IDC's Customer Experience Research practice estimates that staffing of the Customer Experience function in IT vendor companies will grow by over 40 percent per year through 2008. Organizations that have previously invested in customer experience leadership expect their teams to grow more than 80 percent during the same period. IDC finds that IT vendors are beginning to focus on an end-to-end orientation, looking beyond customer satisfaction to include prospects and buyers in their customer experience efforts. However, across the vendor landscape there is a clear delineation as some organizations give lip service to an end-to-end approach but focus on post-sales efforts."IT vendors must look more closely at how they staff, measure, and impact the customer experience", states Bob Johnson, vice president, IDC Customer Experience Research. "Too often, vendor leadership gives high praise to the role of customer experience teams but does not empower them to drive marketing, sales and operational change." Johnson predicts that 2006 represents a critical point where vendors will invest in better management of the customer experience from an end-to-end perspective across awareness, consideration, purchase, application, leverage and advocacy.
In a new study, Customer Experience Gap: A Call for Leadership and Authority, IDC offers a baseline on how vendors are pursuing efforts to improve their understanding of customers needs and enhance alignment at all phases of the customer development-cycle. The study is the second in a series from the IDC Customer Exerience Research practice that focuses on the relationship dynamic between customers and vendors. Upcoming studies will provide buyer and vendor insights into why customers buy, how they buy, what they need during the buying process, and what they value most post-purchase.
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