When you review your technology what drives your decision?
- Ease of use for staff?
- Keeping up with the latest programmes, systems, apps, etc?
- The old systems can’t cope any longer?
- The new system will improve the service the customer gets?
The frightening thing is that the last one is also the last issue to be taken into account for many organisations. New technology is usually seen as a means of making things easier internally – if the customer benefits, that’s a bonus!
The problem is that customers expect more. Most people are very flexible when it comes to technology; they’ve got mobile phones with massive power in their pockets. They’re familiar with social media, apps and shopping online – and they expect the companies that they purchase from to keep up.
A new app or platform comes out and social media tells the world. The customer downloads it and is using it in minutes.
Organisations are much slower to act. A new technology comes out and they only find out about it when that company’s sales team calls, or maybe they see a review in their trade press. The journey from ‘that looks interesting’ to that new technology being up and running in the organisation is, at best, weeks, usually months – and sometimes more than a year.
Businesses seem to get slower as they get bigger. Processes take time as more people are involved in the decision making and the paperwork (even if it’s electronic) has to go through more ‘ticks’.
So while the customer is fast and flexible, the organisation is slow and static.
The customer wants choice and responsiveness – the organisation may not have the ability to give them that as quickly as they’d like. That means that some forward planning is needed – it’s the company’s job to look into that crystal ball and see what the customers are likely to need so you’re ready ahead of time.
At the end of the day customers aren’t particularly loyal unless you do something really exceptional. Everyone has competitors and it’s all too easy for one of yours to tempt your customers to give them a try.
However, you might have a valuable asset if you’ve got an enlightened IT support company on board. A good IT company keep up with technology developments – especially in the industries they serve. If you have a quarterly meeting with your IT support people they’ll almost certainly be able to help you plan for the future so you can give your customers everything they want and more!