How to Close the Gap Between Tech Goals and Reality
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Although perfection isn't possible, it's possible to put technology and processes in place to minimize consumer discord and maximize satisfaction.
A remarkable irony of business and IT is that just about everyone knows what's important, but few leaders can fully execute on a plan. Even with magazine articles, consultant input, conferences, online communities and plain old common sense, the gap between goals and reality is often wider than the Grand Canyon.
A newly released report from Support.com snaps the issue into focus. The company surveyed more than 2,200 consumers and found that dissatisfaction levels are off the charts. What's more, there's growing impatience with poorly designed products along with the companies that fall short in providing support.
Here are a few of the lowlights/highlights:
When a tech product or brand is too difficult for consumers to interact with:
*64 percent will look to buy products from a competing brand.
*64 percent will stop buying from that brand.
*59 percent will not recommend the brand to others.
*42 percent will stop using the product altogether.
*89 percent will return a tech product with a week if the setup is too difficult.
On the other hand, here's how consumers view businesses that are easy to interact with across the full spectrum of activities (researching, buying, setting up, using the product and getting support):
*74 percent will recommend the brand.
*78 percent will make it a point to purchase additional products from that brand.
*32 percent will write a positive review.
Business and IT leaders need to recognize that anything less than excellence seriously impacts a brand. Although perfection isn't possible, it's possible to put technology and processes in place to minimize consumer discord and maximize satisfaction. Personally, I'm aghast at the constant stream of glitches, gaps, breakdowns and complete fails. In recent months, I've had to return several inferior products or I've stopped buying from companies that can't seem to get things right.
According to the report, business and IT leaders should focus on troubleshooting technology, creating a personalized ominichannel experience, providing a clear path to resolution, and, at the most basic level, making it easier for consumers to interact with a brand.
CIOs need to lead the charge and ensure that the technology framework is in place to support customers. Another study conducted by Avanade and Sitecore found that businesses experience a return of $3 for every $1 spent on developing digital customer experience strategies. What's more, it found that brands that invest in customer experience management expect to see an 11 percent increase in revenue over the next year.
In the end, the equation is incredibly simple even if the journey is not: an uptick in customer satisfaction and loyalty translates directly into bottom line results.