ProShip takes a closer look at how service and support should play into your decision for multi-carrier shipping software.
Choosing a new or upgraded multi-carrier shipping software can be a long and arduous process – even as long as years depending on the enterprise size. With so many factors to consider, the right team should be put in place to help make the decision and provide input according to their own needs, experiences, and opinions. While the Finance team will be more focused on the bottom line and pricing scheme and the IT department on the technical specs and core technology, one factor that will need consideration from nearly the entire operation is the service and support provided by the vendor. During your evaluation process, one of the most important questions to consider is if you have a trusted partner to help you or are you just signing a contract with another cookie-cutter vendor.
It should be noted that a shipping software vendor is only as good as the product it supports. The brains and the brawn behind the company providing your business-critical software solutions needs to be totally invested in your success and committed to the partnership. Elite providers recognize that this quality of support cannot be outsourced to a third-party. Outsourced support extending beyond the vendor has been known to cause delays in resolutions, errors, and critical mistakes. When service and support is handled in-house, you can be assured that your account manager or team representative knows your unique business and truly has your best interests at heart.
Top Service & Support Qualities
Now that you understand why you need a quality service & support team, you can start nailing down the pain points your solution should be able to solve. Look for a partner who has the following traits, as they will provide most of the tools necessary to resolve any issues – from simple service updates all the way to an escalated company-wide crisis.
- A Point Person: When you have an enterprise-level company, you require a dedicated customer success person who knows your business and can consolidate support requests and maintain contracts in a straightforward and easy manner.
- 24/7/365 Support: A support solution with a team of knowledgeable and experienced professionals available 24/7 will ensure that your business can call upon support services at any time whether over the phone, e-mail or an online system. Don’t lose sleep over insufficient service in the middle of the night – a top-level support partner will have a trained contact available that’s ready to assist!
- Support Tools and Resources: While a person may be what you require for one issue, sometimes you just need access to system documentation or details on carrier specs. The right shipping software will offer an encyclopedia of need-to-know information to maintain your knowledge and more importantly, compliance.
- Proactive Services: A quality service and support multi-carrier shipping solution won’t just handle issues as they come up – they will provide regular calls and other communications to ensure they are prepared for anything and exceed customer expectations. The right partner will perform regular system checks for potential issues which could later on become a problem.
- Access to Upgraded or Escalated Support: Look for partners who are experts in both logistics and IT so they can confront common technical issues all the way up to the largest of support issues. There should be escalation tiers available to speak to a support representative almost immediately. Your downtime should be as important to them as it is to you!
The Big Picture
Knowing all of this, it’s clear: there isn’t a single deciding factor. As much as your Finance team may want to base their decision all on price, this isn’t the right path. We’ve seen large enterprises partner with a well-known vendor who will undercut on price, only to be burned in the long run when they receive no support and are relegated to an inflexible system that isn’t a good fit for their business needs.
The best decision can be made when considering a combination of all the factors involved: : Core Technology, Pricing Scheme, Speed, Business Focus, and Updates. [Jump ahead and read the entire Multi-Carrier Shipping Software Comparison Guide]
With more time to focus on other core areas of your business outside of your supply chain and logistics, your business will produce a more positive customer experience after investing in a committed and trusted multi-carrier shipping software. Furthermore, these benefits will have an overwhelming effect on your bottom line.
“ProShip has been a great partner for American Girl. Your staff’s ability to be immediately responsive and fix any issues right away has been much appreciated.” —Darlene B., Technical Lead, American Girl
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