A data-driven approach to vendor support

Tue, Jan 29, '19 •

A data-driven approach to vendor support

The moment’s arrived. You’ve decided to take the plunge toward a new intranet. This means you’ll be working - rather intensively - with your vendor of choice. Do you know what to expect from them? What’s their response time? How do they measure success? Do they help with adoption? More importantly – can they quantify all this?

Taking a data-driven approach to your partnership with a vendor is crucial in evaluating your intranet or digital workplaces’ strengths and weaknesses. Here is a sample of the kind of metrics you should use to evaluate your SaaS solutions’ success.

Response and resolution time

The staple of any decent customer success metrics, they’re the first indication of the amount of attention a vendor pays to you. Rule of thumb: within 24 hours of raising an issue, you should have a response. Within 48 hours, you should have a resolution. Now keep in mind that a ‘resolution’ can’t always be a problem solved. If a new feature needs to be built, for example, then 48 hours until deployment is unrealistic. We’ll define ‘resolution’ as ‘a way to go forward’ because that’s what you want – an evolving, moving platform. In the resolution, your vendor should clearly classify the duration of the solution between short-term, mid-term and long-term.

In other words: you should always know what to expect and when.


High Net Promotor Score (NPS)

Don’t be afraid to ask your potential vendor for his average Customer Success NPS. If it’s anything lower than 90 out of 100, alarm bells should start ringing. Customers can be unhappy because of slow or inadequate responses, unclear communication or worse: a faulty product. High NPS indicates a well-working product and good service – both of which you should expect.


Average contact moments

Ever had to ring support 15 times just to get your internet connection to work? Yea, that’s not what you want from your vendor. Aim for five-or-less interactions to get to a resolution. If you’re already on the third interaction it’s time to push for clarity – for example through a shared-screen call.

Service uptime

Especially in case of Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, uptime is a crucial reporting metric. An uptime of 99% means that your service will be down seven hours a month. How many nines should you expect to be added to that? We believe it should be no less than 99.9%.

Adoption rate

How many people actually use your purchased SaaS solution? Which number constitutes ‘bad’, ‘good’ or ‘great’? Randstad Sourceright achieved an adoption rate of more than 90% with their social intranet solution – are you prepared to put in the work to achieve the same? Vendors have limited influence on adoption beyond ensuring platform stability, but you should expect help in getting people to use your platform, even if we’re only talking about sharing best practices.

More than a vendor, you need a partner

It may not be as easy to quantify as service uptime or NPS scores, that doesn’t make this less important. Your vendor should be your partner. They should care about your service uptime, your adoption rates and all those other metrics, and they should act as thought partners and help you to get the most out of your SaaS solution. Unless warranted, a hands-off approach is a red flag.

Author:

Jonathan Davies

Date:

Tue, Jan 29, '19

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