In a large organization, choosing a provider for a mass communication tool, or any other solution for that matter, is not a simple task. Often times, there is a bidding process where vendors respond to a Request for Proposals. Now, producing the RFP in the first place is extremely complex. You have to factor in all the possible functionalities the solution should have for any possible disaster scenario you can conceive. And even when this comprehensive and exhaustive list is on put paper, there is still crucial information that can’t truly be captured. Often, it’s these details that make all the difference between a vendor that you keep and one that you want to get rid of.
When all the tangibles are pretty much equal, such as functionalities, security, capacity, references, and price, how do you make a decision? You may go back to the drawing board and analyse the proposals even further. Perhaps you get hung up on details that, in the end, will be inconsequential. Finally, you sign the contract, and hope it all works out for the best.
But sometimes, it doesn’t. The Send button works only half the time. Your campaign reports are not integrated to the solution. The telephone prompts, as well as support and training are not provided in the correct language. The mapping and document storage modules cost extra. The only contact you have is an automated service. Unfortunately, these issues happen more often than you’d think.
So what are the intangibles, those elements that are not explicitly written into RFPs and contracts? At ERMS, we’ve isolated three main variables which we think are essential to foster a strong and stable relationship with our clients and that we put in practice every day: reachability, adaptability and accountability.
In this electronic age, we are hard pressed to reach an actual human being when we have a question or problem. At ERMS, our support team is available 24/7 and a live person answers service calls and emails. In addition, your implementation and training teams are also reachable when you need them the most. Real names, real people, real time.
By adaptability, we also mean problem solving. ERMS has always prided itself on listening to its clients’ needs, which are unique from one organization to another. Whether it’s customizing training, adding or enhancing functionalities, our implementation and development teams track every request and comment. These are carefully weighed, thought out, and many make the cut; in fact, about 85% of enhancements on our road map come directly from client input.
It’s easy nowadays for service providers to hide between the layers and depths of technology. When something fails, and indeed it happens even to the best of us, you can be transferred from department to department, often in a country on the other side of the world, then end up pouring your heart out to a robot and never hear about it again.
ERMS is different. If there is an issue, we give you an explanation. We monitor our systems continuously and if a problem can’t be prevented, then we fix it, right then and there. Our processes are transparent, our employees are dedicated and we operate from this side of the globe.
The quality of ERMS services is second to none. When all variables are accounted for, our yearly average customer retention rate, since we started in 2002, is over 98.5%. According to internal sources, some of our competitors see their retention rate at 65%. At the end of the day, this sounds like a lot of unsatisfied clients to us.
When you select a new emergency mass notification system for your organization, choose with all the information in hand: the elements you can measure, as well as those that are a little hidden, but really valuable.
Otherwise, you risk being stuck for years with a solution that really does not work for you and your organization. Wasting money is bad enough, but think about the time invested by your staff in training, learning the application, creating templates, loading data, adapt your business continuity plans to the system, only to impatiently wait for the end of the contract and start the selection process again. Is the frustration of having to deal with a provider who dodges your calls, and the team tagging involved in finding the person who will actually help you is really worth the trouble? We don’t think so either.At ERMS our approach is unique and that’s because we offer a specific product. Disaster Management, Business Continuity and Emergency Planning, that’s serious business and must be supported by a robust mass notification system, delivered by people you can trust. Our emergency communication solution is a fully integrated tool and includes 7 modules that are specifically designed to manage incidents, from the day-to-day operational hiccup to full scale disasters. But that’s just what gets our clients in the door. It’s ERMS’s reachability, adaptability and accountability that keep them with us for the long haul.