It’s no surprise your members’/customers’ perception of your institution is based primarily on how well you provide them with the services they want when they want them. If your ATM isn’t working, your online banking goes down or your mobile app isn’t responding, who gets blamed?
Hint: it’s not your vendors. Because nine times out of 10, consumers never even think about vendors. Your vendor’s performance is your performance. You need to make sure you know if you’re getting the performance you require.
It’s amazing that, today, when vendor performance is so crucial to your success, credit unions and community banks often don’t have the tools to know for certain how well their vendors stack up in achieving the objectives they hired them for. If you want a house custom built for your needs, the builder needs a blueprint to know what your objectives are in order to meet them. If the builder follows the blueprint, you’ll get the house you expect. If you can’t give your vendor a blueprint to build the kind of results you want, you’ll continue to have disappointment and an adversarial relationship.
Three steps to getting the performance you want
At Maple Street, we’ve developed a method that lets you measure and monitor performance so you can hold vendors accountable. It’s a three-step process that, like a blueprint, defines the results you want, gives vendors clarity on what is expected and puts you in control. With this process, you have a way to gage how well the vendor is doing in achieving the desired results. Here’s how it works.
1) Identify the specific results you want from a vendor
Ask yourself, “What is it you expect the vendor to do or provide?” Define the deliverables in terms of results that are SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) not generalities like “good service.”
2) Build a scorecard with the vendor
Create a format that works for your objectives. There’s no specific format you need to follow, but it should be consistent for all objectives. Ask the vendor to be apart of the development, so you can be in agreement with one another. The vendor should be able to provide the information and data to measure your goals. Things to remember:
- Vendors often want to engage with you in this exercise as part of their account management programs
- Define cadence for data/information delivery and create the scorecard
- Share the scorecard with the vendor so the vendor knows and agrees on how it will be evaluated.
3) Measurement and problem resolution
Use the scorecard you and the vendor developed to score or rate the vendor on the performance results you desire. Set short check-in calls at regular intervals to review results and discuss remedies for deficiencies.
Identifying SMART goals that are agreed upon by you and the vendor, creating a scorecard to measure results and having meetings or check-in calls to review and remedy any concerns will not only improve performance, but gives vendors clarity on what is expected – improving vendor relations for a win-win.
At Maple Street, we’re here to help. We can develop your scorecard, working with you and your vendor to facilitate check-in meetings and make sure everything runs smoothly. Give us a call at 800-513-6839, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.maplestreetinc.com/learn/ to learn more.