When Bad Things Happen to Good FIs: 5 Possible Vendor Responses

Technology is wonderful. You’ve probably thought that yourself more times than you can remember. If you were around in the PD (pre-digital) era, you know how hard life used to be.

To make a phone call, you had to be near an actual phone that was plugged into an actual wall. To get anywhere new, you needed a paper map that seemed more designed to frustrate you than guide you. Listening to your music meant carrying around a pile of CDs and trying with futility to keep them organized. And listening to a mix of your music meant investing time and money in a CD burner. The list goes on.

Technology sucks, too. Specifically, technology sucks when it doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. Like when you’re on the road and suddenly find yourself with no bars on your smartphone, which just as suddenly doesn’t seem so smart. Or when you’re on your way to a business meeting at the Four Seasons, but your navigation software guides you to Four Seasons Total Landscaping, where you run into Rudy Giuliani. Or you board a flight and realize there’s no WiFi, rendering your amazing Spotify library completely useless. This list goes on, too.

Chances are that the consumers you serve have a similar relationship with technology. And hopefully, many of their “technology is wonderful” moments come when they’re using your website, mobile app or other e-delivery channels.

But just like the people who created it and the people who keep it running, no technology is perfect. It’s inevitable. Sooner or later, one of the systems that power your institution is going to experience some sort of failure. And if it’s more than just a minor blip, you and your consumers will undoubtedly start singing “technology sucks” in four-part harmony. It’s a question of when, not if.

Believe it or not, there is one silver lining to the dark cloud of a significant system failure. In these hopefully rare instances, you get to see what your vendor is really made of. When things are humming along, everyone is all smiles. Why wouldn’t they be? But when the going gets tough, well … different vendors and their employees react in different ways. Here are five types of responses to consider.

  1. Do they address the issue with passion, or do they see it as just another ticket in an endless queue?
  2. Are they willing to do whatever it takes to find a solution, or do they spend more time reminding you of their contract obligations?
  3. Do they work around the clock until the matter is resolved, or do they punch the time clock when the 5 o’clock whistle blows?
  4. Do they point you to the right solution or do they point fingers?
  5. Do they share in the pain that you and your consumers are feeling, or do they take more of an attitude that “it sucks to be you”?

“Systems will go down from time to time. That’s just part of doing business in 2021,” KayCee Murray, SVP Information Technology for Numerica Credit Union, told us. “When you look back at such events, the question you ultimately need to ask is: Did my team get its butt kicked, or did my team kick butt? If it’s always the latter, you really can’t complain.”

That team, of course, includes your vendor. They must inspire the confidence that if something does go wrong, they’re going to make it right. At Tyfone, we want every customer to think of us as an extension of their own internal team You can count on us to approach every situation, large or small, with passion, commitment, diligence and excellence.

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