UK firms lose one billion hours a year chasing suppliers

12 November 2012

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12 November 2012 | Anna Reynolds

Customer service is becoming a more important factor in IT procurement decisions as UK companies lose up to one billion hours every year chasing suppliers.

The IT Industry Service Report by cloud computing company Rackspace Hosting, surveyed 250 public and private sector organisations and found 69 per cent of respondents have dropped an IT supplier in the past 12 months because of poor customer service.

Slow response times to faults and poor quality communication were the two most frequently reported reasons for customer support failures. The report revealed 39 per cent of IT staff are estimated to be losing around one working day or more per week on tackling problems and chasing suppliers with other staff also affected, losing on average five hours a week to IT service issues.

Almost half, 48 per cent, of respondents said customer service has become an increased priority over the last year. Taylor Rhodes, managing director at Rackspace, said in a statement: “Chief information officers are taking note and it is encouraging to see service being acknowledged as a crucial factor in procurement decisions along with parameters such as price, security and uptime guarantees.

“In today’s highly competitive business environment, customer support is a crucial factor and many IT suppliers in the UK are not rising to the challenge and are quite rightly losing out on business as a consequence.”

Meanwhile, a separate study published by outsourcing provider arvato UK & Ireland found 87 per cent of outsourcing clients felt there was a lack of engagement with their provider. Only 56 per cent rated their supplier as a trusted partner.

The research, which surveyed 100 clients, called for a more flexible approach to the structure of outsourcing relationships so that a supplier delivers beyond what is stated in a contract.

Matthias Mierisch, CEO at arvato UK & Ireland said: “In short a vendor or supplier will deliver what’s in the contract, whereas a partner will deliver what’s ultimately right for the organisation. The type of relationship you choose depends a number of factors – company culture, drivers and type of service outsourced.”

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