Come, on – guess.
Come on, just one guess?
As you probably know if you follow me on Twitter, my blog, or anywhere in this world – I am a judge and organizer for the CRM Idol competition (link to more details). A large part of the process, until now, has been checking references. We asked each of the 60 vendors (40 in The Americas, 20 in EMEA) to provide us with three references each so we could vet them, make sure they were “legitimate” vendors and that their customers thought the same.
I took advantage of the many hours of therapy since I left Gartner, I do feel much better now – thanks for asking, to use part of the model I used back then for references: score them based on the value of the reference they provided: glowing reference, positive, neutral, or negative. I also used open-ended questions, versus numeric scales, to make sure we got some “meat” and not a simple score.
It was very telling.
Enough wasting your reading time, here is the scoop. Among the ~160 references we received back, the number one – by far – reason for a good reference and continuous business was:
No, I am messing with you. Seriously, the number one reason references said they would continue to do work with a vendor was the team on the vendor side, attention to the client’s needs, and quick action to solve problems. In other words, the person-to-person relationship.
True, this is a very tiny segment of the world, but if you think about it – what do your customers rave about when they give you good marks? Your technology – or your people?
Just thought you would like to know as you plan your expenditures for the next year…