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When do you know it’s time to end a relationship? It’s never an easy decision, but there are always certain red flags that indicate they aren’t the one for you — and your Salesforce® B2C Commerce Cloud Partner is no exception here.
Gaining a new partner can be very promising at first. If your organization doesn’t have the internal resources or expertise needed to staff an in-house team, the right partner can “complete” you. In the case of Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud, they can be the missing piece of the puzzle that enables you to transform customer experience with a new level of personalization and relevance, and bring sales, marketing and eCommerce closer together than ever.
But what if, when the honeymoon period’s over, you realize they aren’t really supporting you as a business? You find yourself wondering what your partner’s actually bringing to the table. What’s going wrong?
On a business level, switching partners can be a big decision to make, so you have to be sure it’s the right one. We want to help you. Since we started our B2C Commerce Cloud practice two years ago, we’ve discovered four main reasons our clients switch from their previous partners to us. Here they are:
1. They aren’t giving you enough attention
Okay, so it’s unrealistic to expect you’ll be the only one your Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud Partner is working for. And who would want a partner nobody else wants, anyway? But if you feel like you aren’t getting your fair share of their attention, that’s cause to reevaluate your relationship. Are they only giving you the bare minimum instead of full support and ongoing, proactive enhancement of your solution?
Your partner may not be attentive when it comes to:
- Resolving your support tickets or task requests
- Training/onboarding your staff to use your solution
- Giving you product/solution performance information
“If they really want your business, they’ll make time for you.” Ideally, yes. However, they may simply not have a wide enough bench to meet your needs, with the relevant people or teams already occupied dealing with another client. It’s possible your partner may have stretched themself too thin, which is often the case with global system integrators (GSIs). These may have commitment issues — i.e. too many commitments. They’re a partner to many but devote little attention to all but a select few — usually their biggest and most lucrative clients. Nobody wants to be an afterthought while someone else gets all the attention.
Whatever the reason for the neglect, it’s limiting the value you gain from your partner. You need to find an alternative with both the necessary scale of resources and expertise readily available. Time to say goodbye.
2. Poor performance (and they can’t get it right)
When your eCommerce solution is delivering unsatisfactory customer experiences, that’s a sure sign your Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud Partner isn’t cutting it. Maybe there were flaws with the original implementation (e.g., a poor integration with a third-party app), and/or perhaps care hasn’t been taken to optimize your solution since then. Regardless — it’s causing abandoned shopping carts and costing you sales and customer loyalty.
Your customers may be encountering:
- Slow loading speeds for web pages or search results
- Poorly designed UX (user experience)
- Payment and checkout issues preventing purchases
Much of the time, you may not even know these issues are even occurring — and your partner may not inform you of them. A partner that isn’t diligent enough may not alert you, for instance, if you have a high customer dropout rate at checkout. On the other hand, a better partner will investigate and may discover they can decrease the dropouts by five or ten percent, or even more — which could mean a very significant increase in revenue for you.
This kind of diligence is key. All the time your eCommerce website is stricken with poor performance and quality issues is time spent not fulfilling its full potential for you or portraying your brand optimally. In these situations, you need to make a clean break. Find someone else who will be capable of putting the spark back into your sales and brand perceptions. Because otherwise, customers might start considering leaving you.
3. They aren’t responsive enough to your needs
You’ve got needs you want your partner to fulfill, but you feel like you’re being “left on read.” Those requests could be tweaks to your eCommerce sites, routine admin and maintenance or a more involved project — whatever, it’s affecting your ability to respond to the market with agility.
You may be experiencing unacceptable delays in:
- Making additions or changes to your product lines
- Developing a new site feature or alteration to site design
- Rolling out a campaign or service to your customers
Once again, this may come down to your partner being overstretched. But it’s causing you to miss opportunities and fall behind competitors and the wider market when it comes to innovation and consumer trends. So, they’ve got to go.
4. You’ve outgrown them or you want different things
Do you ever feel like they’re holding you back? That’s never good. Your platform needs to evolve as you grow, and you want a partner who will support you as your business enters new phases. If you can’t see a future together, that can be a real problem. Your Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud Partner should be ready and eager to help make your organization’s ambitions a reality.
They may be unable to help you achieve:
- Complex multi-market/region solutions needed for global brands
- Implementations for local market specifics (e.g., payment methods)
- Compliance with regional accessibility or data protection regulations
As well as seeking deeper and wider expertise, you may find you need a partner that’s a little more “worldly”. One that has dealt with global brands, handled the unique concerns of different regions and has teams and offices around the world. And, to avoid the pitfalls of a long-distance relationship (e.g., communication issues), you may find it beneficial if they have both local client-facing teams and delivery hubs at scale.
All of that might be a tall order, and in fairness to your partner, your business situation may now be very different from when you first got together. Your plans, needs, business model and company itself have changed. So, this old phrase may unfortunately be true: “it’s not you, it’s me.” You’ve changed, and you need someone else ready to enter the next chapter with you.
A Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud Partner that will treat you right
So, we’ve explored the warning signs to look out for. But what — and who — should you be looking for?
At VRP Consulting, we’re different. Combining the scale and capabilities of a GSI with the attentiveness of a boutique consultancy, we’re not like the others. We’ve made sure we have all the expertise and the resources you need, including a dedicated B2C Commerce Cloud practice, as well as a Managed Services offering that can even support 24/7 “follow-the-sun” support if you need it.
Unlike the GSIs, we take good care of clients of all sizes, so if your budget doesn’t stretch to a whole team, you can rest assured you’ll have a dedicated technical specialist as well as a delivery manager who will communicate with you regularly, take an active interest in your solution, and suggest improvements — all transparently costed. And with 16 offices around the world — including core centers of excellence and regional hubs in 12 countries — we think globally, deliver locally and we’re more than ready for your future growth and ambitions.
So, if you want your business to get the attention you deserve, just get in touch.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud Practice Lead
About the Author
Martin leads our dedicated B2C Commerce Cloud practice. He has led teams on Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud projects for major global brands including household names in fashion and sports retail.