Shopping for your new postage meter may not be the kind of priority you want to spend a great deal of time chasing. However, getting the right postage meter can save money that impacts your company’s bottom line. And shopping for the right postage meter means shopping for the best postage meter provider. By choosing the right postage meter partner, you’ll have confidence and peace of mind knowing the mail room will not only have the best postage meter, but that you can rely on your provider to help you purchase, maintain, and upgrade your meter when the time comes.
When you are shopping postage meter providers, there is one crucial requirement that ranks more important than any other feature of a postage meter provider. They should be manufacturer certified.
That doesn’t just mean the manufacturer has added them to their list of resellers. Anyone with a large enough wallet can become a reseller or retailer of postage meters. Instead, look for the ISO9001 certification and seal. This means the company has passed several players of inspection and rigorous requirements showing that they meet customer expectations. Meeting customer expectations is a metric that has been measured and evaluated across several key areas. It means the company consistently and reliably provides the highest possible level of customer satisfaction. The metrics are formalized across a number of formalized quality processes.
Achieving alignment with these formalized quality processes is not only necessary for a company to be ISO compliant, it also indicates that the company has been in business long enough to have established themselves along with professional relationships with manufacturers.
The company will be more likely to back the manufacturer’s products because they will have been working with them for longer than a newer business. The ISO certification also means it’s unlikely the company will fail or shut down, making them a great partner for your mailroom solutions, given that postage meters and other mailroom staples require maintenance and the occasional upgrade. While on the topic of vendor trust, it’s worth noting that a company that is well-established and offers strong partnerships will talk openly about the number of clients to whom they provide postage meters. Sharing their numbers is a common way to illustrate their value. Those who don’t have numbers to share may not be reliable partners afterall.
If you’ve shopped postage meter providers and narrowed the list by those with the ISO9001 certification and seal, it’s time to check a few more requirements off the list.
Responsiveness isn’t a measure of auto-responders and chat bots. This just means they’ve paid for services that will respond to common web inquiries. These are ok if you have a quick question that they have anticipated. However, there should be an easy way to get ahold of a human representative if needed.
Autoresponders and bots are a useful way to filter out common questions that a bot can easily answer, but they shouldn’t be treated as a barrier to keep people with other questions from getting in touch with people at the company.
You need to know that you’ll not only get the attention you need from a live human, you should also be able to rest assured that you’ll immediately get escalated to the correct manager or department when you report maintenance problems or other concerns. After all, waiting for your post meter and other mailroom essentials to get back up and running will cost you if your provider isn’t able to be prompt and responsive.
Trust is necessary for any relationship, including professional relationships with your postage meter provider. And trust can’t happen unless your provider is transparent. When you intentionally research and choose a company that is reputable and honest, you’ll always know you’re getting the best possible service.
It’s not just because you want a provider who will provide quality customer service that you want them to be transparent. Currency is passed through postage machines, which requires a contract with the United States Postal Service in your postage meter lease or purchase. Without transparency, a postage meter provider may not tell you about this additional cost. These contracts may lock you into a relationship with your provider for as long as three years. So, it’s best to make sure your provider is someone you want to be connected with for that long.
The right provider will show transparency by walking you through the entire process. They should have a plan in palace for any contingencies such as an issue occurring. They should be able to talk about how they’ll handle maintenance, service, and support.
Experience in the Mailing Category
Surprisingly, not every postage meter provider is an expert in their field. As it turns out, industry expertise is something you need to shop when vetting companies. The industry of mailing solutions is an ever-evolving industry, particularly when it comes to technology.
This creates two challenges. The first is finding a provider who stays on top of the latest technology in order to remain competitive when offering the best solutions to clients. Only those with experience can speak to the latest tech, what is necessary, and what isn’t.
The second challenge is finding a provider who will care as much about something as seemingly small as a postage meter, while there are other postage meter solutions that require more software, more maintenance, and bring in more money. You need a company that will care about you as much as any of their other clients.