Selecting a new software system to run your business can be an involved process. There are many things to consider in a new system including: its functionality, support, price, business fit and others. While these areas are extremely important, the process is not complete without a thorough evaluation of their customer satisfaction (testimonials).
Customer testimonials are not usually hard to locate on a vendor’s website but there are a couple specific things to look for in evaluating the quality of their testimonials:
1. Do the testimonials seem sincere?
Some customer testimonials are pre-written pieces of marketing with little value. Look instead for honest and detailed testimonials – video testimonials when possible. True customer testimonials will not be expertly polished and shouldn’t be pre-rehearsed.
2. How many are there?
Quality over quantity almost always holds true, however, quality and quantity says a lot about the business in question. All but the worst businesses can produce some happy clients – look out for those with a large number of customers waving the vendor’s flag.
3. How similar are they to you?
Software systems are available in a variety of flavours, so a system that works well for one person may not work well for you. Try to identify customers of theirs that are similar to you – whether it is in size, type of business etc.
Customer testimonials may make the process of narrowing down vendors for consideration much easier since many of your questions and concerns may be answered by their current customers. Some vendors may make the process easier for you by laying out what it is that makes them stand out – often found on a why us page.
On-page testimonials, whether they are video are otherwise, should never replace several phone calls to customer references, however, they can be a great start to narrowing down vendors.