I’ve worked with a ton of dealers over the years helping them with their managed print programs. One of the cornerstones of any good managed print program is a good remote monitoring and management platform. Compared to other expenses in the business, remote monitoring is extremely inexpensive yet many dealers insist on only monitoring and paying for the devices they are managing. As soon as the assessment is over, they “clean” out the unmanaged devices and only continue to pay to monitor the devices under contract. Here are 5 reasons that decision could be costing you a lot of business:
The competitive Intel: One of my specialties is training dealers on how to sell using assessments. There aren’t too many contracts out there where a dealer has all the business and many assessments are conducted to try and win the stuff not being managed. In the assessment phase everybody sees value in collecting information on competitive devices. It would seem crazy not too! Volumes, utilization levels, costs - customers expect them to be bang on. Most dealers understand the value of the data in helping improve close rates. But this information continues to be useful throughout the life of the customer relationship because it can be used to build a business case against competitors over time. The more data you have, the longer your relationship with your customer, the more likely you are to win your clients over to your side of the argument for giving you all the business.
Showcasing competitor’s flaws: Customers only realize the difference in service levels when they are spelled out for them. If you continue to monitor every device, you can produce SLA reports in your business reviews to show how much better you are! In order for them to believe you, solid data is required. Getting and storing service alerts on the other provider’s devices and preparing intelligent reporting on downtime and other failures compared to your much better experience is almost unfair. But who ever said business was fair? If you’re better, use the device data to prove it.
Replacement suggestions based on REAL Intel: Customers expect us to try and sell them things. They don’t mind that. What they get tired of is the continual rant that our gear is way better than their gear and they should rip and replace everything. A better and more effective way to drive competitive device replacement is to use data. If you notice that a small printer is getting more page volumes than some of the MFPs, you can start asking questions around why that is. Sometimes the answer is simple, like the quality of color or the ability to use a lower cost consumable. Armed with data you can make recommendations on a better piece of equipment more suited to the business problem they are solving. No data, no way to convince the customer you have a better solution. Of course you could revert to ranting about why your stuff is simply better, no data required. Maybe it’s healthier to allow your competitor to be in the account too.
Your customer will thank you: Even if you don’t use the data on competitive devices for your own benefit, your customer will thank you for helping them to get a more holistic understanding of their total office printing habits. We talk about delivering “value” and monitoring your competitor’s devices and providing useful information is a high impact/low cost way to do that. If you’re looking to build street cred’ and prove to your customers that you provide more value than your competitor, provide more value! Sometimes it’s as simple as that.
Contract renewal: You know that when the contract comes up for renewal your customer is going to try and grind you for a better price. Why? Because it’s the only way they know to save money. By collecting and creating deep insights on the entire print environment and user workflow hotspots, you can build a case for why they should be happy to pay you the same or more. If you have all the device data you can proactively create a proposal close to contract renewal time to stave off the discount discussion, or worse yet, the RFP discussion. If you don’t have a complete picture of their entire printing environment you won’t be able to do this.
Paying for device monitoring fees is an inexpensive way to ensure you have all the data you need to better maintain the devices under contract and to slowly take over the ones you don’t. At Print Audit, we don’t even charge our Premier members extra for device monitoring so they always monitor the entire fleet. For those of you using another device monitoring system, is the price really enough to hold you back? Stop and think about this for a moment: What if your competitor is already monitoring YOUR devices?