We have all been reading about the tough economic times in various industry and business publications.
In addition, the IT industry and telecom industry in Canada continues to try to reduce costs primarily by cutting headcount and consolidating locations or eliminating locations served within Canada.
The headcount cuts have been at all levels throughout the organizations, ranging from executive down to administrative staff.
What we find discouraging about continuing this approach, is that the customers are the ones that suffer from these actions. We as consultants hear on a regular basis the growing frustration of customers (disregarding size of company) in trying to deal with their technology suppliers.
Customers are trying to spend money on technology.
Here are some of the common complaints we hear from our clients.
We never get to talk to a real person.
I can’t get help outside of business hours (whether on the phone or Web).
When we do get someone, they don’t have the information about the products or services we currently have with them.
They don’t have people on the phone who are qualified to help me change or add new services.
I can’t get the information I need to buy new products or services (whether technical questions or specifications or quotes with pricing).
I can’t get information on how the new technology will fit in with my existing environment.
They can’t explain, or even seem to understand, how this technology investment could help me grow business, save money or reduce my risk.
What’s interesting about the above comments is that half of them tie into companies who are actively trying to spend money….go figure!
The industry challenges
The ICT industry is getting hit with a variety challenges that affect their ability to help customers spend money including:
Reduction of headcount as noted above.
Hiring freezes to replace headcount, combined with shortage of qualified professionals.
Accelerated pace of technology change with shortened product life cycles.
Continuing pressure to reduce prices and margins.
Increased distribution costs (fuel, resources, etc.).
How to gain a bigger share of wallet.
Based on our customer feedback, we encourage the industry to look to new and better methods to support customers for both service and sales. The best methods can be determined by asking your customers how they would like to be served.
I hope you have found our thoughts of value, educational, enlightening or at least humorous, and feel free me at Roberta J. Fox at Roberta.Fox@FOXGROUP.ca or 905.473.3369 x 1001 to discuss further.