How do the large IT providers stack up in the experience they provide their customers? A new report from the Temkin Group details its findings -- and puts VMware, SAP analytics and Microsoft at the top.
"How good are vendors at meeting the needs of their corporate clients?" That's the key question undertaken in the 2013 Temkin Experience Ratings For Tech Vendors report, which looked at 54 large IT suppliers and surveyed 800 IT decision-makers from companies with at least US$ 500 milllion in annual revenues.
Three Components of Experience
The Experience Ratings were determined by questions relating to three components of experience -- functional (were you able to accomplish what you wanted to do with this company?), accessible (how easy was it to work with this company?) and emotional (how do you feel about these interactions?).
VMware was way ahead of its competitors, with a score of 72% in the Experience Ratings, and it was the only company that received a score in the "excellent" range. Other top companies included, in order, SAP analytics, Microsoft servers, Microsoft business applications, Microsoft desktop software, IBM SPSS, HP products, IBM IT services, Sybase, Dell products and Cisco.
The bottom five: Computer Sciences Corporation IT services, Deloitte consulting, Hitachi, Tata Consulting Services IT services and Trend Micro.
Purchase Momentum, Innovation Equity
The report also developed a "purchase momentum" score for each vendor, which was the net percentage of companies that plan to spend more with a given vendor. Temkin found that the companies with the higher rank of customer experience in the Experience Ratings tended to have more purchase momentum, with a few notable exceptions. This correlation would make sense, in that the better experience you have with the company, the more likely you are to do business with them.
The highest purchase momentum was achieved by Oracle outsourcing, at 53%, followed by VMware, NetApp and SAP analytics. The bottom of the list for purchase momentum included Trend Micro and Deloitte, both of which were also in the cellar for Experience Ratings.
Customer experience also directly relates to what Temkin describes as "innovation equity," which is the likelihood that a given IT company will try a new product or service right after it has been announced by the tech vendor. Again, VMware led the pack in innovation equity, and again that correlation seems credible, in that customers who have good relationships with their companies, as evidenced in customer experience scores, would probably be more willing to trust them in using new technologies.
Customer Experience Recommendations
So, since customer experience for these major IT vendors is so important, how can vendors improve their customer experience? The Temkin Group, which provides customer experience consulting, offered several suggestions.
The suggestions do not appear to differ from general customer experience recommendations for any kind of company, IT or not. Temkin recommended that companies master several competencies: purposeful leadership with a clear set of values, employee engagement that aligns employees with company goals, delivering on brand promises to customers and infusing customer insight throughout an organization.
This is Temkin’s methodology in these reports, with these same suggestions for customer experience excellence in its 2013 report on 246 companies across 19 industries, among others. But it would be interesting and helpful for the reports to give a little more insight into how customer experience for a major IT vendor might differ from, say, customer experience goals for Starbucks. Perhaps the Temkin Group will provide some insights in a future report.