What satisfaction level should you expect from your tech vendor
Customers are a tech company’s most valuable resource. One standard by which service providers and vendors measure themselves is whether the customer would recommend them to a friend or colleague.
Trust is Essential
Obviously, trust is a very important component of any relationship with a technology vendor. If you believe the vendor is acting in contradiction with the values that they presented themselves with when you originally started your business relationship, that is a serious red flag. If you find that the quotes you get from them don’t ring true when the bill comes, without good explanation, you should re-evaluate your relationship with this vendor.
Technology can be a precarious field when you dedicate thousands of dollars to this or that technology, effectively locking yourself into that particular platform or technology. It can put you at the mercy of your technology vendor, especially if customized modules are expensive and/or time-consuming. You should always be on-guard with your technology vendor and make sure they deliver on their promises. Technology services, hardware and software are expensive—and shady dealings, hidden charges, empty promises and poor communication can make things that much more expensive.
Does the Vendor Have Competition?
One factor that affects your satisfaction level is the competition in the space that the vendor operates. If there are plenty of firms that can deliver a similar solution, you will not have much trouble finding an alternative if one vendor doesn’t suit you. In more competitive spaces, however, you will find that firms are on their game and eager to go the extra mile to make you a happy customer. If a firm is the only one operating in their space, or if their product or service is head and shoulders above the competition, you will have fewer alternatives. Consequently, because of their dominance of the market space, you may also find them less sympathetic to keeping you completely satisfied.
Are you a good fit for the vendor?
Some vendors will completely ignore companies who do not meet their profile. Some vendors only deal with huge companies, while others don’t have the capacity to deal with large companies, or simply don’t want the headache. Some vendors are open to any business. This is where it can get tricky. Some companies focus on a certain type of client, whether it be large companies, mid-sized companies, companies in a certain industry and other metrics.
Sometimes a vendor will sacrifice keeping a company that doesn’t fit their profile completely happy, so that they can put that effort into keeping a company that does meet their profile completely happy. Some support teams have been known to put low-severity issues with a large companies at a higher priority than high-severity issues with smaller companies. If you find yourself encountering issues with poor response for a support call, ask to speak with a shift manager or ask to escalate your case. If you ever have issues with support for a particular vendor, you should feel free to engage your sales rep with the vendor. They have a vested interest to keep you happy so that they can keep renewing your contract every year that tech support does not.
Technology vendors can be great allies in the battle to stay up to date in a fast-moving world. Getting the most of them depends on being aware of their market position, choosing the best fit for your organization and not tolerating vendors who are neglecting the responsibilities of your relationship.