How true would the statement be to claim that company leaders (CEO, CIO, CTO, CMO, CCO, VPs) are struggling to stay in the race with how their customers need to be communicated with? And how often does the race change? Every six months or so?
Would it be fair to state that a company's customers hold the power of driving communications with the company in their own hands thanks to the fast-paced consumerism of modern smartphones and technology? Consumer expectations have changed dramatically since 2017.
If you answered "yes" to these questions, you're right. You're right from a customer's point of view and you're right from the company leadership's point of view. But who has more power? It's always the customer. They can easily port their purchasing and spending power somewhere else at the click of a button. Consumerism itself promotes the interests of the consumer. They don't need to tap into you (the company). You (the company) need to tap into them.
How IT & Technology Are Controlling Your Company Growth
So who is influencing your customers to be so fickle and demanding? Why all of a sudden do your customers need access to their business accounts, past purchases, payment records, etc.? Don't you email statements to your customers? And can't they call your customer service line? Isn't that enough?
Who ruined your customer relationships?
Why can't your customers use your company website in the same way?
- Amazon.com - their 1-click purchasing destroyed your lackluster IT and technology plan. The game of instant gratification now applies to your customer accounts. Can your internal system handle it? Can your customers login from the website to see everything?
- Google - with one email address, I can see my email, videos, voicemail, financial situation and virtually anything else that Google controls. It's high convenience and it keeps me connected to my "things." Even my refrigerator is connected through Google. Why can't my account with your company do that? I still have to call your frustrating support line.
- Best Buy - buy something online and either get it delivered to my home or drive by the store and pick it up. Freaking genius! Why can't I do anything like that with my account at your company? Heck, I can't even get a current status of my account through your website.
- Harris Teeter - I can use the grocery store app, order groceries, pay for everything, then zoom by the drive through lane and pick up my stuff. They even bring it all out and put it in my car! Dang, I won't even bother with your website.
- We host an internal ERP - you're running an internal ERP like Epicor or Profit 21 and it won't connect to the website. And it's too expensive to move it all to the cloud. Well, that's not true. You can still have an Amazon-like experience and we at TIP can help you get there. Take it in stages. Doing something is better than nothing.
- My IT infrastructure is outdated - that's a poor excuse and the best opportunity to update your company to a new level to get your customers interacting with their data. We here at TIP can build software and applications that bridge internal systems with your customer-facing website. The first step is to talk and begin to solve the problem.
- I don't know how to start - well, this is the largest problem that we see. Your customers are waiting and you're probably taking phone calls from disgruntled customers wanting access to their accounts and history. We will help you develop the IT infrastructure strategy internally and couple that to your customer-facing website to move your company forward. Innovate or die. It's harsh but true.
The consumerism of IT on company leadership is draining. It keeps company leaders and owners up at night. We hear all angles of the story time after time:
- "...my management team doesn't get it. They don't feel the pain of what our customers are going through by not having access to their accounts from the website or from their smartphone. And they're leaving to our competitors."
- "...it seems like I'm the only one here after everyone else leaves and I'm left worrying about how to get our customers access to their accounts from outside our firewall. We can't fight Amazon but we have to fight Amazon."
- "...I need a real partner, not a vendor, that understands the business of connecting my customers to their account data that is so deeply hidden inside our accounting software in my data center. Somehow our website has to let them login to our Epicor system so they can conduct business without calling my sales team and wasting my customer's valuable time."
Depending upon which side of the consumerism of IT you're on, it's either devastating or exhilarating. Local businesses and manufacturing companies need to embrace the consumerism of IT and web development to rise up and to meet their customers where they are and to satisfy their sophisticated technical needs.
So ask yourself, "are you doing enough to leverage technology and handle the informed consumer (your customer)?" If not, reach out to The Idea People by calling Jay Joyce at 704-398-4437 or emailing email@example.com. We will meet with you to discuss your problems, and more importantly, to help you plan a strategy for conquering the consumerism of IT as it applies to your company and your company leadership. Then we will implement the strategy and satisfy your customer's demands for access to their accounts. You make more money.