After declining for two years, the Tech Vendor NPS Benchmark for 2015 increased on average from 23.1 in 2014 to 31.8 this year, more than an eight-point jump. A net promoter score (NPS) measures the rate at which customers will recommend a vendor to friends and colleagues, and it's based on a range that spans from negative 100 to positive 100.
The Temkin Group has been tracking Net Promoter Scores (NPS) for 62 vendors for the past four years based on a survey of 180 IT decision makers in North America. Despite the overall gain in 2015, however, there were some surprising higher and lower scores that suggest vendors and IT services providers still need to improve customer service.
Winners and Losers
SAS Institute, a provider of analytics software, came out with the top score of 57, followed by HP outsourcing and Intel, which tied at 52. Five other tech vendors received an NPS of 45 or more, including Microsoft desktop software, Microsoft servers, IBM SPSS, IBM outsourcing, and VMware.
The five lowest scores, which were all below 10, went to Accenture Consulting, CA Technologies, Hitachi, Wipro IT services and outsourcing, and Deloitte consulting and outsourcing.
To be fair, larger vendors and IT services providers have significantly more opportunities to delight and disappoint customers. But, The Temkin Group study highlights how complexity often gets in the way of the promise of IT. In fact, most IT services providers would do well to remember that it’s always better to under promise and over deliver.
The challenge vendors and IT services firms face going forward is that the bar keeps getting raised in terms of the overall customer experience IT organizations now expect. The primary reason for that is the dramatic improvements that have been made to the experience consumers are having on the Web these days. They are now bringing those same expectations to the workplace, where they are quick to share their disillusionment with enterprise IT applications with the internal IT organization. Obviously, those dissolutions start to roll down the proverbial hill to both IT service providers and vendors alike.
The study also suggests that the larger IT services organizations are being challenged by the large-scale IT projects they typically go after. It is a challenge to maintain all the IT expertise required to deliver on those projects, and the number of projects many of them are trying to service suggests those organizations are spreading themselves a little thin.
In fact, it might be time for IT services providers to consider partnering with one another more aggressively in order to share expertise as part of an effort to drive up the overall quality of the IT customer experience.
Whatever the ultimate path taken to achieve that goal, when it comes to all things IT there is always room for improvement.
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