Daily life is full of customer experiences, both good and bad. Personally, I’m on a losing streak at the moment, with 25% offie rent hikes, destructive computer upgrades, the tiresome ritual of rip-off car insurance renewal, exploitative electricity companies – I won’t go on. It is easy to bemoan the cycnicism of service providers who sing from the same hymn sheet when justifying doubledigit price increases – energy costs, Brexit, government taxes, higher administrative costs etc.. Yet, a new study by Capgemini (see page 37) suggests that this charge might be unfair; its research shows that 74% of executives seem genuinely to believe that their companies are customercentric. Consumers have a different view, believing only 30% of companies to fi this bill.
What explains such a large difference in the perceptions of company executives and their customers? Are company executives even more cynical than one might have thought? Do they have a different defiition of ‘customer-centric’ than consumers? Or is there something wrong with their reporting and feedback procedures?
IT companies actually come out of Capgemini’s report rather well, with 68% of executives and 56% of consumers viewing providers of internet-based services as customer-centric. Impressive as this is, that still leaves more than four out 10 companies failing their customers in some way. This is galling both for consumers and for those businesses that do invest to improve the customer experience. The launch of techtick, a supplier fider and certifiation scheme for the IT sector (see page 36) is to be welcomed, not only for providing consumers with a means to identify truly customer-centric providers, but also for enabling businesses that do put their customers fist to differentiate themselves from those who only say they do.