It’s not you, it’s me: The psychology of breaking up with a vendor

Breaking up is never easy, no matter if we are talking about a romantic relationship or a business one. While we don’t have the credentials to help you end a romantic relationship, we have heard many broken heart stories of event professionals who tied the knot with the wrong tech provider and went through hardships to put an end to the relationship and look for something better.

Similarly to a romantic relationship, we tend to invest a lot of time into finding the perfect tech match of our dreams: from numerous dating demos to email exchanges and phone calls. When we decide to commit and to make the move, it can be hard to realize that the expectations weren’t quite met. It’s difficult to see it from the outside, but once the relationship gets serious is when we see the ugly and the bad. 

All the effort to dress up and look good during that dating phase are out of the window once you commit and you are left with the sad reality of a dysfunctional tool. Once we get into a routine and spend more time using the technology we realize the gaps and discover that we may have made the wrong decision. 

Some of us may even stick to it for a while, maybe years, because we just accept that perfection is not reachable. After having invested time and money into learning a new system and onboarding an entire team, it can be hard to break up and start the dating process again, but not doing it may cost you even more. Despite the fear of change and the new, we need to take action.

Think of all the efficiencies that could be gained by using a tool that is just right for you. All the headaches that could be avoided if only that tool worked better. There is a perfect match for you out there, and sometimes you just need to take that leap of faith to go find it. We’ve seen it happening, and the relief of leaving and finding something better is one of the most rewarding ones. Looking back, it will all make sense.

 

Learning from a break up

Once you realize the relationship is not working, you need to spend some time to evaluate why - so the problem doesn’t repeat on your next commitment. Make a list and add all the issues you’ve had with that vendor: whether it is the lack of support, usability issues, or lack of must-have features, you need to identify what went wrong so you can make a better decision next time.

If you started this relationship in the first place, probably not everything is that bad. You should also acknowledge what they did right so you know what features and services are important to you in a future relationship.

 

Back to dating

In a romantic relationship, you may need time to mourn, but when talking business, you have no time to lose. Before you break up, you should already vet what other technologies may be a good candidate for you. From the list of must-have features you identified, you will be able to learn more about each candidate and choose which one is “the one” for you.

Also, make sure to check online reviews and see how happy other users are with the software you are interested in. After all, past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. Sites like G2Crowd and Capterra are great options to compare software and evaluate customer reviews.

 

The break-up

Getting a divorce is definitely more complicated than breaking up with a more casual relationship. If you are bonded by a contract you may need to research your options. Some vendors may be open to ending a contract sooner, given they haven’t fulfilled their part of the contract, while others may be more strict. Be strong! This is the hardest part, but it will end soon.

 

New beginnings

We hope the dating phase doesn’t last too long, but take as much time as needed to make sure you are confident about your new decision. We know how hard it is to be in a bad relationship, but brighter days will come! Focus on the wins that the new relationship will provide you: soon enough you will be in a better place, with better customer support, a stronger set of features that work for you, and a happy team around you.