Thursday, October 27, 2016
Who’s on the other end of the phone? (And other questions to consider about your technology partner.)
B2B, Configure Price Quote, iQ / CPQ
Written by Laura Monn Ginsburg
As I was preparing for a Halloween scary movie marathon, I got to thinking about the cliche of a stalker/tormenter calling and breathing heavily into the phone, usually to terrorize someone trapped home alone, and just how horrifying it would be. In particular, my mind goes to Drew Barrymore in Scream which gave me nightmares for weeks. What does this have to do with cloud software? Plenty.
Recently I’ve spent a lot of time on the phone with customers talking to them about our partnership, their technology investments, and what they look for in both solutions and providers. One consistent item that’s stood out is the importance of having a responsive partner — one you can easily track down, get on the phone, and get your question or problem answered.
At first I didn’t think much of this feedback. Sure it’s nice to know we’ve given great support that helps our customers, but surely that’s the norm, right? Apparently not.
One customer I spoke to was moving to iQ CPQ from a major quoting system owned by a major software company. They’d been a customer of the quoting tool for years but could never get the support they needed. Small fixes took months of lingering in a support queue. Large fixes took many emails and calls to move through the process. The product itself was difficult to change and the only time an email was timely was when it was an invoice. They searched for a new solution and decided that not only did iQ fit the bill for providing a robust application that could handle a high quantity of complex and configured quotes, it came with the added bonus of a knowledgable product team that was standing by to answer questions and ensure a smooth implementation and cut-over.
Another customer, Beracah Homes, got lost in the sales cycle with a big quoting vendor. After an initial demo of a strong quoting product, follow-up questions about specific functionality had to be kicked around to various teams for answers. Further, since implementation would be outsourced, they’d have to start all over again with a team that had to get to know them and their product. For Beracah Homes, it ended up being a no-brainer to work with Luxent, a company that would be there throughout the implementation and beyond, to help them get on a quoting platform that would make it fast and easy to prepare custom home quotes for their customers.
Finally, there’s Westmor, a long-time iQ CPQ customer that’s currently expanding its deployment to additional teams. Westmor has four core values it holds both itself and its partners to emulating. A cornerstone of our 3+ year partnership has been ongoing collaboration with the team at Westmor to get feedback and user insights which can be incorporated into the product. This approach has helped build a foundation of trust and open, honest dialog that ensures product advancement.
So back to Scream. From my own experience just today waiting for a support rep to call me back to complete a user change on an account, it really matters whether you trust who’s on the other end of the phone (or if anyone will pick up at all!). When it comes to choosing a technology partner that’s going to give you the support, direction, and overall partnership you need, you really do need to know who’s on the other end of the phone.