The key to relevance found in customer-centric approach

85% of IT channel companies have recognised the need to remain relevant and to move towards a customer-centric model, according to new research unveiled today by channel services provider, Agilitas IT Solutions.

Agilitas has today released its market report on Relevance, the latest in its series of research into the ‘Channel in 2020’, looking into the attitudes of the UK IT channel towards the opportunities and challenges that channel businesses are currently facing.

Channel companies are increasingly embracing the old adage that ‘the customer is always right’, in order to remain relevant to their customers’ needs. It has never been more important to take customers’ wishes and requirements into account in order to build loyalty in an ever-increasing competitive landscape. In an age when the buyer is much more informed on the products and services they require due to sophisticated digital buying channels, suppliers need to be continuously reviewing their value propositions in order to remain aligned to the needs of their target markets.

This movement towards a more customer-centric approach is extending beyond just good intentions, as 82% of channel businesses develop bespoke, relevant services or products for customers, with most of these offering both bespoke and ‘off the shelf’ services and products.

“It is clear from our research that channel businesses largely understand the need to remain relevant and focused on their customers,” comments Shaun Lynn, CEO of Agilitas. “In today’s changing landscape, retaining a focus on customers has never been more critical.”

Lynn continues: “In order to remain relevant and become more customer-centric, truly adding value for customers, collaboration with other channel partners is critical. A key way that many channel companies become more relevant is the added value they bring to their customers by listening and ensuring their propositions remain aligned to their ever-changing needs.”

The move to be more relevant quickly becomes an integral part of a business’s agile approach, as illustrated by the fact that when asked about the key advantages of having adopted such a customer-centric model, 42% of channel decision-makers said that the added value to the customer was an important benefit. Clearly, this highlights the customer-centric outlook of these companies, as they cited something that is largely a benefit to the customer as an advantage to their own company.

Lynn added: “Although most companies see the value and importance of relevance, it is still a big step for many companies, requiring a transformational shift in order to become sufficiently customer-centric. Many are already undergoing this shift, or are starting to embark on it. We will explore this further in our next market report, on Transformation.”

The research was carried out with over 100 decision makers from Managed Service Providers, IT resellers and channel service companies, which have a fixed office in the UK, in June 2018.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine