IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Hearts and Minds of IT Buyers

Great customer service and knowing how the IT buyer likes to receive information are winning strategies to brand loyalty. By Colleen Frye

HOW CAN CHANNEL PROS drive brand loyalty to their services and products? Based on a recent survey of IT buyers from Spiceworks, the answer is provide great customer service and consistently fair pricing, and have a history of reliable solutions.

Spiceworks, a professional network for IT workers, surveyed more than 500 members across the U.S and U.K. who are involved in technology purchase decisions. The research explores how often IT buyers are contacted by sales reps and marketers, what motivates them to engage with tech brands, and what drives and damages their loyalty to vendors.

One important factor for earning loyalty, the survey finds, is to align marketing and sales strategies with how IT decision makers like to be contacted. For example, a majority of respondents (57 percent) prefer email for receiving sales and marketing pitches followed by online forums and communities (26 percent), while only 8 percent prefer phone contact, and an even fewer 4 percent favor in-person contact.

And you’ll have more luck if your email contains information about relevant products and services, detailed pricing information, and detailed product specs—the top drivers for getting IT buyers to respond to a new sales pitch or marketing effort, according to the research.

Before you pitch a new brand to your customers and potential customers, moreover, bear in mind that IT purchasers are most loyal to their server, virtualization, and networking vendors, according to the survey, and least loyal to cloud-based services, consulting/outsourcing services, and mobile device makers.

Finally, no channel pro should be surprised to learn the worst thing for securing brand loyalty: A whopping 94 percent of respondents say a poor customer support experience is the biggest deterrent. Tied for the second biggest turnoff are too much sales and marketing contact and security issues (both at 85 percent). Price increases, at 75 percent, represent the third major deterrent.

Not all IT purchasers are alike, though, and Spiceworks also drilled into the results by generation. The research finds that baby boomers are more likely to respond to sales reps and marketers (42 percent) than Gen Xers or millennials (29 percent). A relevant product or service is the top driver for responding to a pitch across generations, but millennials are more likely to respond if there’s detailed pricing info. And both millennials and Gen Xers are more likely to respond to a recognizable brand and a personalized message while baby boomers are more interested in a timely solution to a problem. The takeaway: Know your IT buyer.

Opening image: Pixabay

About the Author

Colleen Frye's picture

Colleen Frye is ChannelPro's managing editor.

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