The 2016 unrest in the market at the vendor level has spilled over into 2017. Many have burned Plan A because they were forced to. This trend is continuing and even though our market is comprised of some very intuitive people we felt it important to tool them with even more solid information on how to spot inevitable vendor failure to avoid some of the recent pitfalls.
Being in business over the years, we all have a very steady customer base of business and I'm certain we all have those customers that really stick out to us. Many people want to grow their business to ensure their income levels and increase their business valuation as the years go by. We can always count on that solid base of business, but to achieve these goals we may look for new business acquisition. Many of us invest in marketing, take our business to the internet, or pump up special promotions along with so many other outlets to drive new business.
The Data Age Technical Support Team has earned world class status now for many years running. As customers and many new prospective customers come to our offices, the first thing they highlight is our Tech Support team. This 15-person team allows Data Age to help our customers very fast. No worries about not getting called back and not having your issues resolved. Most of the calls we take our “how-to calls”. We feel these calls are great opportunities to advance continued education and to learn more about our customers.
We've all fallen victim to fake or unfair reviews. Reviews can be a blessing and a curse. They're a blessing because when you do business the right way, your satisfied customers want to get the word out for you. They can be a curse because ANYONE can write a review. That includes a customer who was asking for something unreasonable you couldn't provide or your competition if they are feeling desperate.
I can recall my first NPA Expo event. A group of some of the well-known vendors were having a bite to eat and they were discussing many topics. I can recall them all sitting there and saying to myself, "There is a lot of knowledge sitting right here." This knowledge could have benefitted me during my investigation of this industry, as I made the decision to enter into it. I then thought how great it would be if we could gather as much information related to the industry and put it in one place for consumption. As I researched, I found there was no one real go-to spot for this kind of information.
For years, people have talked about waiting for the "big one" to happen. With each little tremor, they wonder if it is going to progress into a powerful 9-magnitude devastator. As the leading software in the industry, we’re just using this as an analogy, but it really is a reality when it comes to looking for point-of-sales software.
In 2016, many operators were forced into unchartered waters when a portion of the market had to search for new pawn software. Be it because of unfortunate life circumstances or business decisions of companies to take alternative directions in their business models to attempt to fast track success. Many operators did their homework and changed direction themselves by moving over to PawnMaster. There were many reasons for this besides great products and services. Stability, integrity and transparency were key elements for people making the move.
With the election not long ago, we all know that negative advertising exists. But what if it happens to you? How do you combat a competitor who is telling lies about your business?
With so many pawnbrokers making the decision to change software vendors in 2016 as a result of several unfortunate circumstances, we feel it is important to provide these types of resources. When you're entering into a SaaS agreement for the first time, you may have some questions or concerns. That's normal. According to CIO Review, "The best means of protecting yourself is to carefully read and understand the terms of the contracts with your data vendors. Often these provisions can be negotiated--for example, you can require that your data to be anonymized when it's used by the vendor."
Validation is always a good thing in business, especially for paying customers who put a trust in their vendor to ensure their business is in good hands when it comes to their technology systems. Over the years we have worked very hard to deliver consistency, stability and high performance for our customers. As we rolled out our new product IGNITE, which is the only true cloud platform on the market, we reinforced this concept by selecting Amazon Web Services as our cloud provider. During our due dilligence process, we had every top-five provider in the market seeking our business but we wanted the best and the most stable company out there. We could not have a single-point-of-failure platform, which many have unfortunately experienced… We needed multiple data center backup capabilities to ensure no down time for our customers.