In a recent post, Salesforce reported that a range of CIOs surveyed through 2017 revealed trends towards customer service. Less in the way of resources and money was spent on infrastructure and more on investment in customer-centric systems and policies through the year. But how CIOs perceive such efforts differ from customer’s actual experiences.
The Customer-Focus Gap and What to Do About It
75%, that’s three-quarters, of CIOs in a range of businesses perceive their efforts as customer-centric. Yet just 30%, that’s less than 1/3, of customers agree with this sentiment. Increasingly, the division between IT systems and business processes is blurring though. Leaders in both areas should be aware of the survey’s results highlighting the most important and growing CIO trends. Taken from the “State of IT” report produced by Salesforce, it presents accumulated data of over 2,000 leaders in the tech industry from across the globe – not just North America and the EU, but Australasia and the Far East too.
Customer Expectation is King
Our always-on approach to the web, superfast broadband, cloud technology and mobile connectivity created an inevitable situation where customers have much higher expectations. They are not afraid to leave bad reviews on social media and elsewhere. These sites may be a great way to reach out to your customers, but they are also a great way to get feedback in a way that works for them.
This is an area where CIOs and customers agree:
- 81% of IT leaders acknowledge this new customer empowerment
- 58% of consumers believe that recent technological advances have altered their perception of how organisations should engage with customers
- Significantly, 70% of customers believe technology makes switching businesses easier – something of which businesses must be aware
- This is one area where CIOs are in line with customer expectations – some 93% of the highest-performing IT leaders perceive their work as being proactive to the customer experience
- In contrast, 64% of under-performing IT leaders felt the same way
How To Improve Customer Experience
The report suggested that the main contributing factor to enabling customers is to develop and invest in customer-facing technology on all platform types. High-performing teams were nearly 3* more likely than low performers to prioritise transforming dedicated customer-facing systems and technology. Further developing mobile technologies in this area appeared to be in the top three list of priorities for most respondents. Many expect critical transformation in this area between 2017 and 2020.As technology is now a vital part of the customer experience, many realised that the fast pace of change could be a determining factor in future success. 76% of CIOs are making faster product development another top priority between now and 2020.
Investment in low-code solutions, potentially changing the face of coding forever, could be the method for such fast turnaround. 88% expect to implement low-code development systems through 2018.
Perhaps the least surprising development in enabling customer empowerment is Cloud and AI. The former is now integral to the web experience; the second will be the technology of 2018. We are already seeing AI developments to improve customer service. It should be no surprise to see it integral by the end of the year.