I’m a fan of Proper Cloth, the online apparel store, where I can customize a “near bespoke” shirt, for not much more than the cost of a quality off-the-rack shirt. I simply enter my measurements in their online form, select the style, fabric quality, color, trim, buttons, pockets etc. that I want and within a week or two, my new, one-of-a-kind shirt shows up at my doorstep. This isn’t a pitch for Proper Cloth (although if your reading this Proper Cloth folks – keep up the good work) but it illustrates what we have come to expect in our customer experiences. This trend applies just as much in a B-to-G and B-to-B sales as it does in B-to-C. We have more information available to us now than any other point in history, which means companies look to the experience to differentiate from their competitors. One could argue that improving the customer experience is particularly relevant among Federal customers, where procurement, governance and a host of mandates add a new level of complexity. So, what defines that ideal experience? The 5 C’s: Control, Customization, Cost, Convenience, and Completeness. And can it be applied in procurement for Federal agencies?
- Control: In an age where we have so many options, consumers want to be in control of what we buy and how we buy it. We want options, but we also want to be informed and compare the pros and cons between multiple options. Through our purchase preferences, we want to tell vendors what it is we need, not the other way around.
- Customization: The days of “one size fits all” are gone and there is an expectation that customers should be able to hand select the features that we want so it suits our unique needs. We want a personalized experience.
- Cost: We expect a unique, personalized and quality experience, but we also are conscious about costs. There is a gap between an average customer experience and an outstanding one. Successful organizations are the ones that provide an outstanding experience at the cost of an average one, thus shrinking that gap.
- Convenience: Bankers’ hours no longer work for us. We want the flexibility to do business when we want and on our terms. The work day is no longer 9 – 5; in global business, it’s 24/7/365.
- Complete: One throat to choke, one belly button to push – there are many euphemisms that articulate the simple fact that customers don’t want to be given the runaround. One source of truth to answer all my questions for product information, sales, service, billing, reporting. Period.
Across all industries, consumers are looking for a tailored user experience, that focuses on their needs, putting them in control, while providing resources that remove complexity. It’s the expectation not the exception these days. The ViON MarketPlace, a full-service resource for researching, ordering and managing Data Center as-a-Service solutions that embodies this same philosophy. ViON has a broad portfolio of storage, compute, network, converged and hyperconverged technology, from industry leading partners that can be procured either “as-a-service” or as a traditional “box buy.” Regardless of what our customers need, it’s our mission to make it easy to meet their mission objectives. The ViON MarketPlace simplifies IT complexity, providing a unique experience for each customer, balancing cost with quality. Maintaining outstanding service means evolving with customer expectations. Check out the next evolution in ViON’s customer experience for DCaaS at www.ViONMarketPlace.com, a new way of doing business.