Tech Vendors: Good CX Correlates to Referenceable B2B Clients

In our Q3 2017 tech vendor study, we asked 800 IT decision makers in large North American companies if they would be willing to be references for the vendors that they use. As you can see in the chart below, Apple leads the pack with 48% of its clients saying that they’d act as a reference. At the other end of the spectrum, only 11% of Alcatel-Lucent clients would be willing to be a reference.

We also looked at the connection between referenceability and the Temkin Experience Ratings (TxR) for Tech Vendors. Take a look at the second chart, where you can see that:

  • There’s a high correlation (R=0.65) between customer experience (TxR) and referenceability.
  • Two vendors are outliers in terms of having a higher level of referenceability than their TxR would suggest: Capgemini (+19 %-points) and Apple (+16 %-points).
  • Two vendors are outliers in terms of having a lower level of referenceability than their TxR would suggest: Hitachi (-14 %-points) and Alcatel-Lucent (-13 %-points).

Level of client referenceability for tech vendorsLevel of client references versus customer experience for tech vendors

Methodology notes:

  • We only included tech vendors that had at least 40 client responses.
  • After having IT decision makers select the tech vendors they use, we asked them this question: For which of the following vendors would you be willing to act as a reference, and speak with their prospective clients?

Written by 

I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

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