When deciding on a vendor to help implement a critical system within your organization, your expectation is likely that this relationship will last at least five years if not longer. Right? So why is it that so many companies focus solely on the first six to eight months of a vendor relationship without considering the long-term viability of the partnership?
Based on over 25 years of experience implementing and supporting ERP projects, we’ve observed that most prospects come to us after narrowing down their system selection and are in the last stages of finding the best partner to help implement and support their project. During these initial conversations, most of the focus is on the implementation process with these types of questions being asked by the project champion:
- How much will the implementation cost?
- Who will be working on our implementation?
- What does the timeline look like for our implementation?
While implementation is an extremely important aspect of a project, taking anywhere from three to eight months, there are additional factors that many prospects do not consider when evaluating partners, such as “what does the ongoing support look like”?
This is an important consideration to ensure you find a vendor that acts as a true partner for your business to help you fully realize the ROI of your costly investment beyond implementation.
A relationship built to last
This is a relationship after all, and in new relationships, it’s important to take into consideration each party’s long-term goals and aspirations. Asking the right questions can help your selection team ensure that the partnership will thrive beyond just implementation. Consider asking:
- Does this vendor understand my journey? Do they have different programs built to support and recognize our distinct phases?
- Does this vendor value our company? Will they listen to us? How do they reach out to their customers to get feedback?
- What does this vendor offer that ensures our continued growth and optimization?
- Is this vendor constantly iterating and improving on their processes? Can they back this up?
- What do their customers say about them? Do the good reviews span across many areas within their business and team?
- When the going gets tough how are situations handled?
The answers to these types of questions can help you understand how the relationship would work. Would it be a break-fix relationship? Or a strategic relationship? The difference between these two types can be found in four key areas:
- Value: do they offer value-added programs that will continuously help you adopt the system and increase operational efficiency?
- Personalization: will they proactively manage the relationship? Do they take the time to understand your business and your objectives?
- Consistency: are they backed by programs? Do they seek feedback regularly and consistently act on that feedback?
- Commitment: can they back it up? How do they act when things don’t go according to plan?
VistaVu’s Commitment to Customer Experience
Over the past four years, VistaVu has invested a lot of time and resources into our overall customer experience. We’ve utilized feedback from our customers to constantly make improvements to our processes and implement new programs that bring value to our customers. Our work extends beyond support and emphasizes the value of a true partnership.
We are a different organization than we were years ago, and the results are measured in our quarterly NPS scores that have increased year over year. We work every day to constantly iterate and improve on our processes to build strong, long-term relationships with our customers.
So, next time you meet with a vendor to discuss a new system implementation, make sure you spend as much time understanding what they bring to the table in the short and long term.
Looking to get started on your project? Reach out to our team today.
About the AuthorFollow on Linkedin More Content by Lezli Giguere, VP Customer Experience