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The IT Purchase Hangover and New CX Tech

By Andrew Johnson | February 07, 2023 | 0 Comments

Applications and Software Engineering LeadersCRM Strategy and Customer ExperienceCSP Digital Transformation and InnovationCustomer ExperienceCustomer Service and Support TechnologyCustomer Understanding and Marketing ExecutionIndustry Marketing ExecutionInfrastructure and Operations LeadersMarketing Technology and Emerging TrendsMidsize Enterprise IT LeadershipSourcing, Procurement and Vendor Management Leaders

In this survey recently completed by Capterra, author Brian Westfall writes that SMB tech adoption is increasing, but buyer’s remorse on new purchases is high.  A majority of U.S. SMBs (61%) in their survey said they had buyer’s remorse over a technology purchase over the past 12-18 months.  Westfall explains several reasons that are worth noting.  Two gripes he points out I hear a lot from Gartner clients too.  Their feeling of a “love them and leave ‘em” attitude from vendors with their weak post-sale support.   And a close second is the surprise with operating costs, also known as the vaporware ROI.

What companies are not regretting are their investments to operationalize customer experience using next-gen tools

In a recent Gartner survey, nearly three out of four organizations said they planned to increase their investments in technology in customer experience initiatives.  In an upcoming report, analysts on my team see this as a particularly great opportunity in 2023 for communication service providers to up the ante with “next-gen” solutions.  These include more cutting-edge tools like advanced messaging channels, omni-channel orchestration, visual builders, chatbots and voicebots, to name a few.

Why should vendors care? Outpaced commoditization: Basic CPaaS services such as SMS and voice prices and margins are dropping.  Revenue Growth: By selling these tools, CSPs can “land and expand” and cross-sell within the enterprise.

How?  Partner, don’t build, to get an offering together fast.  Launch, test, and relaunch messaging to CX stakeholders beyond IT, including customer service, sales, and marketing. Insert a team of specialists into the sales cycle early to clearly communicate the ROI and cross-train the general sales teams along the journey.

Don’t forget the after-sales support I mentioned from the Capterra survey above.  You can’t land and expand if your new customer hates you.

Gartner estimates that companies invested lightly and cautiously on next-gen tools last year.  Spending about 15% of their budget on these speculative solutions. But given the current economic conditions and the quest to differentiate the customer experience, conservativism will yield to widespread interest and adoption.  The window of opportunity is swinging open.  Interested in learning more?  Follow my analysts on covering this tech space on LinkedIn: Ajit Patankar, Lisa Unden-Farboud, Daniel O’Connell

What I’m working on is readying myself and my USA analyst team for the Enterprise Connect conference in Orlando March 27-30th.   We will be there to listen for new perspectives and meet with clients.  I encourage vendors with new offerings to pre-brief my team using this link to the Gartner Vendor Briefing process We want to hear your story before the event, and time is tight at the conference.  Not registered yet?  Try this $500 discount code when you register:  GartnerEC23.

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