Customer Stories

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With TaroWorks, VisionSpring can now learn what established companies in developed markets take for granted: who our customer is, why they are buying, and what our role is in the overall marketplace.
– Peter Eliassen, COO VisionSpring

VisionSpring

Goal and Mission: Reduce poverty through sale of affordable access to eyewear everywhere

Challenge and Needs: Didn’t know customer demographics, purchasing behavior or level of product satisfaction. Needed way to evaluate results of marketing and educational campaigns.

TaroWorks Solution:  Conducted over 7,000 surveys in 6 months collecting real-time data on customer makeup, product satisfaction and buying patterns at point-of-sale. Tracked local poverty levels using Grameen Foundation’s Progress Out of Poverty Index to ensure VisionSpring products and services were effectively targeting the poor.

Business Insight: Discovered personal referrals are primary source of business and that well over 50% of customers are first-time eyeglass owners. Can now evaluate effectiveness of marketing efforts, better understand buyer needs and target new markets with similar demographic profile.

Organization’s Impact: Over 1.5 million eyeglasses delivered since 2002, $269 million in economic impact and presence in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

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…the most important advantage of TaroWorks is its offline capabilities…it’s very critical to be able to access data in the field when you don’t have an Internet connection…that’s often lacking in other products that offer field staff management and CRM functionality.
– Alexei Bezborodov, Head of Field Operations, Honey Care Africa

Honey Care Africa

Goal and Mission: Foster economic growth of smallholder farmers in East Africa by helping them produce and sell honey.

Challenge and Needs: Geographically dispersed network of 15,000 farmers and 30,000 beehives made collecting data on spiral notebooks impractical. Paper-based reporting complicated quick response to hive health problems and accurate forecasting of honey production levels.

TaroWorks Solution: Digitized data collection to pinpoint location of all beehives, allow detailed monitoring of hive health over time and help accurately estimate honey supply. Powerful database analytics will help track field force activity to increase productivity.

Business Insight: Improved honey production forecasting will solidify relations with retailers who rely on guaranteed supply. Real-time analysis of hive health expected to increase product yield and related farmer income.

Organization’s Impact: Farmers earn average supplemental income from honey production of $250 per year and use funds to help buy food, medicine, seeds and fertilizer; launch businesses and improve housing conditions. Crop yields increased by 15% to 30%.

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…I think that TaroWorks is going to be a very useful tool for people in the industry, people that are trying to reduce poverty.
– Patty Devaney, Director of Impact, Women in Agriculture

Root Capital

Goal and Mission: Increase rural prosperity by lending capital, delivering financial training and strengthening market connections for small and growing agricultural businesses.

Challenge and Needs: Wanted better understanding of loan recipient’s customer base of rural crop producers so they might better meet their needs. Needed to assess poverty levels in farming communities to measure scope of challenges faced.

TaroWorks Solution: Will survey roughly 7,500 farmers in Africa to capture Progress out of Poverty Index, as well as agriculture product preferences and crop management practices.

Business Insight: Amassed market research helps farm associations and product suppliers better target goods and services to their constituents. Field-level interaction between loan recipients and farmers built even stronger bond between suppliers and customers.

Organization’s Impact: In 2012, Root Capital clients paid local farmers $467 million to purchase their crops. Loans to one fruit distributor allowed it to buy farmers’ high quality mango crop at three times local price increasing farmer mango income by 43% and opening up international markets.