Enterprise IT is very lucrative. Being used by a business means that you corner a big piece of the market and that guarantees revenues and profits for a long time to come. But most enterprise IT companies are sorely lacking when it comes to giving their customers a great experience with their software. And it shows. Customer loyalty in the enterprise IT space is usually fleeting. The industry’s customer retention and loyalty scores as a whole are about as low as those companies in the health insurance industry.
Yes, that is how bad the situation is.
Enterprise IT providers that survive in the space are lucky because they have close relationships with their customers CIOs and senior IT executives within the firm. And perhaps because they have long term contracts with these companies. The thing is, however, these executives and CIOs are often not the end users of enterprise IT, their employees are. And it is the employees who end up suffering from the poor customer experience.
The good news is that poor customer experience is more likely to become a thing of the past because of the move to cloud hosting and software as a service, as well as a host of other similar innovations and technology. For one, business executives and other users are now gaining a stronger voice when it comes to IT purchases. In fact, a Bain & Company study revealed recently that when it comes to customer service, supply chain and marketing, the decision of which software to buy and which providers to contact (in close to a third of the respondents) is no longer in the hands of IT executives and CIOs. The decision is now made by business executives, such as HR managers, marketing officers, or accounting heads.
What this means is that enterprise IT providers should improve the customer experience to impress the end users in order to stay competitive and so that business executives and employees outside of IT would choose them over their rivals. No longer is being inherently secure, or perhaps being tightly coded enough, but you would need to ensure that your program, tool or software is intuitive and easy to use. And they still have to maintain strong ties with CIOs who are still in charge of IT purchase decision making for some companies.
Also, they no longer can get away overselling their products just to get the contract and then under-deliver afterwards. Enterprise IT companies would also need to make sure that competent customer support is always readily available and that installations should be simple rather than complex. Smooth integration should also be a priority and interfaces have to smooth. All the functionalities that they promised to deliver should be at hand too.
Improving customer experience at a time when end users have more say in IT purchases would help enterprise IT providers cultivate more loyal customers. Think about it, give a customer a bad experience with your software or hardware and chances are, they will think twice about recommending you ever again. Loyal customers would probably want to renew their contracts. In short, enterprise IT would do well to learn the lessons from other industries: customers are always right.
Four Cornerstone offers Oracle consulting in Dallas. If you want to learn more about how to give your customers a better user experience, call us at 1 (817) 377 1144.