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How Can Vendors Deliver on Great Expectations?

As a technology provider, AutoAlert has the weighty obligation to deliver great service and support to its customers, North America’s franchised automobile retailers. 

As a dealer, do you entertain great service expectations from the vendors with which you do business? If not, you should – and you should hold them accountable for meeting those expectations.

This is an important issue. Because a recent article in Wards Dealer Business explored it, this is worth remembering here again that dealerships are customers too. 

For this article, AutoAlert's director of Client Care and Training, Kyle Warner, was interviewed. Kyle noted that dealers evaluating vendors should look deeply into the vendor’s after-sale training and support.

He shared three major topics worth considering to ensure that maximum value can be ascertained when evaluating technology vendors: 

  • How extensive is the vendor’s support? Initial user training and ongoing IT support should be the minimally accepted support services. Does the vendor offer additional training, whether in-class, webinar or video? Is the Help Desk capable of resolving technical issues promptly; can it answer user questions;  and can it also provide process guidance to help users maximize system productivity and therefore see a measurable  return on investment?
  • Does the vendor’s support rep know automotive retail? Support personnel having in-dealership experience, either in IT, F&I, sales or service are better able to relate their products’ application to the dealership’s processes from a holistic or big picture perspective.
  • How often do the vendor’s sales/technical rep(s) visit?: How frequently does the vendor’s representative visit the dealership after the sale – and for what purposes? Ideally, training and support should include upper management, to ensure maximum buy-in of the technology.

Dealers, are you holding your vendors accountable for what they promised during their selling efforts? Are you utilizing all the tools your vendors make available to help you get the most out of the products, services or software you buy from them? When was the last time you saw reps from those vendors – when was the last time you called them to have a one-on-one?

Vendors know you’re busy. We know your business is selling cars, not dancing with suppliers. However, I think you would agree that because you do business with the vendors you do that you should have great expectations that your dance with them will yield results for you.

If, however, you feel your toes are being stepped on, make a call and voice your concerns. Ask questions about why expectations aren’t being enjoyed. Most vendors want to do what is right and will appreciate the chance to keep on dancing with you.

Views: 92

Tags: autoalert, deliverables, rating, satisfaction, service, vendor, vendors

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