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6 Resolutions Your Business Technology Partner Must Truly Value in 2020


With a new year and new decade arriving, technology's only going to embed itself deeper into the workplace. It might be a great time to assess what your technology partner values deeply — in 2020 and beyond. 

Peter Drucker once wrote that “customer research may be more important than market research—but far more difficult.”

In other words, if it’s not relevant to the customer, it doesn’t matter. And if a partner can't figure that out, they're likely hurting for value.  The success of your partnership with a business technology vendor rests primarily on those differentiators that matter most to you. That’s not as easy for vendors – technology vendors being no exception – to uncover and deliver. It takes a particular mind-set by your provider to follow through with actual customer needs and wants.

While the relevant, productivity-enhancing solutions will differ from each individual organization (based on infrastructure, industry, etc.), the need for an established, trusted partnership with whoever provides your technology is universal.

When your provider truly knows your needs and can deliver tangible results, the value is undeniable.

With a new year and new decade arriving, technology's only going to embed itself deeper into the workplace. It might be a great time to assess what your technology partner values deeply — in 2020 and beyond. 

6 Resolutions Your Business Technology Partner Must Truly Value in 2020.

1. The Initiative to Prepare.

Being in tune with what's really going on in your organization? That takes preparation. 

What level of research does your partner do on your organization ahead of time? Given the evolving nature of technology, do they bring new ideas or considerations to light? Are they just an account representative discussing your lease payment, or a business process consultant who can discuss actual workflow challenges, productivity-enhancing solutions, and return on technology investment progress?

From a service perspective, how prepared is your technician? Advanced-level training and certification doesn’t just satisfy the company trophy case. It satisfies clients.

The reality is that many print-related services issues today are complex in nature. The variables that exist often require much more troubleshooting than what can be found in a standard training manual.

Manufacturer distinctions such as Canon’s Association of Technical Service Professionals (ATSP) certification require literally hundreds of hours of onsite and online training for technicians. The job function-based exams are designed to measure both the knowledge and the demonstration of the skills that are required in real-world settings for a support professional against a set of standards for competency and performance.

Likewise, in your production print space, are you forced to maneuver through workarounds in attempts to achieve a desired final product? Do you have the opportunity to speak to a G7 Certified and/or Certified Management Professional Fundamentals representative to optimize production processes?

The reality is, you know initiative when you see it ... are you seeing it now?

2. The Capacity to Speak Your Language.

Many companies claim technology expertise. Fewer combine such expertise with the knowledge of how to apply it to individual industries. Workflows, regulations, and cultures differ; does your provider offer a technology solution that's relevant to your industry? Do they have a vertical marketing approach that governs their approach to solution development and deployment? 

Or is it just a "box mentality?"

Your technology partner should be well versed on the key documents at play in your industry, the key departments at your organization and what they prioritize, compliance requirements and challenges you may face, and even the jargon or buzz words that float around your office every day. 

The quickest way to help businesses go vertical with their technology and ultimate results, is a partner who values and takes a vertical business approach to their industry.

3. The Creativity to Dig Deeper.

In the world of workflow you may be talking about replacing a MFP, but the technology selection discussion should dig much further than that. The intent should be to examine the actual movements of your documents to provide the best possible workflow your organization. The approach should be holistic in nature.

How deep and wide does the dialogue of discovery travel with your account representative? 

Has your provider shown the ability to deeply familiarize themselves with your current situation – potential needs years down the road? Doing so means uncovering pain points, asking open ended questions, listening more than talking. And then taking a creative approach to solving a real business problem, and a flexible one that accommodates your organizational needs.

4. The Willingness to be Held Accountable.

Simply, do they own their solution recommendations? Do they own the responsibility to maximize the associated technology investment? A regular Partnership Review should be part of the routine with your account representative, reviewing solutions to see if we're on track. Where we can improve.  What's changed and what makes the most sense next.  

Service performance categories should be measured on a regular basis, and you should have full visibility into the numbers for everything from "Response Time" to “Resolution Time” to even "Accuracy of Billing."
And then, your partner should be held accountable for those results. It’s that simple.

The value of account management is always under-girded by demonstrative accountability.

5. The Ability to Respond − and Resolve.

When dealing with your account representative, how easy are they to get? Are your needs for information, alternative solutions, new workflows, being responded to and properly addressed? It could be service pain points, change management, or simply billing questions that are giving your admin team a real headache. 

What about service response? What's the initial response time? Minutes? Hours? Days? From the initial call, did they outline a specific time frame for their visit and follow through with you perceive to be an acceptable service response time? 

The foundation of customer service – and minimized client downtime – is responding and resolving quickly. A copier service provider who can’t address and then accurately interpret service requests intelligently and with speed has little value.

There is great value in asking for metrics. Its a valuable litmus test that can ensure your best partner selection and/or retention.

6. The Worthiness of Your Trust. 

Trust, it can only be earned.

In his book “They Ask, You Answer,” Marcus Sheridan writes that “Every business has a single tie that binds them all together when it comes to consumers and buyers, and that is trust.”

Trust with your technology provider should come organically based on the information discussed above.  Do you trust their solutions and recommendations? Do you trust that they're digging deeper than just selling you a box?  Do you trust that they'll remain accountable when challenges arise?

Businesses today are all vying for your trust, but have they created enough value to really earn it?

Datamax understands, just like Drucker, that customer research trumps market research. That’s why we’re resolving to  “Value Up!” at a whole new level as our corporate theme for 2020.  Are we missing something that our customers value from their trusted technology partner? The success of our mission rests supremely on the level of value we deliver. Knowledge. Thought Leadership. Responsiveness. Initiative. Partnership. These are traits that will fuel our journey with you in the coming year.

Interested in learning more? Schedule a technology assessment so we can begin preparing, digging deeper, and providing you with the Raving Results your organization deserves!

schedule your technology assessment today!

Topics: Office Equipment Technology Support Technology Pain Technology Training