verism customer expectations

Warning: You Might Be Already Disappointing Your Customers

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We have bad news for some IT organizations. You might already be disappointing your customers. The Fourth Industrial Revolution has already occurred and customer expectations are higher than ever.

Most of these increased customer expectations are due to new technologies. Customers expect and want innovation from the brands they do business with and they are more informed than ever about the different options available to them. They want more and if they can’t get it from a certain brand, they will go to a competitor. 76% of customers now report it’s easier than ever to take their business elsewhere.

This means that brands and specifically, IT teams, need rethink how they manage their services and technologies. IT teams need to act more efficiently and be more in sync with the rest of the organization. Above all, they need to understand their customers’ expectations.

There are four things customers expect now that every organization needs to address.

1. Connected Processes

Customers see a connected brand, not an individual department. This is why connected processes are crucial and why every part of the organization must work together and technology must seamlessly link every piece of the customer’s journey.

70% of customers say connected processes, including seamless handoffs or contextualized engagement based on earlier interactions are very important to winning their business.

Device hopping is prevalent among most consumers. They jump from phone to tablet to computer and back to phone again. They expect to have the exact same experience with a brand, no matter how they are connecting with that brand. 60% of consumers change their contact channel depending on where they are and what they’re doing. So, if they have a conversation on Twitter with that brand, they expect the call center representative to know about it when they call in the next day.

For IT, that means they need to create connected processes that include every part of the organization.

2. Personalization

Personalization may be the most important customer expectation post-Fourth Industrial Revolution. Online, everything is personalized. Just look at the way Google personalizes search results! So, consumers expect their customer service experiences and buying experiences with a brand to be personalized as well.

84% of customers say being treated like a person and not a number is very important to winning their business. They expect personalized offers based on their purchase history, retargeted offers in ads or emails and user-generated content.

Companies now must design multiple personalized experiences for each single product or service. More importantly, organizations must end silo behaviors so that everyone in the organization has access to communication history, buying habits and customer preferences.

3. Innovation

If you’re not innovating, then you are already falling behind. 63% of customers expect companies to provide new products and services more frequently than before.

Just look at how expectations around cell phones have changed. The iPhone and Android competition have led consumers to expect constant innovation. If your phone is over a year old, it’s already considered “old”. If either one of these companies don’t put out a new model every year, they risk losing a huge chunk of the market. Customers expect new and better models all of the time. If you don’t meet customer expectation, you can bet that your competitors will.

For IT organizations, this means they must improve their processes so they can shorten product development cycles and complete projects faster than ever. This is not news for many CIOs as 65% of IT teams say innovation for competitive differentiation is a high priority.

4. Response Times

Social media revolutionized how buyers communicate with brands. Consumers are always on and always connected and they want to answers quickly. 77% of US consumers rank “Valuing My Time” as the most important part of online customer service.

Even when they can’t reach a call center using traditional means, customers are reaching out in different ways and they expect your customer service team to have all of the information about their customer journey and their needs. This, of course, brings us back to the importance of ending silo behavior and improving connected processes.

Customers also expect self-service options when it comes to their needs. They want self-checkouts and access to their data and accounts. IT organizations need to be prepared for the customer’s desire for data and provide the correct tools that consumers can use.

What can IT do to improve?

It’s clear that customers expect more. How can IT organizations change to support these new customer expectations? In a recent survey, 62% of execs said they had a management initiative or transformation program to make their business more digital.

Embracing VeriSM™ can help IT organizations lead their organizations into digital transformation. VeriSM™ stands for Value-Driven, Evolving, Responsive and Integrated Service Management. It’s a business-oriented approach to Service Management. It’s designed to keep the entire business connected and evolving so that it provides more value to the consumer.

VeriSM™ does away with the “one size fits all” approach and facilitates a tailored approach so the organization can focus on using the right practices that will fit the business’ needs. Not only will it keep the organization focused on business goals, but it will also help break down silos within the organization.

Whether you choose to embrace VeriSM™ or another service management approach, it’s clear that consumers are already in the digital age and IT organizations must keep up. IT leaders need to focus on faster project timelines, improved processes, better interdepartmental communication, and delivering a superior customer experience.

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