Preparing for Customer Reference Calls and Site Visits
Congratulations, you and your team are coming down the home stretch. By now your team has already completed your final onsite scripted demonstrations and your team has a rank order of the finalists starting with the one you feel most comfortable doing business with. Now, as part of a final due diligence process, you need to check customer references.
It should be recognized that everyone’s work life is busy – both yours and potential vendor’s customers who would be willing to take reference calls. It is highly recommended that you only do reference checks with the vendor’s customers whom you’ve selected as your top preference.
It is highly unlikely that a customer reference check will reveal something negative enough to make your project team uncomfortable with moving forward with the given preferred vendor. That being said, on a rare occasion where something surprisingly goes awry with your preferred vendor’s references, you can always move on to your second choice.
In some cases, companies trying to finalize a selection process will be unable to reach a consensus as to which vendor is their preference. However, using customer references as a tie-breaker almost never works and wastes peoples’ time – both yours and the potential vendor’s customers (see everyone’s work life is busy above). To prevent your team from falling into this situation, it is best to try to avoid this entirely by defining a tie-breaking process up front.
Download the Preparing for Customer Reference Calls and Site Visits white paper.
The Preparing for Customer Reference Calls and Site Visits white paper is part of TGI’s Software Selection Tool Kit. To download the complete Sofware Selection Tool Kit, please click here.
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