Five Reasons to Hire a Service Provider
The landscape of service providers is vast and often confusing. There are thousands upon thousands of digital agencies, systems integrators, creative design firms, marketing technology companies, and many others. While their name can signal a difference in approach, many of these organizations follow a similar mandate: to help your organization succeed. A large part of figuring out which partner is right for you, is dependent on knowing your organization’s unique needs. But there are certain things that each service provider brings to the table.
Having covered the broad world of service providers over the past two years, I’ve learned a few things about the landscape, how service providers operate, and why they are so essential in ensuring a successful implementation. These partners are often the difference between success and failure in web content and customer experience management implementations. Here are five key reasons why:
1. They bring expertise. Understanding the complexities of content management and customer experience management systems is no small feat. The best service providers won’t claim expertise in every approach or technology out there. They will, however, bring expertise in the areas in which they are highly qualified – the ones with which you need assistance. Make sure their expertise and your needs align.
2. They have experience. Experience is a key component, and it’s not the same as expertise. An experienced service provider will know the ins and outs of your chosen technologies because they understand the product and they will have implemented it numerous times already. This means the service provider has great in-depth knowledge, but also brings a practical element to the table because they have the experience to understand the behind-the-scenes quirks that vendors may not disclose, or may not even know about themselves.
3. They don’t play politics. Service providers don’t belong to any one internal department – line of business, IT, or otherwise. They bring a point of view that doesn’t carry the same implications and connotations that an internal member might have. Challenges could arise before a technology implementation even starts because stakeholders with competing interests could hamper, or even threaten, an otherwise successful project by skewing the parameters. Service providers can help by acting as a broker who has the organization’s best interest at heart – because they serve the whole organization, not just a single department. They are an independent, external resource that can be used to help figure out a suitable action plan without bringing politics into the mix.
4. They can see the big picture. Often brought into an organization to help deal with a tactical problem, many service providers advise beyond the technology implementation or design brief and help with broader strategic questions that are easier to identify from outside the organization. They will look at things like planning, execution, hand-off or post-implementation services, education, and more – and help you think of approaches that perhaps you hadn’t yet considered. Taking a look at the big picture (technology-wide, or organization-wide) is often easier, and more realistic, when you have an experienced expert looking from the outside in.
5. They want success just as much as you do. Top service providers are increasingly developing long-term relationships with their clients. While some service providers offer one-time engagements, many prefer to parlay single projects into long-term relationships. With either one of these options, it is in the service provider’s best interest to deliver a successful project. Not only will it build interest in extending projects into future work, but clients will be more likely to give a positive reference, and that means more business for the service provider. Furthermore, developing long-term relationships with service providers can bring added benefits, such as having a partner who understands your organization well enough to develop long-term strategic initiatives and limit risk on future projects.
Whether you choose one service provider to help you with all your needs, or several who are highly specialized in one competency or another, the bottom line is your organization will benefit immensely from the expertise, experience, neutrality, vision, and drive an outside organization such as a service provider can bring.
If you need help selecting a partner, replacing a partner, or finding the best strategic partner, give us a shout. We also have a vast assortment of individual service provider profiles , handy tools, and lots more information.