Score Vendor Relationships Using Customer Feedback


Score Vendor Relationships Using Customer Feedback
By: Marc E. Carlson, RRP
CustomerCount© Business Relationship Manager

Some colleagues and I were debating whether or not a periodic report from a vendor that provides an overview of the work completed on behalf of the hiring organization is sufficient enough to understand the customer interaction with an outside vendor. The consensus among this group was it would be wise to have two sets of information available: structured survey questions related to customers interacting with vendors and having a periodic report delivered by the vendor. Combining the two will allow decision-makers the ability to have more collaborating business intelligence related to the vendors’ interaction from a customer standpoint and that of the vendor. Using this method will also allow managers of vendor relationships to attach a score using its “enterprise customer feedback solution”: so they make track the level of satisfaction of doing business with an extension of the brand. For instance, Vonage hired ACCENT Marketing Services to handle inbound calls for new activations and servicing existing clients with questions regarding their phone service. Vonage receives daily activity reports from ACCENT outlining a variety of Key Performance Indicators, but the data does not tell them how the customer felt about that interaction. This is a prime example of why you need to incorporate the vendor’s activities with your enterprise customer feedback solution so you can get the customers’ perspective. You might want to consider adding a question or two in your customer feedback survey asking about the interaction with the outsourced call agent to obtain your vendor score.

Scoring vendors using one’s enterprise customer feedback solution will help assist a decision-maker during their annual vendor reviews. This way, you do not have to rely on the vendors report for an entire picture of how they are servicing your customers. It was also brought up that vendors should be made aware they are being scored on a continuous basis in order to determine if they are meeting customer’s expectations in their deliverables. I could go either way on this one. I suppose if I had to choose between informing my vendor of the inclusion of survey questions directed at the activities they have with my customer or not, I would choose to inform them. The thought behind doing so is that I want my vendor to know I am evaluating them on a continuous basis. I do not have to wait for a predetermined time to conduct an evaluation of the vendor and hope that by keeping them continually accountable is the key to our business relationship being successful.

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