IT companies are not typically known for delivering breakthrough customer experiences. Their customer experience scores (using the Net Promoter Score NPS®, as the metric) are low, down in a range with the health insurance industry—not terribly aspirational. But greater pricing transparency and the rise of cloud services are among the changes giving end users more voice in technology buying decision.
Many tech companies have been able to get by and thrive without emphasizing customer experience. Often they could lock in long-term contracts with buyers who didn’t share the negative opinions end users in the buyers’ organization had of them. But the industry is changing rapidly, and end-to-end customer experience—which includes how easy it is for customers to learn the product, how the product performs and how the vendor responds to customers’ issues— matters more than ever in enterprise IT.
There is often a huge discrepancy between loyalty ratings between decision makers and influencers which will be changing the way tech vendors are operating. Why the discrepancy? Often tech vendors have overpromised to decision makers to win the sale and then under-delivered. In our survey, end users cited frustrations with the availability and competence of customer support for hardware; for software, users cited long and complex installations, poor integration and generally clunky functionality and interfaces.
In general, enterprise tech vendors have focused heavily on sales and marketing and product development over the actual customer experience. “Our reputation is only as good as our customers’ last experience,” said Wilson Raj, global director of customer intelligence at SAS.
Until recently, vendors could focus their sales efforts on a limited set of buyers—in most cases, the CIO and senior IT executives. Now executives in the non-technical functions and in procurement are much more heavily involved in the purchasing process. Armed with
increasingly transparent information about pricing, experience and value, buyers across the board are more sophisticated. This has led to more rigorous procurement processes. This software business model can no longer afford poor customer experience.” There is a bigger emphasis on retaining customers and renewals and pricing strategies are relying on the customer experience to realise the full value of contracts.
Customer experience influences growth for tech companies. Promoters are two to three times more likely than detractors to renew with their vendor. Renewal rates of products with low NPS can run 10 or more points below similar products with higher NPS values—differences that amount to hundreds of millions of dollars.
6peas partner with IT vendors to drive a superior customer experience to outperform competitors. We work with boards, senior management team to prepare, design, manage and create a successful roadmap for your customer experience journey.