Why Relationships with Your Tech Service Providers Might Be Waning

Building strong business relationships between technology service providers and enterprise customers in 2022 and beyond can become challenging without the right thinking. As companies continue to outsource more of their technology needs to various technology and service companies, customers must work to create a bond that, when necessary, can significantly improve the type and speed of service received. Let’s take a look at why these relationships are waning, the potential impact on business, and some tips on how to rebuild them.

Lunch and picnic days are dwindling

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was common for technology vendors and service providers to gather together for frequent lunches or outings to talk to their customers. Although these activities still happen from time to time, the chances of meeting face to face are actually dwindling.

With little personal interaction with critical partners that help move the business forward, IT leaders risk that the service provider will lose sight of their specific business needs and goals and start seeing you as just another faceless customer. If this happens, it may have a detrimental effect on the level of service provided and the outlook for future partnership engagements in the future. Additionally, important lines of communication for your business may not be available when a quick response from your service provider is required.

Communication in flow

Despite COVID-19 and Work From Home (WFH) policies in place for nearly two years, many IT decision makers still believe that the day will come when everyone goes back to work, and business relationships can be quickly repaired and repaired. However, as the days, weeks, and months go by, this scenario seems less likely all the time.

If IHA policies are to remain for the foreseeable future, both parties must work to re-establish communication channels. However, this may require a little extra effort on the part of the customer in the partnership rather than the service provider. The reason is that service providers are still trying to figure out the best way to re-engage their customer base given these uncertain times we are living in. What they are likely discovering is that the type of communication and the methods used to communicate are fundamentally different from one another. customer the next day. Therefore, it may be wise to proactively help the provider understand the best way to communicate and collaborate with your organization.

Use of in-company collaboration tools

Over the past two years, the use of enterprise-wide communications with enterprise-grade voice, video, and group chat collaboration tools has kept teams and departments on the same page in terms of a business objective. The great thing is that these same tools can be leveraged to make convenient and informal B2B communications with clients and their service providers. Collaboration tool suppliers are working hard to expand the reach of their products for use in cross-business situations.

Depending on the collaboration platform used within your organization and that of your service provider(s), cross-company collaboration channels can take the form of guest accounts, direct/open federations, or cross-platform integrations where each party can collaborate using different vendor collaboration platforms. Regardless of the desired B2B integration strategy, conversations must take place between the customer and the service provider to determine what is feasible from a telecom technology perspective on both sides.

Insist on formal interactions too

While creating a medium for quick and informal communication between clients and external service providers is useful for quick responses to daily tasks, quarterly or semi-annual formal meetings should be created and put into calendars as well. Again, audio/video conferencing tools can be used for these types of meetings. However, keep in mind that there is still tremendous value in communicating face to face in terms of solidifying this partnership and truly understanding the needs, desires, and limits of both parties. Regularly scheduled formal meetings should focus strictly on what has worked in the past as well as projected plans.

Again, this is a win-win situation where formal meetings can get to the heart of what the customer wants and what the service provider can deliver. Service providers are always interested in understanding the direction their customers are heading from a technology and business point of view. Collaboration using this type of roadmap information helps create a common set of goals between the two organizations.

Flexibility is key in 2022 and beyond

It’s safe to say that no one really knows what the business landscape will look like in 2022 and beyond. While the epidemic may indeed subside at some point, it is not likely to happen any time soon. For this reason, it is no longer wise to continue to neglect service provider partner relationships and assume that the links formed in the past will remain strong in the future. Instead, now is the time to come up with a few resilient communication strategies aimed at rebuilding those connections. Doing so will help restore business partner governance and reduce the overall risk of miscommunication, misunderstanding, and missed opportunities between organizations.

What to read next:

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How CIOs Should Manage the Rapid Transition to the Cloud

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