Clients as Collaborators: Three Steps to Reconnect

 

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When we created our Software as a Service (SaaS) version of Jura® 3 years ago, it was in collaboration with our clients and end-users. We solicited their feedback every step of the way to ensure we were creating a useful, flexible product. However, as the years went by we became more and more focused on improving the system and delivering milestones quickly, we stopped reaching out to our clients as often as we had in the past. We were missing opportunities to hear their perspective and respond to their most pressing needs.

We knew this had to change.

 

Step One - Start with the Client

We sent feedback surveys to all of our Jura® SaaS clients, asking for a full picture of their experience - the good, the bad, and the ugly. The responses to this survey were invaluable and gave us a big-picture view of what was working, and more importantly, what needed to change.

We followed up with client phone calls, specifically focused on exploring all of their roadblocks and difficulties. Patterns quickly emerged that showed us what we needed to focus on next, along with specific issues that plagued one client or another that we may have otherwise missed.

Armed with these responses, we came up with targeted goals to be implemented within 30 and 60 days.

Step Two - Communication is Key

Determined not to fall into old habits, we came up with an ongoing communication plan. We created shareable roadmaps and reached out to our clients with details about planned updates.

To keep us accountable, we scheduled a series of monthly check-in webinars available to all our SaaS clients. On our webinars, we walk the clients through an upcoming module or update, making sure to leave plenty of time for questions, responses, and insights. Their perspective is essential as we move into the next stage of development.

One pain point that immediately emerged for many of our clients was end-user training. In response, we’ve created monthly free training sessions for Jura® SaaS end users to help alleviate the training burden on our clients. Without an open channel of communication, we might have missed this opportunity to improve and allowed a small issue to grow into a true headache for our clients.

Step Three - Focus on the Future

The communication can’t stop there. After an illuminating couple months, we’ve turned our eye to the future. As we continue to respond to the advances in available technology and larger shifts in the accreditation field, we are consistently bringing our clients into the conversation. Whether through solicited feedback, scheduled webinars, or other communication avenues yet to be explored, it's good to have our collaborators back at the table.

This refocusing effort has had an incredible effect on our operations. Not only has it allowed us to build better relationships with our SaaS end users and re-connect with our clients, but it has changed the way we approach all of our work. By picking our heads up and taking the time to look around, we gained valuable insight we would have missed when plowing forward in an echo-chamber. Communication takes time, coordination, and patience, but the Return on Investment is priceless.

We can’t wait to see what’s next. Those laurels were never that comfortable anyway.

 

 

 

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Posted by Jamie Fiedler

As VP of Product for Indigo Interactive, Jamie Fiedler defines and drives the product strategy. Co-founding Indigo, Jamie has helped to build a team of strong design technologists. Jamie focuses on User experience Design (UX), User Interface Design (UI), Workflow Automation and Client Services to deliver beautiful and usable software as well as currently leading the initiative on R&D for new products.