How to seamlessly switch service providers
From broadband to credit control, businesses rely on a wide range of suppliers and service providers on a daily basis.
Finding them in the first place can be an arduous process, contacting several for like-for-like quotes and dissecting different service level agreements to ensure you find the most suitable partner for your company.
Perhaps, then, it should come as little surprise that, once found, it’s very easy for businesses to stick with who they know rather than continue to explore the market in search of a better service. Many are also deterred by the disruption that can be caused, particularly when moving away from a long-standing provider and the need to change or align processes.
However, switching to new suppliers can be one of the most beneficial exercises a business can undertake in terms of cutting costs, reducing wasted spend and improving performance.
By focusing on the end goal, you’ll soon realise that switching providers is only a little pain for a lot of gain. But once you’ve found a better supplier or service provider, how do you go about switching?
Here, we look at six steps to take before switching providers to ensure it’s as seamless as possible:
1. Determine the reason for switching
First and foremost, make sure you know what you’re changing supplier for. Is it because the existing provider isn’t delivering a good enough service? Could it be because your outsourcing a function for the first time? Or perhaps it’s simply to reduce cost. Whichever the reason, use this to guide your search as if, for instance, it’s to improve service, it may be better to look at a more premium provider.
2. Compare the true cost
When making comparisons between existing providers and the shortlisted alternatives, be sure to compare like-for-like to get the best deal possible. It’s also worth bearing in mind that some providers will be keen to retain your custom, so this process may result in you getting a better deal with your current provider. However, don’t be blinded by offers of reduced prices if the reason for the move is more than cost-based.
3. Check contract lengths
Read your current contract to be certain that it has expired, allowing you to switch without any ‘early exit fees’. Also, take note of the length of the new contract you are signing up to. Do you want to be tied up for a long period of time or are you looking for something more flexible? Many service providers will offer an introductory period during which a much shorter cancellation notice can be given, should they fail to meet expectations.
4. Read customer reviews
If you’re unsure of your new provider’s reputation, check comparison sites for customer ratings and satisfaction scores on the company’s own website. Customers make for the harshest critics, and their reviews – both good and bad – will give you a realistic picture of the service the provider offers, allowing you to enter into a contract fully aware of what you’re getting in to.
5. Speak to the providers
Speak to both your current and the chosen provider to see what the timescales and processes are for switching before agreeing to move, and make sure everyone is on the same page so that there are no surprises when you go to make the move.
6. Get your house in order
Getting your house in order will result in a smoother switch. Make sure the timescales fit with your business’s critical activity and be firm to make sure these timescales are adhered to. The last thing you want as a working business is to be left without a provider for a long period of time because the timescales were not achievable.
Is your external credit control agency or internal department failing to bring the best results for your business? Call our team today on 0800 9774848 or enquire online to find out how we could help you to get paid sooner and keep cash flowing.