It's been a week of transition at my house. It started with my swapping from iPhone to Android and concluded with our switching of cable providers. We went from Verizon FiOS to Xfinity. It's with this second switch that I see a lot of parallels with our work here.
The search began after we started seeing advertised rates a full third less than what we were currently paying per month. Knowing that savings opportunities were out there, we took a look at the market. If we didn't want to go FiOS, we were pretty much limited to going back to Xfinity (we had switched from Comcast TO Verizon several years ago). Since I did not like Comcast/Xfinity and wasn't really stoked about possibly returning to them, we looked at non-cable alternatives.
When you get away from the big players and the all-inclusive "triple plays", you can expect to lose out on channels, features, and services. So we threw together a list of what we needed and wanted. Did we need certain channels? Did we really need a DVR, or was it nice to have? Could we do without a home phone and rely on a cell? Could we drop it entirely -- use cells for phone, use an antenna for TV, and hit the neighbor's WiFi?
Ultimately, we decided to go back to Xfinity, namely because I need constant Internet connectivity for multiple devices, some requiring a hard line connection, and we don't need another antenna or satellite collecting snow and ripping off the side of the house to the tune of $500 in repairs (fun story).
Great choice, you might be thinking, but why are you telling me this and what are the parallels to Source One's business? I'll explain.
Sometimes, we may identify a best-fit solution that involves a supplier that our clients don't like, or they've had a previous bad experience with. In instances like this, it's the client's choice to either swallow a bitter pill or to leave money on the table. The decision-making process is the same for both, as are common persuasion points.
The money. Spending less money is always a great persuader. Here, the savings were 1/3 of our current monthly cost, which is substantial. But cost savings is commonly associated with "poor quality" and "cheap", so the next persuasion points weigh heavily.
The product. We plotted out the channel guides for all options to see that everything that we wanted would be there. We looked at performance reviews for Internet connectivity in the area. We verified our choice against every quantifiable aspect we could find to make sure we weren't losing anything in the swap. Translating this to the professional sphere, reluctance/discontent over changing to an alternate product can be soothed with hard evidence that the performance and user experience will be identical or better.
The quality. We looked at every review we could find and talked to friends & neighbors that we knew were Xfinity subscribers. We wanted to make absolutely sure that the hardware was solid, the service was good, and the customer support wasn't absolutely abhorrent (with cable, that's about the best you can hope for). Translating this one into the professional sphere, any available whitepapers, statistics, and spec sheets you can present to show that the replacement product or supplier is not going to muck up everything is a great way to smooth a transition.
The expectation. If you have a previous bad experience, you already know what to expect and can craft workarounds. In the Xfinity example here, we know they will likely mess up our bill once or twice, and will find every way to jack a rate up after the contract is up. We know to monitor our billing and prepare to ditch them at the two-year mark. Professionally, you have more options here as previous bad experiences can likely be corrected, or at least prevented from recurring, through contractual penalties.
Ultimately, if someone is strongly opposed to making a change, and they have enough anger, willpower, or clout, that change isn't happening. Still, persuasion never hurts. What's the biggest argument you've ever heard against changing products/suppliers and how was it resolved?