a profound internal transformation. Steven Hill, Senior Manager Voice of Member, is part of this evolution.
The process has seen RAC relaunch with a new purpose, vision, and mission. Most importantly, it’s placing significantly more focus on its members. “Membership is what sets us apart. It's our key point of difference, and it's a key to the future sustainability of the organization,” says Steven.
Recognizing this, RAC is “seeking to understand our members a lot more.” To execute on this while supporting its diverse operations, RAC’s Voice of Member team has evolved into one of Australia’s largest in-house market research programs, including:
Nineteen continuous member experience trackers capturing feedback across 29 touchpoints.
An online research panel comprising 115,000 members used extensively to support a burgeoning focus on product/service innovation and member-centered design activities.
As they get to know members better, they’re working with them on new products and services, as well as improving member experiences. “This is opposed to the more traditional approach where we've got an idea, and we're pushing it out to members for their feedback. We want a more collaborative sort of approach,” Steven says.
Ultimately, RAC wants to ensure that the organization understands its members and thinks about them before starting to operate. As part of this approach, they’ve evolved their in-house member experience tracking program that collects member feedback at various experience touchpoints.
The effort to understand members more meant that RAC was conducting more qualitative research, which created an overwhelming volume of unstructured text. Time constraints and a lack of specialized tools meant data was underutilized.
“We're trying to have more of a dialogue with members, a two-way conversation, instead of the traditional survey approach,” Steven explains. But with that many members willing to have a conversation with you, how do you move forward?
Steven’s team struggled with not having enough time. He describes the organization as having an “unsatisfiable thirst for insights.”
He faced an increasing appetite from stakeholders for research insights, along with a related demand for quick turnaround times.
Steven summarizes the desired level of speed like this: Stakeholders would decide they wanted a survey. They’d want to launch it tomorrow and have results by the end of the week. And even while moving at this pace, they were cognizant that they had to be mindful of members so as not to overburden them.
Recognizing that RAC was going through a period of significant transformation, Steven used the momentum to propose Kapiche as a tool that would enable focusing on member needs and delivering rich insights at scale.
After comparing a trial of Kapiche with other tools, Steven and his team were adamant that Kapiche was the right solution for them. It allowed RAC “to very quickly analyze the data, which we couldn't do before.”
Prior to Kapiche, they were using statistical software that wasn’t delivering what they needed with speed and simplicity.
Kapiche was an excellent fit for RAC to process “the gold mine of open-ended commentary” they were collecting. Kapiche also changed the way RAC approached research projects.
“If you know you can quickly understand what people are talking about, you can start using more open-ended questioning in your research instead of relying on preset codes.”
Since deploying Kapiche, RAC can “mine the goldmine” and has enhanced its member insights by:
Removing human biases in data interpretation, now being data-driven.
Generating insights ~30x faster, leading to quicker, more impartial decision-making.
Improving the visualization of feedback, creating greater impact through storytelling.
Transforming how RAC solicits feedback, transitioning from closed to open-ended questions, and enabling members to share what’s most important to them, not just what RAC wants to measure. Results from these changes to survey design include 1) higher response rates; 2) richer, more insightful responses; and 3) improved survey experiences.
Significantly increasing departmental engagement with member feedback. The Voice of Member team are now fielding requests for deep-dive analysis across the business.
Stimulating senior leader engagement with member feedback while measuring progress towards strategic initiatives.
Perhaps most importantly, Kapiche has delivered significant ROI, reducing the cost of human labor by replacing manual analysis with software that processes data ~30x faster and far more accurately.
One year of using Kapiche resulted in RAC saving ~6 years (11,856 man-hours!) of manually-coding feedback, giving the team time back to expand surveying capability and deep-dive further into results to make lasting changes to member experience.
Steven summarizes the current and future state at RAC in four key aspects:
No more bias: His team can now be computer-led and not have inherent biases in the way that they are interpreting data. This means fewer mistakes due to human bias.
Better visualization: Using powerful visualization helps Steven have a greater impact through storytelling. Before, he could stand in front of stakeholders and say something was his interpretation of the data. Today, he can highlight the voice of actual members that are speaking out and use visualizations to support this.
Being data-driven: Steven’s team can quickly understand what's in the data they’re gathering, leading to faster and more impartial decisions.
Return on investment: Knowing how much they are saving by processing data faster and to a more accurate level of insight that enables laser-focused decision-making allows Steven and his team to justify the cost of any tool.
All these improvements have affected the member experience team and others across the organization. “Now that we are using Kapiche, I'm getting people from all corners of the organization saying,
"I hear you got this great tool. You can process data overnight,’” Steven says. “The word has gotten out, and people are coming to us now.”
"Put simply, Kapiche is a game changer. It allows us to pursue our strategic aspiration of evolving our research program from a traditional survey approach to having a two-way conversation with members. In other words, we are migrating away from simply analyzing answers to structured questions; and listening more to what members have to say in their own words. The result is a better survey experience for members and richer, more actionable insights.”
The Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia (RAC) has a rich history of serving its members and the WA community for over 115 years. RAC speaks out on behalf of its 1.2 million members on many challenges facing WA, including road safety, transport and planning. It also offers essential products and services including roadside assistance, insurance, travel and tourism, finance, auto services, batteries, tires and home security services.
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