If you’re unhappy with the service or products provided by your current cash-handling vendor, you may be considering switching. But with that comes the possible growing pains of shifting vendors and products, going through onboarding, learning a new system, and so on. Our implementation experts take us through some of the crucial steps to keep in mind when going through this transition to ensure it’s seamless and as non-disruptive to your business as possible.
1. Involve an implementation specialist in the sales process
When you’re interviewing potential cash-handling vendors, be sure to ask how hands on they are when it comes to the implementation process. Will they have a specialist—apart from sales or account management—dedicated to your account who will guide you through the onboarding process?
“A client implementation specialist is designed to facilitate a seamless transition,” says Robert Lynch, Senior VP of National Financial Business Development for Loomis. “First impressions last, especially in a situation where customers are hesitant to make a switch in their cash-handling partner. Ensuring there will be a specialist involved early in the sales process means you can get back to business as usual, as soon as possible, with little if any customer impact.”
2. Set up a statement of work meeting
Before beginning a vendor transition, it’s a good idea to set up a statement of work meeting with your new cash-handling vendor to ensure alignment.
“Statement of work meetings allow the financial institution, their operations team, and our implementation team to discuss key factors in the process before we begin implementation,” says Matthew Dion, Client Implementation Specialist for Loomis. “As part of Loomis’ process, we discuss specific client requirements, any factors that will affect the time frame for implementation, and ultimately come to a clear understanding between vendor and customer. This step in the process is vital in that it provides a seamless transition from the sales process completion to the start of service.”
3. Get IT involved early in the process
Any transition in a business, and particularly a financial institution, can result in headaches and roadblocks when it comes to information technology. If you’re preparing to switch cash-handling vendors, involving your IT department should be one of the first and most important plans of action.
“When it comes to the implementation process, there may be heightened needs in terms of reporting file transfers, online target testing, go-live dates, and project support in general,” says Lynch.
4. Have a plan for staff training in place
Financial institutions considering switching cash-handling vendors should ensure they have well-established plans in place for staff training. This will help you better manage your business during transition, and minimize any concerns regarding downtime.
“We plan staff trainings to be toward the end of the first phase of implementation,” says Dion. “By conducting training right before start-of-service and phase two, we make sure everything we cover stays fresh in mind for the staff, and from our side, it ensures we have enough time to train everyone involved, especially for larger organizations.”
“Offering in-depth training for all the different aspects of our products and technology—ordering, reporting, using the online customer portal, etc.—ensures key personnel in our customers’ organizations have all the tools they need to be confident and comfortable with the new systems,” adds Lynch.
5. Determine your go-forward plan
When considering a new cash-handling vendor, ask them to detail their process for start-of-service and beyond. After onboarding, how involved will they be? What does their service include? You may want or need more hands-on guidance, especially in the first month or so of using a new system.
“In what we call phase two, meaning the first 30 days after start-of-service, my role as client implementation specialist is to continue supporting our customer through the transition, and make sure everything is going smoothly,” says Dion. “I conduct weekly touchpoint calls, and am able to address and correct any issues the customer is having in a timely manner. After this initial 30-day period, I introduce the financial institution to their Loomis branch account manager, who is their point of contact from that point forward. The whole purpose is to make everything as seamless as possible—from contract through the onboarding process and through their whole lifecycle with Loomis. That’s how we build lasting customer relationships.”
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