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Blog Series: Rethink the Role of the Customer Experience Vendor – Part 3
In an earlier post, I described the Status Quo as a monster, and a monster can take many forms. Sometimes it’s a multi-headed dragon that breathes fire and kidnaps damsels. Sometimes it’s a smiling salesperson with a shiny slide presentation. The latter incarnation won’t steal your gold or destroy your village, but it will make you believe all kinds of nonsense to get you sign the dotted line for a less-than-optimal solution to your problem.
One thing you’ll hear the Status Quo repeat: Cloud deployments are paid for by subscription; on-premises deployments are bought with a big upfront investment. That’s how it was, is and always will be—end of story.
This news is hard to digest if you’re a prime candidate for an on-premises deployment from a requirements perspective, but you don’t have a capital expenditure-style budget. Now you’re in the position of having to sacrifice requirements for cost—maybe looking at a hybrid solution or a phased approach that tacks disparate solutions together for the Frankenstein’s monster of customer experience platforms. Or you must convince your stakeholders that an uncharacteristically large investment is a risk they need to take.
Either way, you’re resigned with the notion that you can’t get exactly what you want—you should take whatever is given on the vendor’s terms and walk through the buying journey they’ve constructed. When that moment occurs, the Status Quo has you where it wants you. Think of the Status Quo as a James Bond villain, sitting at a large desk, chuckling to himself while stroking a fuzzy white cat.
The Rise of the Customer Experience Provider
Luckily for you, customer experience vendors are waking up, and some are done using the title of “vendor.” Instead, they strive to be “providers” for their customers. Customer experience providers understand that when you construct journeys for customers, you don’t start with the technology you sell and work backward. You start with the type of long-term relationship you want to have, and that means listening to what customers want.
When you do that, you realize no one aspires to become your customer. People want a partner—someone who is invested in their success from day one.
Customer experience is complicated. There’s no way around it. It’s both an art and a science to learn how to wield every aspect of your solution like a pro. And nurturing the artist and scientist in you takes time. The best way to mitigate that pain is to have someone at your side, year after year, who will invest in your success so that you never feel alone with your purchase. Businesses with on-premises deployments traditionally don’t receive that type of relationship, even though they need it just as much as businesses who choose cloud deployments.
Customer experience vendors only think about the short term; they aren’t concerned with what happens to you down the road—as long as they get their lump sum upfront. Customer experience providers, on the other hand, want you to be skilled at maximizing the value of your software so you can achieve your objectives. And that means treating every deal like a partnership. It means providing the option to have the benefits of an on-premises deployment with the lower upfront cost of a subscription.
Despite what the nefarious Status Quo would have you believe, this is possible today. Don’t decide to buy on-premises customer experience technology until you’ve watched our webinar, “Living the Cloud Life—On-premises.”
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