Communicating with Vendors: How to Get the Information You Need


By Katie Torres

You make a call because a piece of major equipment has gone down.

You're on edge because you know that fixing this equipment is highly time sensitive, and absolutely essential to the functioning of your business.

And to make matters worse, you're not hearing back from your vendor about what's going on.

It's frustrating to you to have to frequently ask for information, and maybe still not receive the answers you need, even after repeated questioning.

What do you do?

We see this so often in our line of work, and we have spent a lot of time working on ways to prevent it from happening.

When this happens, it all comes down to an issue of communication.

We talked last week about communication, and how it is the backbone for any business to run smoothly.

Great communication is also specifically the solution to the above scenario. 

So here are three ways we have found to get the information our customers need from our vendors:

1. We always keep in mind that, "If our customer is asking us for an update, we are not doing our job well".

If you have to repeatedly ask for updates, this means that you are not getting all the information you need; you are not being served as well as you should be.

We have found that following up with vendors frequently on behalf of our customers takes the pressure off of our customer to find the answers they need. 

We don't just assign a work order and let it sit until completion.

We follow up, again and again, keeping our customer updated so they don't have to worry about whether or not the job is getting done. They will know.

2. We recognize that knowing the job is getting done is not necessarily enough for our customer.

Sure, it's great to know the job is getting done.

But what is the timeline? What has gotten done so far? Are there any complications in completing the work? 

The questions could go on. 

Not only do we provide updates on whether or not the job is being completed, but we have also paid extra close attention to providing updates about every detail along the way.

3. We have found that leveraging technology is absolutely essential to keeping our customers in the loop.

Phone calls and emails are great, but when it comes to information about the repairs of your equipment, you'll want to know that no bit of it is getting lost due to disorganization.

We believe that technology frees people to be people, so they can do what they are best at. And we believe this so much that we've invested a great deal into our technology to make this possible.

For instance, we have set up our software to communicate with leading CMMS software like ServiceChannel and Big Sky. 

This means that it takes less time to communicate the information our customers need, and no detail is lost in the process. The automation in our software helps greatly to ensure this as well.

Whether you are a facilities manager who is managing work orders, or you're trusting another company to help you with the process, look out for these solutions to make sure you are getting the information you need.