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Sistema.bio India increases their customer satisfaction by almost 40 percent

60 Decibels conducted two Lean Data studies with Sistema.bio India in 2021 and 2023, and the results speak for themselves: the changes Sistema.bio made to both the product and customer service operations increased their impact and business performance.

The emergence of modern innovative biogas technology is powering a silent – yet revolutionary – transformation for farmers across India. With their ability to efficiently convert animal waste into a renewable energy source, modern biogas technology is a promising step toward a more sustainable future for smallholder farmers. 

Sistema.bio, a social enterprise, sells small-scale biodigesters that transform organic waste from farms into clean energy for cooking and organic fertilizers. They provide farmers with access to biogas technology, training, and financing, replacing both unsustainable cooking fuel and chemical fertilizers with clean and renewable alternatives. Operating across 22 states in the country, Sistema.bio India has successfully installed over 74,000 biogas plants, significantly contributing to sustainable agricultural practices and rural development in India.

Over the past three years, Sistema.bio has collaborated with 60 Decibels for 60 Decibels’ research team to conduct extensive phone surveys with Sistema.bio customers, delving into the transformative impact on farmers’ lives. The data and insights from these surveys serve as a pivotal tool for Sistema.bio to refine and enhance its operational excellence, aligning its strategies with the actual needs and experiences of its customer base.

Findings from the 2021 study

The 2021 study analyzed the impact of Sistema.bio biodigesters, interviewing 266 farmers over the phone. Notably, 92% of the respondents were male, with the typical user being a 41-year-old farmer using the biodigester for nearly 10 months. Farmers had families averaging seven members, often owned 2 to 3 cattle, and lived on incomes below the national average. 

The results highlighted a substantial improvement in farmers’ quality of life, with 83% experiencing an enhanced standard of living. However, only 24% noted a significant increase, scoring in the lowest quintile of the 60 Decibels Off-Grid Energy Benchmark. A Net Promoter Score® (NPS) of 60 underscored robust customer satisfaction and loyalty, scoring in the top 40% of the benchmarks. Promoters praised aspects like fertilizer production, reduced expenses, and improved crop quality. Approximately 33% talked of increased savings, while 23% highlighted the benefits of quick and efficient cooking. 

Acting on the impact results

Upon receiving the results from the 60 Decibels study, Sistema.bio implemented a series of targeted enhancements in both its product technology and services, all aimed at elevating customer satisfaction and deepening impact. 

On the service front, they bolstered their capacity building initiatives and intensified training for farmers and technicians. The 2021 study revealed that 34% of customers reported challenges, and 2/3rds of those challenges were unresolved, scoring in the bottom 40% on the 60dB benchmark. Sistema.bio knew they could cut that number down. In a bid to streamline the farmer experience, a centralized customer care system was introduced, providing direct communication with farmers in their local language and a national customer care hotline. Recognizing the importance of local connections, they adjusted their hiring process, recruiting technicians from the same regions as their farmers. 

Additionally, to ensure a smooth troubleshooting process and daily usage, the company introduced post-installation quality audit checks. They also implemented QR code-based manuals and troubleshooting videos, empowering farmers to solve issues independently. Furthering their commitment to support customers at every step of their journey, Sistema.bio implemented proactive visits with customers, preemptively answering common questions and building trust between farmers and local representatives.

On the product technology front, Sistema.bio India implemented a continuous improvement strategy for both product technology and manufacturing processes to continue lowering the price point and give customers a smoother experience. They adopted the Failure Mode Effect Analysis (FMEA) framework, which enabled them to anticipate potential failure scenarios. This analysis offered valuable insights into the various probabilities of failures, allowing Sistema.bio to preemptively address and rectify issues within the biodigesters. Learning from 60dB studies, Sistema.bio began tracking NPS and customer issues internally – with all teams now having customer satisfaction KPIs, so everyone is accountable to providing a good experience for customers. Based on the number of complaints and reported NPS of customers who engage with different parts of the business, Sistema.bio can measure the efficacy of their changes.

Findings from the 2023 study

Building upon these insights and the improvements made after the initial study, the 2023 study evaluated Sistema.bio’s changes over the previous two years. The findings showed a significant enhancement in farmers’ quality of life, with 95% reporting an improved standard of living, and 58% reporting that their quality of life ‘very much improved,’ more than double the 2021 results. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) increased from 60 to 86, indicating even stronger customer satisfaction and loyalty, placing Sistema.bio in the top 20% of the 60dB Energy Benchmark. The percent of customers experiencing challenges dropped from 34% to 19%, putting Sistema.bio India in the top 40th percentile.

The feedback analysis indicated that 88% of the interviewed farmers were Promoters (rating 9 or 10 out of 10 for their likelihood to recommend Sistema.bio to friends and family). Amongst this group, 47% appreciated increased savings, 26% valued the availability of biodigesters, and 20% liked the benefits of quick and efficient cooking. These comprehensive findings underscore the substantial positive impact Sistema.bio has on farmers’ lives, affirming high satisfaction, strong loyalty, and significant transformative effects on agriculture and household economics. And importantly, demonstrate the opportunity to take informed action to improve outcomes and impact for end-users.

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In conclusion

Through years of dedicated impact studies, Sistema.bio has honed its operations, proving the increased impact and revenue that comes from listening to and centering customer voice in strategy and action. By embracing impact measurement as a powerful tool to hear from customers and enact meaningful improvements, Sistema.bio has not only transformed the lives of farmers but has also solidified its position as a trailblazer in the renewable energy sector.

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