While I have spent considerable time in the Software as Service “SaaS” arena, I am new to the telematics and fleet management industry. I am just now beginning to understand some of the nuances regarding the overall customer experience.
One of the enlightening insights that team members and prospects have shown me is the willingness of organizations to consume GPS and fleet management software that is either deployed by third party installers or offered by re-sellers. As a regular consumer of B2B software myself, I found this unusual. I will always choose to deploy software solutions that are developed, deployed and supported by the provider.
My fundamental reasons are provided below:
- Software Development-Control over features and continuous product improvement is critical for a long term relationship. They have full control over my feature requests, integration projects and special configurations and it is in their best interests to improve the product.
- Implementation-The company who builds the software is best suited to ensure my implementation is successful. They know the correct way to install the hardware and the optimal way the software should be used. I have found in my career that anything less than full control of the onboarding experience from the provider results in more problems and time wasting then I care to deal with.
- On-Going Customer Support-I always want one customer success number and account management team to call for all of my companies questions and support. Why would I want to call one organization who needs to call another organization and yet another before I can get resolution. I have just never had a good experience with this.
This led me to explore why this is a typical occurrence in this industry. I spoke with both clients and prospects who are in various stages of migrating to us (50% of our new clients are moving to us from legacy systems) and the findings were enlightening; although not unusual for an emerging market:
- Buyers did not know or ask if the company was the developer or re-seller of the product. They just assumed they were working with the software developer. They quickly realized the difference once there was a software issue.
- Buyers just expected that implementations and vehicle installations were being done by the provider only to find out afterwards that this was being outsourced to a third party.
- Buyers did not know or ask how their account would be supported. They did not realize they were signing with a re-seller who has no real control over the product until their first issue.
- This was their first software buying experience and they did not recognize the importance of the customer experience.
Not overly complex answers and easily remedied. This exercise also helped me realize where we can improve in helping prospects during their buying journey. In my opinion, working with thousands of clients nationwide while maintaining a negative churn rate can be directly attributed to us maintaining full control of the entire customer experience. Therefore, we are now highlighting the same points denoted above as to why our soon to be clients long term experience will be better with Vehicle Tracking Solutions.
Once you determine the customer experience that is right for your organization the above pitfalls can be easily mitigated. Simply request that your potential vendor/partner commits their structure to you in writing prior to any buying decisions. This will empower you to review the real facts and make a decision that is critical to your operational and fleet productivity
Good luck and please call us if we can be of any help or if you have any questions! Thank you.
Vice President, Sales