My Wish List For Information Vendors – Part 2
In my business, I spend a lot of time buying information and information-related products. A while ago, I posted a wish list for information vendors, which focused on issues that generally arise before the sale. In part 2 – again compiled with the help of my AIIP colleagues – I offer 10 suggestions for fee-based information vendors, for after the sale – and after the honeymoon is over.
1. Offer a variety of payment options – Make it easy for your customers, regardless of where we live or how our we prefer to pay our bills.
2. Provide real-time customer support – When technical problems or search questions come up, I’m usually in the middle of a project and facing a deadline. Don’t make we wait two days for your response to my inquiry.
3. Offer options for customizing search and results pages – I don’t know who’s in your focus groups, but they don’t search the way I do. Let me select the features that work for me.
4. Design for speed – A few unnecessary clicks here and there add up to a lot of wasted time and money. Put things where we need them and when we need them.
5. Fix your glitches – If your interface isn’t working, don’t offer workarounds. Just fix it. LexisNexis is one of the biggest offenders, and requests to speak with a product manager remain unanswered.
6. Don’t take away our command searching – Menu-driven search forms may work for some searchers, but many pros still live and die by their complex search commands.
7. Give us some time – I understand the need to close a session after a period of inactivity. But sometimes we need to cross-check, and logging back in after a short time is yet another time-waster.
8. Eliminate download limits – Many large organizations allow fast, large-scale data access, so why can’t information vendors? Don’t needlessly force your requirements on me.
9. Ask for my opinion – I’ve been using these services for more than 15 years and can count on one hand how many times I’ve been asked what I value.
10. Don’t make up answers to my questions – If you don’t know, refer me to someone who does. And do some checking to make sure it’s the right person before sending me their way.