I recently ran a poll on LinkedIn about what makes a good supplier. The results were fairly mixed, but what’s to say you can’t have it all?
Here’s what my ideal supplier would look like...
Proactive when it comes to support.
You want a supplier to be all over a fault as soon as it happens. To tell you something’s wrong before your customers and staff do. Better still, a supplier who has a solution for the fix!
A knowledge sharer.
You pay your supplier to provide a service because their product is good and they’re the experts. Therefore, someone who shares knowledge of the industry and upcoming trends or products.
Not afraid to say no.
One of the cardinal sins of being a supplier is always saying yes, even if the customer is wrong. I know the saying, ‘the customer is never wrong’, but when we are, tell us. This may be around the solution design not being as effective as it could be or providing a service outside of their domain. Too many suppliers attempt to be a jack of all trades; afraid to say no but equally afraid to recommend another company.
Competitive on price.
Always a hard one to measure. If the supplier is the cheapest out there, have they missed something in their service wrap or offering? If they’re expensive, is it because they don’t understand the market or are overvaluing their service? Equally, everyone always says they buy based on service over price. After all, buy cheap, buy twice.
A trusted advisor.
A really great supplier understands your business and your long-term goals. They take time to find out what technology you have, what you could do with it and, equally, where it could be limiting your capability. They understand the impact of an outage on your staff and your customers, and won’t rest until it’s resolved.
At Safe Hosts, we pride ourselves on being big enough to know what we’re doing but small enough to care. Easy – and often – said, but through proactive account management, we can put focus on every customer, delivering a great service wrap and a personable approach.
And above all, we’re honest. Which should probably be at the top of my list.