This is a cautionary tale. Once upon a time, there was an organization who chose to upgrade their business enterprise software. My role was to support the process. We walked through the due diligence steps: detailing requirements, seeking demonstrations, running software trials, and obtaining quotes. Having selected a vendor, I called to get the process rolling.
It didn’t roll. Every vendor telephone call and email ended with, “Next you will need to contact <insert department name here>. Here’s their email and telephone extension.” Use your imagination to envision rounds of email and phone tag. Time went by.
Ultimately the enterprise software was upgraded; data was migrated; people were trained; the bill was paid. But, I lost count of the number of times I had to push or pull the vendor forward. Now, almost a month later, there has been no follow-up.
This experience was full of uncertainty and frustration. It did not have to be this way. The vendor could have simplified the process by designating one point of contact at their company. One person to build a relationship, guide the process, manage the project timetable, and answer questions.
By not engaging us, the vendor lost opportunities. There is no motivation to be excited about the new software – we spent too much energy running the process. There is no story of an exceptional experience to share with others. There is no story of the vendor’s quality support or the company’s visible values.
I was not expecting to buy an entertaining or even transformational experience. But, in a time when much of what I buy is a commodity (food, software, services, etc.), the underlying experience and relationship by the vendor changes the value obtained.
How do you define an exceptional customer experience? How are your company’s values displayed throughout each client or customer contact?