Check a vendor's record for quality service after the sale and a satisfied customer base
Selecting a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution can be complicated, and the stakes are high. Choose wisely, and you're on your way to greater control over your business, increased productivity, and insight that drives your business forward. But make the wrong call and you could drag your operations, profitability, and competitiveness down. To help you do your homework, we've created a 10-point checklist, and we're exploring one point each week during the next 10 weeks to call out important factors you should investigating during your evaluation process. In case you've missed the previous postings, here's what we've discussed so far (follow the links to see the full discussions):
This week we focus on checklist item #3, making sure you get your new business solution from a vendor and implementation/service provider known for solid customer relationships and quality post-sale service.
Customers Stay with Vendors That Take Good Care of Them
Post-sale service is a key ingredient in a smooth ERP implementation and ongoing operation. It's also an important requirement to help you get full value from your investment. Your needs will change over time, the result of growth, new requirements from customers and suppliers, and changing tax rules. Your customer base will evolve-and the list goes on. And because your ERP solution is at the heart of your business, it's important to choose a vendor that not only meets your needs right now but, equally important, delivers quality, affordable service and support after the sale. Here are three specific points to check out.
- Customer churn rates. Is the vendor losing current customers as fast as they add new ones?
- If needed, is support available locally, either directly from the vendor or through a network of qualified local resellers? Or can they successfully service you with online support? If the answer is "no," you could be surprised with added costs when you need after-sale support.
- Does the vendor offer a full range of customer support skills and capabilities? Expertise with the specific software you're evaluating is essential, of course. But how about help with customer relationship management, productivity software, and other applications you want to integrate with your solution? And does the vendor/service provider have experience with on-premises and cloud-based ERP solutions?
Ask vendors on your short list about the scope and cost of their customer support plans, and ask for customer references. Vendors you can count on will enjoy long-term relationships with satisfied customers. Unhappy customers part ways with vendors that are accessible and responsive before the sale but disappear after the contract is signed.
Count On Microsoft Dynamics ERP
Microsoft Dynamics has a long history of customer service and community, and a solid reputation for after-sale service. Our network of reselling partners around the world offers local support and service programs to help you keep your business moving forward after initial implementation. Our customer community-more than 300,000 worldwide-rivals any in the industry, with well-established user groups, online discussion forums, and Convergence, our annual customer conference. We take pride in our customer retention and satisfaction benchmarks, and in our strong reputation for providing post-sale service.
Customer Success Story
Microsoft continues to earn the loyalty of small and midsize business customers around the world who know they can count on quality post-service support and continuous product advances to fuel their growth and help them compete. Check out this technology service provider who chose a business solution from Microsoft in 2004 and regularly upgrades to the latest versions.
Computer Data Source
"Microsoft Dynamics ERP has played a critical role in our successful growth. With this solution, we can do business effectively with enterprises by offering resources and service levels that one would expect from a company much larger than ours." Ron Wollner, President
We will be taking a week off over the holidays, but join us in two weeks for part 4 of our blog series, when we will cover questions to ask when it comes to integrating a new business solution with your other line-of-business (LOB) applications. Until then, take a product test drive, or register for an upcoming webcast to learn more about a business solution from Microsoft.