3 things my customers taught me about software
In the human capital management industry (and any industry for that matter), companies communicate with their customers in a number of ways. Through activities like support, social media, user conferences, product release notes and more, companies are constantly communicating with their customers. But are companies listening to what their customers are saying back to them? Let’s take the software business for example. After the sale is done and the services are installed…you’re done right? NO! That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Any kind of software application that a company uses is an integral component of delivering and growing their business. Ensuring the software application provides the necessary options is crucial. Companies who deliver software need to reach out through all of their communication mechanisms to get that input from customers.
As a Product Manager, I spend a lot of time understanding market needs and translating those needs into product feature requirements. As those product features grow from being a UI design to a functional tool, it’s very important to check back in with the clientele who will use the feature. Product managers need to know that the product feature meets or exceeds the mark!
As I have reached out to customers over the years to get their feedback, they have taught me many valuable things, but most importantly the following:
It’s OK to just ask!
Customers are using the software application every day. Their users are providing feedback to them all the time. If we change or add options to the software, they want to know in advance and have the opportunity to influence what is delivered. They will really appreciate if you pick up the phone and ask them what they think.
One size does not fit all
Businesses come in all shapes and sizes and fulfill different purposes. Focus on delivering a core feature suitable for everyone and let the rest be configurable to individual company needs. An early ability to play with the new feature helps us in our organizational readiness for our users.
It’s a partnership
Our relationship is not one of consumer and vendor, rather it is a valued partnership. It’s important that an open exchange of feedback is cultivated and appreciated by both parties. Frequent contact about strategic roadmap plans and feedback on specific features in development is critical to building a solid partnership.
To learn more about a human capital management solution built with the support and input of customers, check out Dayforce HCM.
Charlene Brennan joined Ceridian in May 2003 where she has managed a number of Ceridian products within the product management function. Since July 2011, she has been an integral member of the Product Management team responsible for Ceridian’s new cloud based product Dayforce HCM.
Charlene is a Certified Human Resources Leader with the Human Resources Professionals Association (Canada’s HR thought leader).