Well, I seem to have touched a nerve in several previous blogs…from both sides. I have received a few comments from vendors saying that they don’t experience the types of service issues that I have written about. And, on the other side, I have a few bankers tell me that they do.

What do I think should be done? There is no easy answer. At least there is not one answer that fits every bank. To me, it all starts with communication. Tell your vendor about your expectations. Explain how the vendor is failing to meet your expectations. See how the vendor reacts. Is the vendor nimble, interested and able to modify, change and improve the service relationship?

Some vendors simply cannot communicate effectively. Why? They are locked into a service model that cannot be easily modified. Consider what this says about their service model and about how it serves your bank. Sadly, some vendors are victims of their own marketing and promotion. They believe that they are good because they say they are good. If their service model does not work for your bank, then your bank becomes the one with the issue.

Actually, that’s never been said, but I have spoken with banks that have been left with that impression. In reality, some vendors should climb down from their pedestals and listen to what their clients are telling them. And, it needs to happen more than once a year.

If communication is weak, or if it has broken down completely, it can lead to a core vendor change. Nearly 50 percent of the core vendor engagements that I have performed in the last several years have resulted in core vendor conversions. In nearly every case, I can trace the root cause to broken relationships and poor communication. Sometimes converting to a new service provider is the only course of action left. I plan to expand on this subject in future blogs. Stay tuned.