The “Best Workplaces” make the best partners
I recently returned from visiting customers and prospective customers in Australia and Europe.
Leaders of organizations around the world recognize that when they are selecting an enterprise solution, they are buying more than software. They are partnering with an organization that they will depend upon for continuous R&D, upgrades, customer service and technical support.
From 20 years in the technology industry, I can tell you that a great predictor of customer service and technical support is the provider’s workplace satisfaction.
Choose an enterprise information management vendor with happy, engaged employees
Unfortunately, the Gallup Organization released research in January indicating that 50.8 percent of U.S. employees are “not engaged” in their jobs. Worse, nearly one in five employees is “actively disengaged.” This lack of engagement has consequences not only for the employers but also for the employers’ customers. According to Gallup, disengaged employees “show up and kill time, doing the minimum required with little extra effort to go out of their way for customers.”
Gallup’s findings about the impact of disengaged employees, which also can be described as employees with low morale, are not just a recent phenomenon.
“Low Staff Morale & Burnout: Causes and Solutions,” a publication by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, cites research from 1968, 1996 and 1999 finding that an unhappy workforce leads to “reduced quality of service, and poor customer outcomes.”
These findings match the experience of everyone who has ever needed customer service. In a corporate, IT situation, it goes like this:
Business demands change, and in our high-tech world, these demands require changes to enterprise software solutions. CIOs turn to their trusty system administrators. No matter how well trained, these folks sometimes have to call for technical support.
Unfortunately, technical support from vendors is too often slow. The call taker too often seems to be new to the job. And all too often, these call takers do the minimum required, leaving problems unresolved for long periods – if they ever get fixed.
Maybe you take steps to end your contract with the vendor. But this could take days, weeks or even years.
By then, it’s too late. The system administrator looks bad to the CIO. The CIO looks bad to the CEO. The entire business suffers from the lackluster customer service of one of its key vendors.
That’s how important choosing the right vendor is to the business food chain: Everything depends on a seemingly tiny decision early on in the process.
How to find those EIM vendors
Because partnerships have such long-lasting impacts, we need to answer the question: How engaged are the prospective partner’s employees? What is their morale?
Of course, references provide insight. But objective measures provide another level of confidence.
For example, Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” reflects employee engagement and morale. The publication partners with Great Places to Work to conduct what they call “the most extensive employee survey in corporate America.”
In addition to surveying a random sample of employees, they audit companies’ cultures. This audit examines “pay and benefit programs and a series of open-ended questions about hiring practices, methods of internal communication, training, recognition programs, and diversity efforts.”
For three years running, Fortune has honored Hyland, creator of OnBase, with a spot on its list.
We moved up 28 places this year to crack the top 50 companies in America. Being ranked No. 48 makes us the 8th highest ranked company of any type in the Information and Technology industry. Moreover, we are the only vendor on the list in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for ECM and the only vendor in the Q1 2016 Forrester Wave for Dynamic Case Management.
The reasons we at Hyland hold our company and product in such high esteem definitely go beyond the pay and perks like our badminton court and retro bicycles for traveling between buildings on our campus. It definitely helps that our ownership has been consistent since 2007 and that we are perennially profitable – that definitely gives employees, as well as customers – peace of mind.
Maybe what matters most is that we care about each other and what we collectively contribute to this world.
We are committed to remaining on this exclusive list because being among Fortune’s best companies to work for is a key reason Hyland, creator of OnBase, is the best enterprise content management (ECM) and case management provider for organizations to work with.
Our customers agree. They communicate this to us with their loyalty. Last year, our customer retention rate was 96 percent. They tell us this at our annual Team OnBase, TechQuest and CommunityLIVE conferences, too.
Best of all, we hear it from our customers after they engage us for technical support.
As one customer recently told us: “Hyland has been a great partner in getting us set up and support has been excellent!”
And that’s the greatest award of all.