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Managing Customer Expectations: The Channel Partner and Software Vendor Challenge

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Traditionally, enterprise software projects were all about up-front licenses and follow-on maintenance fees. For a software vendor or channel partner, success was to get the job done and get paid. Little importance was placed on building a good long-term working relationship with the customer. But, as software vendors move to the cloud and to subscription-based pricing models, this traditional approach does not work so well. Success with subscription-based pricing requires a good long-term relationship with the customer. Software vendors and channel partners alike are aware of the changes but have at times been slow to respond or adapt to the new reality.

This change is triggering what one industry luminary recently described as “transition anxiety.” Software vendors are doing everything they can to ensure ongoing customer loyalty. While this is effort well spent, first impressions are the most important (like it or not), and a subscription customer’s first impression
of a technology vendor is likely via a third-party channel partner such as a digital agency or systems integrator.

Digital Clarity Group’s most recent research, based on 25 interviews with IT customers at large organizations, tells us that software vendors need to look much more closely at this critical element of the customer relationship. In most scenarios, the channel partner is the face of the technology vendor’s product throughout the planning, development, and deployment stages, and many are leaving a less-than-stellar impression. The quality of the channel partner’s relationship with the subscriber and the impression it leaves will be a legacy for the software vendor to manage as it works to convert new customers into loyal subscribers in the years to come.

In this free report, Digital Clarity Group shares early trends and analysis emerging from the data collected in the VOCalis Voice of the Customer research program. If you’re interested in learning more about how VOCalis can improve the success rate for your clients, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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