5 Signs You Should Breakup With Your Support Provider
Business applications such as ERP and CRM systems help form the backbone of businesses. As every organization is unique, business applications are typically configured and customized to fit each organization’s needs. Due to the complexity of these systems, many businesses partner with a third-party provider to assist with ongoing maintenance of the system, error resolution, user training, customizations, and optimizations. This third-party provider is often the vendor who originally implemented the software. However, over time, companies may find that the level of support they receive from their original implementation provider is not sufficient.
Does the relationship with your current support provider feel unstable? Did it start out strong but then start to decline? Have you increasingly felt that the partnership is not what it used to be? The relationship with your business application support partner is a crucial one. A good partner can help grow your business by not only keeping your systems humming, but also by providing insights into your data, optimizing your system, and expanding its capabilities as your business grows. A bad partner can be a stumbling block and stand in the way of you and the success of your business. In this blog post, we will discuss 5 signs that it may be time to break up with your support partner.
You’ve Outgrown Them
When your relationship first started, your business was smaller and simpler. You have grown and matured as a company, but your partner has not. They are not able to effectively handle the increasing complexity of your requests or the number of users. Perhaps you have opened more locations, started a new line of business, or had an acquisition. Some partners are localized to a specific region or specialize in a particular line of business, in which case they are not able to continue to support you effectively. You have big plans for the next two to five years, and you want a partner that will help you grow and not hold you back.
Communication is Lacking
Communication is key to any relationship, and poor communication can be a deal-breaker. Do you have a hard time getting your current provider to respond to your messages? Do you have to follow-up on requests to see where they are at? Do you find yourself having to escalate issues in order to get a response? It is important to have a partner that is proactive and responsive, and not one that you have to chase down for answers. Your partner should proactively communicate information such as the statuses of support requests and expected resolution dates to make your job easier.
Do you ask for an explanation and receive an unsatisfactory response? Your partner should clearly and thoroughly explain the root cause of any issues and how to avoid them moving forward. There is no excuse for poor communication and the damage it can bring to your business.
Lack of Innovation
Technology is always evolving, and in order to stay competitive, it is important to stay abreast of those changes and leverage them when appropriate. Your support partner should be keeping track of technology changes and helping to keep you up to speed—not the other way around. If you know more about new technology than your support partner, that is a red flag. If your support partner is hesitant to change or adopt new technology, they will not be able to help you grow your business.
They Aren’t a True “Partner”
Your support provider should be a partner, and as such, they should always look out for what is in your best interest. They should never recommend a solution simply because it is easier for them or would benefit them. A true partner considers not just the questions being asked but more importantly, the ones not being asked and provides recommendations based on what will benefit your business. If there are multiple approaches that may be beneficial, they should thoroughly explain the advantages and disadvantages of each approach so that you can make an informed decision.
Your provider should never let you struggle with figuring things out yourself or having to work directly with the software publisher because they are too busy, or worse, they don’t care. You deserve a service provider who is a true partner and cares deeply about your long-term relationship and the success of your business.
They Don’t Get You
Your business is unique, so you want a partner that understands the nuances of both your business and your industry. But every time you talk to your support provider, you feel like you have to explain things that they should already know. This could be caused by several factors. There could be high turnover or lack of a dedicated team, which means that you are constantly talking to a new support representative. Another reason could be that the support provider does not specialize in your industry, or the consultants do not have sufficient background and training to understand your industry. Lastly, it is possible that your partner is just not listening to you. Whatever the reason, it is imperative to have a partner that has the necessary business acumen, industry knowledge, and personal knowledge of your specific business to provide quality services and not generic support.
Do any of the above signs hit a little too close to home? Are you ready to put a bad relationship in the past and move on to a healthy long-term relationship with a new support partner that will help you grow your business? If so, you may want to read our whitepaper on the 7 Key Criteria for Choosing a Support Partner.
Rand Group is dedicated to long-term partnership and support of its clients. Over 60% of Rand Group’s clients switched to us from different service firms due to dissatisfaction with the level of service or competency of the other providers. Once companies make the switch and see the Rand Group difference, they almost always stay, as seen by our 90% client retention rate. For a support partner that cares, reach out to Rand Group today.
– Software Delivered as Promised. No Surprises.