Business Tips

6 Tips on How to Choose the Right Vendors for Your FEC

Are you looking for tips on how to choose the right vendors for your family entertainment center? Read on to learn more!

Are you looking for tips on how to choose the right vendors for your family entertainment center?

Decision fatigue is a real thing, especially when there are so many different solutions, products, and services available on the market!

So, how can an operator feel confident that they are making the best possible decision for their business? Read on to find out!

6 Tips on How to Choose the Right Vendors for Your FEC

There are countless traits, features, and benefits to look for in a technology vendor or any other type of vendor.

We’re going to share some of our top picks below. 

1. Support

Look for a company that offers great support, training, and helpful resources on how to use their solution if you’re ever in a pinch.

Some questions to consider:

  • Do they offer direct contact with human beings that will help you out?
  • Is an excellent support department available when you need them?
    • While 24/7 support might not be available, do they provide 7-day support? Or other avenues to help you find answers like a Help Center with resources or tools?
    • Do they offer free and unlimited support? If they charge for support, ask lots of questions!
    • Is their technology user-friendly?
    • Do they give you the tools you need to edit or work with the technology solution on your own without needing to always depend on support?
    • Do they train you on how to use their solution?

It’s important to look for companies that understand and value customer support. Companies that have a Customer Success Team are a great example. If a Customer Success Manager is assigned to manage your account, that’s a great start! Especially if it’s included and not at an additional cost to you.

A great support team will:

  • Teach you how to use the solution.
  • Train you on how to implement it in your organization.
  • Be there to grow with you over time.

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2. Adaptability

Look for a company that’s open to feedback and willing to adapt and make changes.

For example, they’ll respond to your feedback quickly after a new software release and discuss options and plans for the future with you. 

As you interview potential solutions, ask about their product release schedule and the best way to provide feedback and discuss changes. While there is no perfect solution, a great company will be respectful and honest about how they can help you.

3. Growth

Look for a company that’s just as invested in your growth as you are!

Many companies will say something like this, but when it comes down to it, what does that really mean to them?

What to look for:

  • Do they offer a blog, resource center, or another avenue to help you grow and expand your business?
  • Are they invested in the industry as a whole?
    • Do they contribute to the industry or are involved in it in any specific ways? (Ex. attend industry events and trade shows, run or participate in an industry Facebook group, host or appear on industry webinars, etc.?)
  • Do they work with or recommend other industry partners?
  • Do they help other facilities that are similar?
  • Are they providing monthly, quarterly, or annual reviews or check-ins to assess how you’re doing?

4. Marketing & Digital Experience

It’s important to work with companies that understand and prioritize the ever-expanding digital landscape. Are the companies you’re looking at posting on social media frequently? Do they have recent reviews that are positive?

Looking at a company’s own marketing is a good way to determine how they will advise you as a customer. If their marketing appears to suffer, you can bet you likely won’t receive much marketing advice from them.

Alternatively, if you notice that they are active on social media, have positive reviews on Google/Facebook, and appear to be vocal online–that’s a good sign! Ask them about their marketing team and in turn, how their customer success team will help with marketing tips and advice.

5. Sales Process

Interacting with any company during the sales process can be daunting. Many reps are too “salesy” and can make you feel like they’re simply selling and not listening to you and your needs.

Look for a company that’s consultative. Meaning, they ask you questions about your business and try to get to know you. A great sales consultant is genuine and will let you know that they’re happy to share advice, regardless of whether it is of any benefit to them.

These types of consultants will also tell you when they aren’t a good fit and refer you to companies that might be a better fit for your business. They won’t “sell” you just to “make a sale,” and they won’t mud-sling other vendors either.

If you start hearing a rep talking poorly about another solution by throwing them under the bus, that’s a red flag. 

At the end of the day, you’ll need to rely on your gut here. If a conversation leaves you feeling uneasy, create a pros and cons list to help you decide whether or not it’s worth it to continue exploring that solution.

6. Shop Based on Value, Not Price

This is perhaps the most important piece of advice we can give you! Do not, under any circumstances, make a technology decision based on the lowest price as your primary metric. 

While it’s important to have a budget, the lowest-priced solution can actually cost you more money in the long run! Poor implementation, a bad user experience, lack of support, and not providing you with the critical tools needed to be successful are just a few of the many reasons a solution like this could hurt your business.

Instead of focusing on the “cost” of the solution, look at the value. Is the company offering to hand-hold you and your staff? Are they available to meet and talk about your revenue goals, metrics, and a plan for increasing your monthly earnings? If so, they are creating additional value that is above and beyond the base product. After all, any product might “work.” The question is: will it scale with my business and will the company support, teach, and grow with me?

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