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IT Buyers To Vendors: “It’s Complicated”

ServiceSource® (NASDAQ:SREV), the global leader in recurring revenue management, today announced the findings of its “2013 Customer Loyalty Survey,” a survey of more than 200 IT decision-makers about their relationship with hardware and software vendors.

When asked to describe their relationship with their top IT vendor, “’til death do us part” was far from most respondents’ minds. Fewer than 18 percent described their relationship as “married.” More than half were open to playing the field, with 66 percent defining their relationship with their top IT vendor as either “single,” “open” or “it’s complicated.”

Most IT departments feel neglected and ignored, with 57 percent of respondents only hearing from their vendors at renewal time, if at all. It’s hard not to see why these decision-makers flirt with other suitors. Fifty-two percent of respondents received sales calls or emails at least once a month, with 60 percent of respondents taking sales calls with their vendors’ competitors at least once per quarter.

Other key findings from ServiceSource’s “2013 Customer Loyalty Survey” include:
  • 52 percent defined their relationship with their top IT vendor (the one they spend the most on) as either "open" or "it's complicated."
  • 52 percent of respondents received calls or emails from their vendors’ competitors at least once per month.
  • 42 percent take sales calls from their vendors’ competitors at least once per quarter; 20 percent take them at least once per month.
  • Over 25 percent of respondents participate in competitor webcasts every quarter, with 69 percent at least once a year.
  • Nearly half of respondents (49 percent) have used competitive intelligence from a sales meeting to renegotiate a current contract.

ServiceSource Customer Loyalty Survey
  • Sixty five percent of on-premise software respondents view SaaS as a potential suitor to replace existing systems.
  • Of those with a preference, respondents were twice as satisfied with their hardware vendors as their software vendors, indicating that loyalty is harder to maintain as you move up the technology stack.

“Our survey highlights that customer relationships and loyalties are constantly being undermined by outside forces. Sadly, most businesses have no idea,” said Christine Heckart, Executive Vice President of Marketing, Strategy, People and Systems at ServiceSource. “It’s no wonder that customer churn is top of mind for every company. As businesses focus more and more on recurring revenue, they can’t afford to win customers just once and expect fidelity for life. They need to win them over and over again.”

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