I work with a variety of different vendors that provide a variety of different products and services to myself and my companies. The majority of them are very competent, professional and helpful. They really attempt to build rapport with me, my staff and even my boss. They take time to empathize with me about my marketing pieces and understand what is important to me. Which is what I want them to do. I want them to make me feel that my projects are just as important as a Fortune 500 company.
However, there is one such vendor that brings me nothing but issues. The sales rep is a nice lady and is, coincidentally, the owner as well. She is very knowledgeable about her products and provides direction and opinion on which products would fit us best. After the buying decision is made is when the issues start.
Now, I do all the graphic design for my company even though I am not formally trained in the discipline. But, I try to design campaigns that are not too over the top or complicated and I know I do a good enough job to keep our brand identity consistent. The pieces I design get the job done.
When I finish a design, I ask this particular vendor what format, resolution, etc she needs the artwork in to fulfill our order. She provides that to me and that is what I provide to her. But everytime without fail, she contacts me saying there is something wrong. It maybe the smallest issue that could be fixed in a few minutes, but she doesn’t have the resources to do it. So here are the things I find wrong with her firm.
1. She doesn’t have a graphic designer on staff- Her entire business model is based on promotional material in which artwork as to be submitted for every project!!!
2. She doesn’t have the updated software to even view submitted artwork- See #1
3. She doesn’t have a way to submit artwork to her through electronic means- There is no FTP site and if you attempt to email a file to her, in inevitably bounces back because the file is always too large
4. She is snooty- She just seems pretentious, which makes me even more angry because of the other issues I have with her
My entire point is: she isn’t providing me with anything of value. She provides me the bare minimum, but it is a hassle for me to do business with her. Then why do I do business with her, you ask? My boss likes her. So, I must grin and bear it. However, if the decision is ever passed to me whether or not to change vendors, she will be gone in a heartbeat.
So, my question to you is: Do you provide value to your clients? Beyond what is the norm? Beyond what is expected?
Many businesses are starting to ask for more, for less from their vendors. If you are not keeping up with what your competitors are providing, you aren’t meeting your clients’ expectations. Which means you are going to lose that business. Make sure you are providing products and services that are more than satisfactory.