Are You in a Bad Relationship With Your Software Vendor?
“We provide outstanding customer service.” You’d be hard-pressed to find a scheduling software company that doesn’t make that claim. That’s because making claims is easy. Backing them up—that’s a bit more challenging!
Sadly, poor customer service seems to be on the rise across all industries. Part of the reason is customers feel “locked in” to their provider. Maybe it’s because they have a contract. Or perhaps they just dread the thought of switching. Whatever the reason, that sort of “forced loyalty” means companies can (and too often do) essentially ignore the needs of their customers. “They’ll keep coming back,” the thinking goes, “So why invest in providing great service or enhancing our products?”
At Mazévo, we look at things differently. Many of our team members previously were at Dean Evans and Associates. There, we were proud to have a reputation for providing excellent customer service. When a user had an issue—with our system or some inefficient or cumbersome process their organization made them follow—we worked with them to resolve it. And it was an “all hands” type situation when necessary, including getting me, the CEO, on the call if needed.
That spirit of collaboration and collective problem-solving has carried over to Mazévo. In fact, it’s a cornerstone of our company and why organizations are coming to us at an ever-increasing rate.
How do you know if your current software provider is taking advantage of you? Below we share some of the most common signs our new Mazévo customers experienced with their old provider. See if you can relate to any or all of them.
- Lack of Customer Support
“Lack” has a couple of meanings here. Many scheduling companies take an extended time to respond to requests for assistance. That may be explained by the fact that 1) their systems are buggy, and 2) their understaffed support teams simply can’t keep up.
Companies also lack good support because their support team members only have a rudimentary knowledge of their products. Our new customers will frequently share stories about how they had to help the support person understand the product!
“Nickel and Diming” Customers Seeking Answers
It’s become increasingly common in the software business that the free “support” you receive is only for the most basic questions. Anything beyond simple how-to inquiries requires that you purchase professional services.
So, not only are you not getting the customer service that should be included in the price of your product, you’ve got an extra expense if you want to get the answers you need.
In an attempt to get a little more money from you on your way out, many companies have contracts that automatically renew unless you give advance notice. That notice may be required as much as 90 days in advance!
This means when you’ve had enough and decide to move to a new system, you may end up “paying off” your contract even after you’ve made the switch. And depending on the contract, you may be required to pay for an entire year’s access to the old system you’re no longer using!
Short-Term, Profit-Focused Thinking
Many scheduling software companies have adopted a short-term perspective on their operations. Their focus is on shareholders, and their goal is to increase the company’s value to please them. As a result, anything that doesn’t lead directly to increased profits is ignored.
So, they may outsource their support since that’s less expensive, cut R&D (research and development) spending, and tie incentives and bonuses to short-term company goals. As a result, you may think, “They just aren’t hearing us!” However, the reality is likely that they do hear you, but addressing your needs just isn’t part of their profit equation.
A common profit-boosting tactic is to release new products and discontinue support on old ones. Of course, support must end on old products eventually. But when a company makes that change quickly, they’re clearly trying to force customers to upgrade so they can stay supported. And when the “upgraded” product offers little or no additional value, this can be a particularly painful experience.
High Employee Turnover
Scheduling software companies that treat their customers poorly typically treat their employees similarly. As a result, those people move on. If you’re continually being introduced to a new account manager, that should be a red flag.
Lack of New Software Features
When a company takes forever to update its system, there’s a reason for that—and unfortunately, the reason is not that they’re adding lots of great new features!
They don’t want to pay a team of developers to enhance their product, so a few overworked, underpaid programmers bang out a couple of meaningless functions that get bolted onto the system’s decades-old chassis. Then, the company releases the new version to great fanfare.
But when you implement that version, the lack of care and effort in developing it would be laughable if it weren’t so costly (in many ways) to you and your team.
Calling Out Companies on Their “Customer-First” Claims
If there’s a silver lining to any of this, it’s that people are finally catching on. By one estimate, just 12% of people today actually believe a business when it says it “puts customers first.” It is also a fantastic opportunity for companies that make customer satisfaction their top priority. We’re proud to say we’re one of them.
At Mazévo, we’re not looking to maximize profits or please shareholders. Do we want to grow our customer base? Of course! But we’re not under any pressure or time limit to do so. We honestly enjoy providing a leading-edge scheduling solution at a fair price and backed by attentive, expert customer service.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs described our approach to business decades ago in a Time Magazine article explaining why his company was so successful:
“I found that there were these incredibly great people doing certain things, and you couldn't replace one of these people with 50 average people. They could just do stuff that no number of average people could do. Small and medium-sized teams of these people could accomplish extraordinary things and run circles around large teams of normal people."
How does this approach manifest in our day-to-day operations? Our customers get the following:
- Detailed product information. Even before a customer becomes a customer, they have access to all the information they need to understand our solution. And they appreciate our transparency about product features, pricing, etc. Plus, we’re happy to provide product demos and even allow people to test drive Mazévo in a “sandbox” environment.
- Comprehensive knowledge base. Our customers have 24/7 access to a vast array of articles, dozens of training videos, and other resources they can use to get new employees up to speed or get answers to their questions. And this information isn’t an “add-on” to their system. It’s free and freely available!
- Our commitment to “continuing education.” Through resources like our live, online Mazévo Connect webinars and blog posts, we’re always sharing fresh perspectives from Mazévo users, helpful insights on best practices, etc. And the audience for our Connect webinars, which customers often moderate, continues to grow. These events serve as a monthly “user’s conference” of sorts, and the feedback we get is that people love to talk with and learn from their peers and our team.
- Fast, friendly, knowledgeable, in-house customer support. When you have a question about your scheduling system, you want answers from someone who fully understands it and is happy to talk with you about what you’re trying to accomplish. And you want to connect with them asap. We answer most calls immediately, and when we can’t, we return calls within minutes. Plus, if the person fielding your call wants to bring in other perspectives, they don’t bounce you from person to person. Instead, they put you on a brief hold and get others to join the call.
Signs Point to Yes
You’re probably familiar with the old Magic 8 Ball toy. Ask it a question, shake it up, and the little floaty thing gives you your answer. If you feel like your current scheduling software company doesn’t really care about your organization because of the indicators above, you should ask yourself, “Is it time to move on?”
The answer that appears from the ball’s murky depths? “SIGNS POINT TO YES.”
Schedule a Mazévo demo today!