Vendor relationships play a growing role in the success of businesses today. Think about how you work on an everyday basis now compared to how you may have done it as recently as a decade ago. The rise of cloud apps, mobile-optimized solutions and similar technologies have transformed how we get the job done. With businesses using more digital apps to solve key pain points, they are more reliant on their vendors to support operations.
Today’s technologies are changing how businesses operate. Apps and technology services designed to address specific operational challenges are helping companies automate tedious processes and empower employees to focus on more valuable work.
The challenge facing companies is figuring out how to identify the right services to invest in, something that really begins with identifying vendors they can trust. When subscribing to apps and services, you aren’t just signing up for what the technology does at the moment; you are starting a relationship with a vendor that will update its solutions and add functionality over time. If you can trust your vendor to provide support, listen to your feedback and make necessary updates in a timely manner, then you are more likely to get value from relationships.
Trust is essential to long-term success, but the process of gaining trust begins when you start looking at third-party reviews on software sites like G2 or Capterra, and extends through the entirety of the relationship you have with a solution provider.
Evaluating Vendor Trustworthiness
Identifying if a vendor is a fit begins with your initial research, well before you actually talk to any of the vendor’s representatives. This is where review sites really become valuable. Third-party sites provide objective, user-driven input into what it’s like to work with a vendor. What’s more, detailed reviews will cover a wide range of topics, including:
- Customer service and support
- The implementation process
- App performance and design
- Cost relative to the value created
Getting these kinds of details upfront can help you assess a vendor with a stronger point of view. If the feedback highlights a weakness, you should specifically ask how the vendor is addressing them. And, conversely, look at how a vendor’s strengths compare to your specific needs to identify it’s a match for your business goals. In either case, reviews give you some idea of what it’s like to rely on a vendor.
With this initial knowledge, you can go into the marketing and sales process prepared to ask the right questions. As a result, you’re able to accurately and effectively evaluate a vendor.
Trust with a vendor is often a matter of setting expectations upfront. If the vendor sets great expectations, but doesn’t live up to them, the relationship will decline quickly and upset both parties. But once expectations are met, the relationship can be a harmonious one. From there, you’ll also want to take a careful look at the service level agreement and negotiate with your vendor to make sure it’s a mutually beneficial setup that protects you both from any problems that may emerge down the line.
How TaxJar Builds Trust
At TaxJar, we’re a customer-focused business. Our operational model is built around solving sales tax for mid-market eCommerce companies. It’s such a point of emphasis that it even helps drive our recruiting.
When Carolyn Urban, our Vice President of Customer Service Organization, joined the team, she did so in large part because of this culture.
“It was an easy decision to join the leadership team at TaxJar,” she said. “Taking great care of customers is embedded in our core values. Lots of companies claim they are customer centric – at TaxJar we live it everyday.”
These values are reflected in our ratings on review sites. For example, we obtained a five-star average rating in G2 user reviews, in which we received scores of:
- 98% in ease of doing business
- 98% in quality of support
- 95% in ease of use
- 96% in meets requirements
On top of this, 60% of customers received a return on investment in six months or less and another 40% did so within the first year.
Further, in January of this year, G2 recognized us as leaders in the High Performer, Best Support, Momentum Leader, and Best Relationship in the corporate sales tax software and compliance tax software categories.
This feedback points to our customer service and trust model. We don’t just focus on providing good service, but also a strong implementation process, quick value delivery and continued support throughout the relationship.
We believe this holistic approach to the customer relationship is key to building trust, and it’s the kind of thing any business should look for when selecting a vendor. To see how we compare to other sales tax vendors, check out our rankings. And, if you are looking for sales tax management software, we’re disrupting the industry with an easy-to-use, customer-focused solution that gets results quickly. Visit TaxJar.com to learn more about how our software can be the right solution for you.