Vetting Service Providers – How to Get it Right
Nowadays it seems as though there are a million providers for a single service, which makes picking the right one for your business feel like an almost impossible task. With access to so many providers and not all of them delivering exceptional service, it’s important to vet them before handing over your business’s hard-earned cash.
Now, it’s relatively easy to vet a potential candidate for a new opening on your employee team. Simply call up the references they listed on their CV and perform a background check. But it’s much more difficult to vet a service provider if you don’t know where to start.
Funny enough there are service providers that offer the service of vetting service providers. But how do you vet the vetters? This is the kind of question that keep us up at night.
The Ruby Digital team has dealt with its fair share of bad eggs service provider-wise. Now we want to equip you with some helpful bits of information to make sure you don’t.
A service provider without a social media presence is just plain odd. These days every business has some kind of social media presence, from ISPs to school tuck shops. A great way to avoid partnering with the wrong kind of service provider is to give the company’s Facebook page a healthy stalk.
By checking out a service provider’s social media pages you’ll get a clearer idea of:
- Their company culture
- How engaged they are with their customers
- Their reviews left by previous staff members & customers
Sometimes, you’ll like what you see and be comfortable awarding your business to them & other times you’ll be glad you never went forward with them.
Snoop Around Their Social Media Pages
Check out Their Work
Depending on the type of service the service provider offers, you’ll be able to easily check out their portfolio of previous work to make sure it aligns with what you’re looking for. There’s no point in working with a service provider if they don’t do what you’ll need them too, in the way you’d like them to do it.
For example, a web designer will have a list of sites they’ve worked on in the past, so click on those links and check them out. If you’re planning on using an events planner to host your end of year do, stalk their Facebook page to eyeball what other events they’ve done. Do their quality of work, the themes they prefer and the scope of work align with your needs?
No business wants to be associated with a business who doesn’t pay their debts. It’s good to know what kind of organisation you’re dealing with, and the people in it, to make sure they’re not a dodgy group that won’t pay its suppliers. You don’t want to associate with them and spoil your own reputation.
Cape Town based Accountability provides South African businesses with in-depth information relating to other businesses. For instance, if the service provider you’re interested in partnering with has a history of not paying suppliers for services rendered, they’ll be listed on the 3 million strong Accountability database.
Make Sure They’re Ethically Sound
What they Offer their Customers for Being Customers
Now, we know that a service provider only really NEEDS to provide you with the service in question. But with so many choices, sometimes it’s nice when a service provider sweetens the deal. Some service providers will throw in a dedicated account manager, while other providers will offer discounts, 24/7 support, referral fees or a loyalty program.
This is by no means a deal-breaker, and you shouldn’t ever pick a service provider based on how many perks they’re willing to offer. But if you’re torn between two equally impressive service providers, but one throws in a free account manager, who wouldn’t pick that one?
Picking a service provider is a pretty important task, and if you pick the wrong one you could find yourself in a sticky situation down the line.
If you’ve found a service provider who ticks all of your boxes, but you still have some worries, communicate those worries to the provider. Most of the time, they will be able to answer all of your questions thus easing your worries and cementing their spot as your top choice.
And if a service provider can’t answer your specific questions, you’ve got the answer to your bigger question.
These are just a few of the tips we’ve picked up along the way. What are yours? Share them with us in the comments section below.