Your Expectations, Experience, and Evaluations of Antibody Customer Service Programs

Thu, 07/10/2014 - 12:50

What do scientists think about customer service at places like Novus, companies that sell the antibodies that are often critical components of a wide variety of experiments? Novus ran a survey to find out, and here's what we uncovered.

There is a clear disconnect between expectations of antibodies, and how they perform in real world experiments. Seventy percent of respondents said that they expected their antibodies to work every time, but only 35% reported that this is what actually happens.

When an antibody fails, 69% of respondents expected a full refund of the cost of the antibody. But less than half felt that they had been offered a refund or a replacement product that was warranted given experimental circumstances. This finding really surprised us because Novus offers a 100% guarantee on every product—so to the majority who felt that they didn't get a refund or replacement, talk to us. We stand behind our products and want them to work for you.

The good news is that most technical support teams are doing good work—sixty-four percent of survey-takers also expected the technical support team to troubleshoot what may have gone wrong with their antibody, and this expectation was generally met.

More than 80% of respondents also agree that customer service representatives were courteous, easy to understand, and eager to assist with their antibody problems. Seventy-seven percent also said that the representatives were technically knowledgeable about their antibody products, and 63% said that the representatives provided useful experimental protocol advice.

Novus's Customer Service Programs

We were excited to see the enthusiasm for the different customer service programs we tested, especially since we already offer the Antibody Concierge service and the Laverne tool—so go ahead and take advantage of these services. Here are the top three initiatives that were favored by at least 90% of survey-takers.

Antibody Concierge. The most popular proposed program is a free service designed to help scientists look for rare and unusual antibodies. Working off a user’s specifications, Novus will search for all known antibody manufacturers worldwide and then tell the user how their antibody can be purchased — even if Novus doesn’t offer that product. Almost every respondent (93%) considered the concierge service a valuable tool. “It will be [the] perfect service if you can help me find and order any antibody, which is a boring time waste, but [still] critical work,” one researcher noted.

Laverne Tool. Ninety-one percent of respondents said that Laverne — an easy-to-use point-and-click tool designed to help users find information about unfamiliar proteins — will be valuable to their research. Scientists can type in a gene, pathway, or disease they’d like to learn more about, and then find related information on their screen — with direct links to PubMed. One respondent cautioned, however, that Novus “needs a better way to differentiate [Laverne], because most scientists are able to use search engines to find this kind of information by themselves.”

Antibody Quality Callback. Similarly, 90% of participants thought that an antibody quality callback program will offer value by giving scientists an idea of how well certain antibodies are working for their peers. Through the callback program, Novus will email users a one-question survey on antibody performance one month after they make an antibody purchase. The results will then be posted in the Key Performance Indicators section of Novus’s website.

Novus appreciates all the valuable input from antibody users and is excited to see so much interest in its customer service initiatives. What else do you think Novus can do to improve your satisfaction around customer service? Let us know in the comments.

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