You rely on your agenda management software. If it fails, you could be in serious trouble. Yet customer service is not the top priority of all software providers – far from it. Once they’ve got your business, some really don’t care anymore. However, customer service is absolutely essential to the full functionality of any integrated agenda management solution.
Why It’s Important
Imagine you’re the chairman of a public board that is holding a meeting in three days. As chairman, you’ve been preparing for the past two to three weeks – collecting agenda items, inviting speakers, confirming agenda items and reminding committee chairs to get in their reports. Now that it’s all ready to go, you log on to the public-facing website of your board portal to post the agenda and any attached readings.
When you click where you always do to upload files, you get an error message that you’ve never seen before. You have only an hour to spare, though, before your posting would be too late to meet the 72-hour requirement of open meeting laws. Frantic, you pick up the phone.
The voice on the other end of that phone call determines the fate of your meeting. These scenarios are all too familiar:
In any of these scenarios, you won’t be able to meet your posting deadline. You may have to reschedule the meeting – which would mean contacting everybody whom you’d asked to make presentations.
While you waited, you would wonder if the disruption was caused by a technical error or if your board had been hacked by a ransomware outfit, like the cybercriminal ring that attacked Atlanta’s inadequately secured computer system. It cost the city over $2 million to restore its services. Or, you’ll fear, maybe you were targeted by a ransomware ring with an ideological motive; ISIS broke into SchoolDesk software, seizing the “airwaves” of over 2,000 school districts relying on the service for their websites. ISIS used the captive audience of students to air recruiting videos. Until you got an explanation of what had gone wrong, you would fear the worst.
Lackluster customer support would be comparably crippling if you used your public-facing website to conduct any transactions like bill payments or scheduling parent-teacher conferences. Then, some of your basic operations would be suspended until a solution was found. Again, you’d be stuck – losing money and/or public confidence by the minute while you waited in the vain hope that the voice on the recording might call you back.
How to Tell If a Software Company Will Provide Good Customer Service
When you shop for integrated agenda management software, therefore, it is crucial to demand uncompromising customer service. It matters every bit as much as other features that you require, like role-based authorizations or collaborative editing capacity. Your challenge: The lazy vendors are not so honest as to print, “We don’t really care!” on their materials! How do you know if they’ll be there when you need them?
The smart shopper can ascertain a vendor’s commitment to providing prompt customer support anytime it is needed by asking three questions:
Responsive, knowledgeable customer support is a necessity, not a luxury, in agenda management software. Fortunately, finding a sound company with a record of excellence is not a game of chance. Look for software that promises trained responders to all calls immediately – regardless of the time or day. Check if the software company has been recognized for a track record of customer service. And check the long-term ownership record of the software brand; continuity is essential. Armed with these criteria, you can buy software from a company that won’t leave you stranded when you need them the most.