Question Checklist: In Reference to 10 Do’s and Don’ts for Vendor Reference Calls

Opening questions:

  1. How did you come across vendor?
  2. What type of selection process did you employ—RFP, single source?
  3. Did you consider other vendors?
  4. Why did you decide to go with vendor?
  5. Is the vendor still providing services or has the engagement been completed?

General questions:

  1. What are the strengths of the vendor?
  2. How well did the vendor understand your business needs?
  3. Did the vendor fully meet your expectations on the engagement?
  4. Did the vendor fully understand your business needs in the design of the engagement?
  5. Did the vendor maintain clear communications and engagement during all phases of the engagement?  What could the vendor have done to better communicate?
  6. On a scale of 1 – 5, with 5 being the highest, how satisfied are you with the skills of the people from the vendor who worked on this engagement? Ask why if they didn’t get a 5.
  7. Was the engagement managed effectively?  What could the vendor have done better?
  8. Did you have to make any changes to the contract after vendor began performing, such as change controls?
  9. Where the different millstones reached on time?
  10. One a scale of 1 – 5, with 5 being the highest, how satisfied are you with how the vendor delivered on the project? Ask why if less than 5
  11. Was there a point on the project where the vendor let you down, underperformed, or disappointed you?  If so, how was this resolved?
  12. What one thing could the vendor have done to improve your overall experience with them?
  13. If there was one thing you could have changed about the vendor in the performance of the engagement, what would it be?


Closing questions:

  1. If you needed additional services in the future similar to what the vendor provides, what is the likelihood that you would choose the vendor again?
  2. What advice do you have for me in working with the vendor?
  3. Are there any important questions that I should have asked but didn’t?
  4. Can I come back to you if I have follow-up questions?

Author of this post: Michiel Jongsma