It may have taken weeks, months or years; but finally, the Big Bosses have agreed that your company needs to implement the software that you’ve dedicated (what seems like) your entire life to in studying, reviewing, testing and proving. You’re convinced it’s the King Daddy of all software that will make the business buzz like never before.
Elation! Joy! That glorious feeling of movement! A job well done!
But wait! It’s not over. You still have to get what you’ve agreed to purchase.
If your vendor isn’t ready to go when you are, those feelings of joy can quickly evaporate as pressure is put on you. Double-guessing starts to creep in from the upper ranks, the loss of momentum in the initial excitement is kaput, and everyone seems to be looking at you, wondering when this revolution will start.
Nothing worse in today’s rapid-paced, get-it-done-NOW world than letting a decision fester while waiting for a new product to arrive or a new service to be implemented. Quick and dedicated service after the purchase agreement is made should be first on your vendors list. It’s certainly first on yours. Yet that’s not always how it happens.
Vendors need to be as dedicated to actually doing the work they promised in the timeline they promised as they were in pursuing you to close the sale. The longer the process, the more doubt, anxiety and mind-changing will happen. Worse, self-doubt about the decision will creep in from every level of the organization:
Vendors that care are the ones that take your business seriously and make you a priority to see that what you asked for is what you are given. They dedicate their team – as a unit – to providing timeliness in meeting their obligations. If they can’t work quickly once the ink is dry, then what kind of service can you expect in the future?
Business relationships thrive when synergies of responsiveness align. If your vendor can’t devote his or her time to you, then maybe it’s time to find someone who can.
It is easy for a customer to feel steamrolled by a vendor, especially if the vendor has a strict set of policies and procedures in place. The earlier you make your expectations clear to the vendor, the sooner you will find out if and how they can be met. The best time, of course, is during the initial discussions — and to have those expectations baked into your contract. But there are lots of things that get omitted from contracts. By talking to the vendor, you can find out what is and is not possible. Without that discussion, you will simply be disappointed.
Do your research. Ask the right questions. If a vendor stresses that they can do things quickly – almost unbelievably quick – ask for proof and references. And by all means, when your vendor does something right, let them know.
Looking for additional tips and posts on software adoption? Browse our entire archive of advice from industry experts by visiting the Implementation and Adoption section of the Business-Software.com blog.