Resolving Issues & Vendor Relationships by Jim Johnson

Have you ever contacted a vendor asking them to help to resolve an issue for a customer?  Have they given you answer that to you doesn’t seem to be the right answer?  Perhaps the vendor rep was quick to respond without giving the issue much thought.  To you, their “no” should have been/could have been a “yes”. 

What can you do?  Try this:

• Press the vendor for further clarification.

• Consult with your internal teams. Chances are, someone else has had this issue and will readily provide insight you need to hear.  

• Go directly to your top experts if you gut tells you you’re not at the answer yet.  Count on your company’s brain trust. 

• Work fast and expect others to do the same to resolve the issue. FORGOTTEN ISSUES BECOME BIGGER, UGLIER ISSUES IN THE FUTURE!

• Share what you have learned with others. Spread the knowledge. 

• Clearly communicate the resolved issue back to your team. Communicate for them to understand. Be careful not to “write” as you understand the answer.  
• Remember who your audience is. Customers don’t think like we do nor do they speak like we do. 

Vendors deal with their customers all day long.  You will get a rep that gives you the quick answer – not necessarily the right answer.  Think it through.  Ask questions.  Press.  Get a second opinion.

For your customer’s sake and the sake of your team, work fast to resolve issues with your vendor.  You’ll learn more.  Your team will develop more. Your vendor will learn about accountability.  Your customers will be satisfied that you followed through. 


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