Study: Most IT Customers Feel No Vendor Loyalty

Less than half of all IT customers are pleased enough with their vendors to remain loyal to them and 29% feel trapped in the relationship, according to a study released this week.

Vendor loyalty has taken a hit, according to the 2002 National Customer Benchmark Study conducted by Walker Information, Inc., a consumer survey company out of Indianapolis. The survey shows that only 47% of the 2,259 IT decision makers surveyed feel any loyalty to their vendors — wanting to or planning on continuing the relationship. And 21% are considered at high-risk of jumping ship, saying they’re unhappy with the relationship.

Another 29% are unhappy with their vendor but feel trapped into continuing the relationship.

It’s a matter of service — or better put, poor service, according to Marc Drizin, vice president and loyalty specialist at Walker Information.

“Despite the ongoing focus on product quality and innovation, as IT becomes more of a commodity-based industry, customer requirements will move from products to service,” Drizin says. “And, quite simply, service is a challenge for this sector.”

The survey also shows that:

  • While four in five (80%) are “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with IT companies, only about two-thirds (68%) rate the overall quality of suppliers’ products and services as “excellent” or “very good”;
  • Less than half (45%) have positive perceptions of non-technical customer service in the IT arena;
  • A majority (66%) express a willingness to recommend their suppliers, but fewer (38%) plan to increase their business with their current vendors;
  • Only a third believe that these high-tech companies care about the community and society (29%), are highly ethical (36%), and treat employees well (30%).
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