You ask the questions, and our resident CRM guru shares her wisdom. This week’s question: “What should I ask during a customer reference check?” A: Many experts consider the customer reference check to be the most important part of the vendor evaluation process. Why? Because nobody can provide more insight into how a company does business, and how effective its solutions are, than its own clients. Here are 8 questions you should ask during the reference check.
Once you’ve received the list of references from the vendor, double-check it to make sure it includes several companies who are within your industry, or who share common business issues and goals. Then, you can begin making your calls. Be sure you speak to at least one member of each functional department that works with the solution, as well as the IT team that oversees the technology. Ask the following questions: 1. How smooth was your implementation? Did the system easily plug into your existing technology environment?
2. How long did it take to fully train your staff to use the solution?
3. Did the vendor assist in your roll-out? If so, in what way?
4. Have you experienced any problems with the software, such as bugs?
5. What kind of user adoption rates have you experienced?
6. What kind of feedback have you gotten from end users about the solution’s ease of use, functionality, etc.?
7. What kind of ROI have you achieved so far? Have you seen the kind of results you expected/were promised, or do you feel you could be getting more from the system?
8. What kind of support have you received, and how responsive is the vendor to your questions and issues? Submit your question to the CRM Advisor.
[Photo courtesy of flightglobal.]