For a brand, it’s vital to create software partnerships on which you can depend for more than just functionality. Choosing which solution would be the best match for a company means understanding the offerings, how they can benefit the brand, and the quality of support the partners can deliver.
Software companies with which organizations partner play a crucial role in developing a dynamic, successful business. The solutions that are associated with a company should work as an extension of the brand. They must provide the same level of personal quality service you would expect for customers or clients.
Evaluating Software Partnerships Options
There are basic components a company should anticipate from the software they utilize. Selecting potential vendors (often referred to as a software evaluation) is where most companies begin. Choosing the right software vendor consists of creating a list of potential partners to help define the elements that align with your current systems. This leads to an understanding of how the addition of this software will impact your business. Understanding integration with current systems is essential.
Companies must consider the setup and onboarding process. Rolling out new platforms quickly and easily can make a world of difference for communicating with your audience. During the onboarding process, training will likely be required. Determine what the training program includes, how detailed the training is, and the difficulty level of the training. If that process is too convoluted or complex, then chances are you would be better off with another option.
Once you start using the software, ongoing support is essential to being able to continuously deliver for your customers. The support should be specialized for you and your organization, not just canned responses from customer service. Software should be able to grow with your business, so factoring in future needs should be a point of consideration.
If sensitive information is going to be transmitted or stored in the software, you’ll want to make sure that data is stored securely and privately. This means keeping your customers or clients safe and providing a level of trust for them.
While sometimes spending a little extra is worth the money, let’s not forget about cost.
Many software vendors may have different costs such as start-up fees, service level agreements, maintenance fees, and even early termination clauses. Understanding what you’ll be paying annually or getting an “all-in” price can help you determine to budget for your new software. Some vendors will offer free trials or demos, giving you a deeper understanding of the software before making a selection and ultimately helping narrow down which partner best fits the needs of your company.
All of this, however, cannot happen successfully without the human element.
The Most Important Element of Software Partnerships
The basic tenets and general expectations of a software company come down to how they can help you be successful. Furthermore, the most important element of a solutions partnership is the relationship between the business and the vendor. This comes down to the human element. In the end, it’s not all about technology. While the technological aspect is of course important, there are a number of factors that the technology relies on. These factors all derive from the human touch that software companies can offer to their partners.
The software vendor should be your expert-in-waiting, available to you when you need help, and ready to offer personalized recommendations and assistance. The functionality of the platform, especially as your brand grows, should continuously improve with the help of the resources available to vendors that they can then relay to you.
Your customers expect your software to work accordingly and improve their customer experience. As a client, you should anticipate that the vendor will be there for you when you need them. Getting a quick response can be the difference between keeping a customer and losing sales.
Once you’ve gotten in contact with your vendor, what level of support do they offer? Do they make sure your questions are answered and your problems are solved, or do they send you a link to an FAQ page and hope you can fend for yourself? The difference here is substantial to the performance of the software. You need to be able to trust the support that the vendor offers.
While it may seem frivolous, a positive relationship with the vendor is essential. Being able to communicate effectively with customer service agents and having productive conversations with them makes everyone’s job easier and more pleasant.
All of the above comes down to how they make it work for you. No two businesses are identical, so the challenges or desires of one company won’t necessarily apply to the next client. Getting the help you need based on your specific system and processes ensures the customer experience is smooth and beneficial for all involved parties, from the vendor to the business and the end user.
Without the human touch, there’s little that can come from working with a software company. While artificial intelligence has made significant progress and technology is rapidly developing, nothing will ever compare to the service quality derived from humanistic elements. The most successful software companies are those with services and products accompanied by human touch. When determining whether a piece of software meets your business needs, consider how the company meets your brand’s needs, too.
Software Partnerships That Lasts
To build a sustainable partnership between software vendors and brands, there needs to be a mutual benefit for both parties. By supporting a brand through customized customer service and regular updates driven by the needs of the end-user and brand, software companies can open themselves up to mutually beneficial partnerships.
The team at Citro Digital has been partnering with LiveHelpNow for years. They provide industry-leading omnichannel lead generation software, but more importantly, they provide the human touch. Fast, friendly, and personalized customer support is always there when we need it. And even better, they offer a partner program so we can refer them leads, resell their software, or even white label their HelpSquad 24/7 chat support while making industry-leading commissions.
Brands that encounter a piece of software backed by a company and best practices that enable dynamic growth can unlock powerful partnerships with vendors. When making your choice, choose the software company that encapsulates who your brand is and what it represents simply by being there when you need them the most–regardless of whether it’s software updates, stellar customer service, or shared core values.