Whilst many of us value engagement with customers, until recent times it’s not always been seen as a strategic requirement at board level in many businesses. This was particularly apparent amongst tech providers, says Gartner’s Hank Barnes.
However, the latest CEO survey conducted by the analyst house suggests this stance is shifting.
While investment in new technology for products and services continues to be a priority, with 55% of the CEOs surveyed ranking this in their top two priorities, a focus on “innovating in the way their companies engage with customers” was a top priority for more CEOs (58%). Indeed, overall 42% of CEOs cited improvements in customer experience and service as the key change that has “driven more wins” compared with the combination of new or better products was only 15%.
Barnes says that this new approach can only spell good news for tech buyers.
“This shift is important for everyone and is good to see. But there is still work to do. Years of inertia take time to change.
“Recognising the situation and taking steps to improve has happened. Now it’s all about continued progress and focus–some changes will deliver results quickly. Others may take longer (and could cause what feels like a step back).
“But there is no question the market has changed. Leadership through the change is critical. Our survey indicates that CEOs understand that and are taking action to lead through the change.”
Weber Shandwick’s 2015 research shows CEOs themselves are increasingly engaged with customers, with 64% now doing so through their company pages, and corporate video fast-becoming a standard form of communication for top executives (54%). The majority now choose social media as the most direct method of conversing with customers.