Vendor relationships are business, and while that is not to say that relationships develop with the people you work with - at the end of the day, it is about results. And as a dealer, you should never feel obligated to stay in a bad relationship. Here are the top reasons it's time to break-up with your vendor.
P.S. on the flip-side, selecting a re-bound vendor is not the solution either. In fact, it is best to have to have another vendor lined up having executed a plan to switch. Everything from the time the new service begins, to creating a checklist of all the items that have to be handled immediately for a seamless transition.
Communication is a two-way street. The dealer is just as responsible for contacting the vendor - working with them - as they are to contact you. However, the dealer should not have to beg for reports or answers to questions regarding their results or how to use their application.
But, if your account manager has not said hello in 6+ months, and the only time they speak with you is if you have called support and mentioned an issue then it is time for a new account manager or time just to leave! If you are able to get another account manager who works for you, great! If you keep playing ping-pong with reps getting a new one every month or so than it is time to move on.
If the numbers are not adding up and look like a college calculus problem gone south than it might be time to evaluate. Albeit, before making a vendor switch try and work with their account manager to resolve the reporting issue. At the end of the day, however, realistically it is not acceptable for the dealer to have to manage the reporting for a vendor!
The vendor should work with the dealer regarding the reporting on a monthly basis. Ensuring that all questions are answered. And most importantly, making sure that their reporting is transparent and accurate. Given that business decisions are made from reporting. Bad reports = Bad Business Decisions, which will have a negative impact on your store.
We have all been in a situation at one time or another where the vendor promises the world and just how easy it is to integrate their services within our existing DMS or CRM. Only to find out it is an absolute nightmare! To make matters worse, the vendor relies too heavily on one point of contact at the dealer who in many cases ends up solving the issue themselves dealing with all the vendors at once.
I have been there and done that, which frankly has been of the most stressful encounters! Some of the best vendors I have worked with do not have this problem. As their account & integration managers are top notch. Working with the dealer every step of the way. That is everything from the integration to initial stages of the product! Not to mention, they take the time to check in monthly. Working with you to strategize a plan that makes sense.
Still pinching and zooming on your phone when using the vendor's product? Perhaps to check reports on your phone because their mobile app does not have any reporting? If so, it might be time to make a switch. There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to view your application reporting on the fly. Whether that is the need to grab quick information for a meeting or the ability to check-in on the go!
The vendor - in this day & age - should have a platform that supports the ability to view and check reporting on the go. If not, then when you’re done pinching and zooming on your phone take a minute to look for new vendors. Paying attention to their mobile website. If it is easy to use and offers an excellent experience than it is a good indication of what their products experience will be like.
Bottom Line: A vendor should be adding to your bottom line! If they are not - first, step back and ask yourself “Are you using the product and its features” More often than not, less than 30% of the product is used!
If that is the case, take a minute to review what and how your current vendors overlap. Seeing if there is the ability to remove one or more of the vendors whose services overlap. This could easily save you thousands of dollars, which can be used for a much better service! Especially since it seems that each product & service is just $699 more! If the vendor cannot offer you quality reporting or consistent service (because they ignore you) then it is time to move on and break-up!
Have you ever broken up with a vendor? If so, looking back - is it one the best things you did? On the flip-side have you ever broken up with a vendor to only go back?