You should always expect your vendors and suppliers to provide excellent service, but it’s not easy to predict the types of customer experiences a new provider will deliver. Choosing a cloud services provider that prioritizes optimal customer experiences will make your life easier as you use your solutions day to day – and, ultimately, a relationship with the right company can save you time, money, and headaches. The challenge, especially for companies implementing cloud solutions and services for the first time, is how do you figure out if your cloud provider is good at delivering a great customer experience?
In the interest of creating a guide, here are a few ideas to ensure your experiences are the best they can be:
1. Communicate Your Expectations
For a cloud services provider to meet your expectations, they need to know what they are. For that reason, they’ll draw up a service level agreement (SLA) that puts everything in writing. An SLA clearly states which services you will receive and how you can expect them to be delivered, taking the guesswork out of your business relationship. Don’t be afraid to carve out your own SLA needs & wants during this process.
For example, Virtual Systems’ SLAs state that a human will respond to email tickets within one hour. Customers know they won’t have to wait two or three hours for a response – and likewise, they know not to expect a response within 10 minutes. When everyone is on the same page and the vendor provides the level of service you’ve agreed to, problem-solving and workflows go more smoothly. So don’t hesitate to use the service level agreements to guide the conversation about what you need.
2. Work with Vendors with Internal Support Teams
Ask your prospective cloud services provider who you’ll speak to when you call for technical support. Connecting with a member of the provider’s team directly will result in the best experiences. If a vendor relies on an external help desk, you probably won’t be talking with someone familiar with your account or the specific solution stack you use when your first call. It’s also likely that the person answering the phone will follow a flow chart or script rather than speaking from experience. Technology customer experiences are much better when you can immediately reach a knowledgeable professional with a focus on problem-solving, rather than having to explain your issue to one or two people before you connect with an expert.
3. Look for NPS Scores Specific to Technology Customer Experiences
Quantifying technology customer experiences and ranking prospective vendors may seem difficult, but it is possible using Net Promoter® Scores (NPS). To determine its NPS, a company asks customers how likely they are to recommend their services to a colleague on a scale from 1 to 10. They calculate the score by subtracting the percentage of customers who give the company a score of 6 or below (“detractors”) from the percentage of customers who give the company a 9 or a 10 (“promoters”). “Passive” responses of 7 or 8 are discounted. Theoretically, scores can range from -100, when no customers would recommend the company, to +100, when all customers would.
In general, any score above 0 is good, 50 and above is excellent, and 70 and above is considered “world-class.” Research shows, however, that the average NPS varies from industry to industry. According to CX management software provider Retently, technology and software companies have an average NPS of 39. As with any type of vendor, it’s smart to choose a cloud services provider that’s at, or preferably, above average.
Give Your Business the Advantage of Optimized Solutions + Experience
Of course, a team that’s the most skilled in providing excellent customer experiences still needs to provide you with industry-leading technology and match the solutions you use with the features, security, compliance you need. When a cloud services provider delivers both the right technology for your business and great experiences, you’ll get the greatest value from your relationship.
Virtual Systems, with an NPS of 67 based on our most recent May/June 2021 survey, would love to share more information on the types of experiences we deliver to our technology customers. Contact us!