Recipe for Success: Switching Service Providers
Changing service providers – for anything – is a big decision.
When you decide to take the plunge and appoint a new repairs and maintenance contractor, you need to know that the changeover take place smoothly, effectively and with business as usual at the core of the change over. There’s a lot at stake!
At Osborne, we place a great deal of importance on getting this first stage of the relationship right. We’re all about building good, long term relationships with our clients and we know that effective contract mobilisation is vital for getting off on the right foot.
Drawing on years of experience we have honed our approach and our processes and we know what works. Here are our key ingredients for success:
We consider great relationships are fundamental for success. (We also happen to believe it’s just more pleasant when people get along!)
We think of our clients as partners rather than ‘contracts’ and we aim to work collaboratively with them right from the early dialogue stages. We want to get to know them and develop our understanding of their business so that we can pre-empt issues before they arise whilst building the open communication channels that will be vital for a smooth transition.
Honesty & Trust
For any relationship to work, it has to be built on honesty and trust.
We ask our clients to be honest with us about what they hope to achieve and what they expect from us and we are honest with them about what we can deliver, this way trust is built.
We find the best way to ensure our clients are comfortable to talk honestly about what they want is to allow plenty of time for face-to-face pre-contract discussions.
That way, by the time we kick things off, we’re already on the same page.
Being realistic on cost
Understandably, clients wish to start any contract as they mean to go on… with a close eye on the budget.
We help our clients to take a realistic approach to balancing cost with their desired quality outcomes.
Whilst maintaining excellent service and customer satisfaction during the changeover might mean higher up-front costs, the savings that are delivered once the contract is up and running will deliver a return on that initial investment in quality.
Keeping things simple
Contract mobilisation is a bit like plate spinning; there are numerous moving parts, all of which need to be kept on top of. It can be easy to lose focus.
We have refined our processes to keep everything as simple and visible as possible for us and for our clients.
This allows everyone involved to stay focused on what needs to be delivered, ensuring a smooth transition.
Getting people on-side
When a change involves the transfer of employees, we always remember that those ‘employees’ are individual people going through uncertain times.
We know we need to get them on-side if they are to turn up to work enthusiastic and ready to deliver a better service.
Alongside good communication, time is a critical factor for success here. The minimum period required by employment law for the transfer of staff is four to six weeks. We generally advise 12 weeks for an effective mobilisation. Yes, it can be done faster, but like in motorsport: the faster you go, the greater the risk!
All of these factors, along with our extensive experience of mobilising contracts over the years, add up to create a successful first step in the partnerships we create. If you’d like to talk to us in more detail about how this could work for you, we’d be delighted to hear from you.