In the age of digital communication, the ability to connect with customers is key to nurture and grow your business successfully. Whether this is offline or online, fighting for every second of a customer’s attention is crucial to ensure they engage with your product while maintaining your brand at the top of their mind.
One of the most effective, valuable but often expensive to accomplish this, is to offer clients new products or services. This can be taken in a multiple directions, namely expanding the product offering and adding value on the product, or improving the services that surround the product.
At Bringg we see a lot of the latter, with hundreds of companies approaching us because they are craving to improve their user experience in a way in which it will upgrade and differentiate their businesses.
These companies are then forced with the inevitable question about what can they improve to delight their users and how. Endless hours of brainstorming and discussions often lead to looking for software providers and alternatives that could support the endeavor.
When you’re looking for a new software solution that is intended to improve the way your customers connect, interact or communicate with your brand, there are few things to keep in mind while going into this decision-making process.
1. Can I test it?
In a lot of the cases you really have no idea going into the project if it is going to work. There are often unseen hurdles and stumbling blocks that can be fatal. Make sure that your software provider allows you test, in order to ensure that the project is really going to reach the adoption you want to see. Having a long-term commitment from day one isn’t a deal you want to get into.
2. Is it future-proof? Can the platform grow with the business?
Continuing on the same note of testing, the software should include the built in ability to shift and pivot the service without having to re-code and replace the code every time. Don’t get stuck with a provider that makes you work with their technology to use service. Look for the platforms that allow you work with multiple providers in one place. This will enable you to invest once in the infrastructure and compare different services.
3. Will it support my brand’s experience?
When using third-party software services, make sure that the user experience remains seamless. Insist that it doesn’t diminish your brand or confuse the customer. Way too often companies have all the right intentions of offering a great service and fail with a substandard user experience. Since you are investing a significant amount of time and money, make sure that you control the experience.
4. Does the business model work?
Offering a new service should add value to the end user but shouldn’t damage your business model. If the numbers don’t add up on paper don’t do it. Unless your strategy is to burn cash to prove that something works make sure that you are in the green on cost structure of the deal.
5. Will I own the user data?
Last but not least, if you are spending the time, money and energy to provide additional value to your customer, make sure that you own the assets of your investment and control who gets your user data. Companies that expect to be payed so that they can own your client data should be approached with caution. If and when you decide to leave a provider, make sure that you leave with all your data. Sharing user data with third-parties in many cases is necessary to ensure a seamless user experience – but make sure you are in control.
Happy shopping and I hope this little checklist helps you make some some solid decisions in 2017.