Decision-making dilemmas for purchasing software seem similar to those for many of life’s milestones. Should we buy this house now or wait for a better one and improved interest rates? Should we have the children now or wait until we’re more settled with less debt? Should we go on holiday this half term or wait for a cheaper deal later in the year?
To wait ‘until the time is right’ or to gamble on the here and now may be a complicated decision in life, but it’s actually quite a simple one when considering Customer Care Software-as-a-Service.
For every month you hesitate – deciding not to take advantage of the undeniable benefits of today’s cutting edge technology – your competitors move forward.
Your competitors are enhancing their reputation and improving profit margins with greater productivity. The roadblocks that stall the selection of a new software application are seldom financial, especially since subscriptions to cloud-based software are so affordable. So, what exactly are these obstacles and how can you move past them?
- “We’re too busy.”
Alarmingly there is a growing trend among SME’s in the UK Construction sector not to replace resources despite the upturn in productivity. This reduction in workforce over the double dip recession period has led to even greater pressure on already depleted teams. Being too busy is a curse to owners of small and medium house building companies.
Coupled with this fewer industries in the UK are as wedded to out-dated systems and practices as the construction sector. Whether times are good or not, House builders and Principal contractors generally do things the same way that they have been done for years. Just because your business is not in the technology sector doesn’t mean that innovation isn’t important to facilitate improvements.
Being too busy becomes the excuse to tolerate poor performance within your business; allowing site managers to miss deadlines; allowing your team and sub-contractors the opportunity to let the quality of your product slide, missing internal quality inspections; sales team not delivering on customer service, missing key handover dates…
There are constant demands on staff to take care of the stream of reported issues and defects. Taking just a little time in the present to analyse your specific needs will pay off immensely when your operations are greatly streamlined in the future. Our Customer Success stories outline practical quick wins for our existing clixifix clients here.
- “Implementation of our earlier systems failed.”
This can be complex mix of not truly understanding the pain points within your business and eagerly buying into the first software solution that sounds promising.
If you’re not careful, you might end up with software that doesn’t address your needs, time and time again. I have been made aware of one house builder that attempted three times over six years to find the right system to manage their aftercare procedures.
Once you have found the right fit, don’t think of the required training as a ‘necessary evil.’ Think of it as a necessary good. Take this opportunity to conduct a ‘root and branch’ review of your handover approach and how you communicate your aftercare procedures and processes to all stakeholders.
In my experience over the years of implementing software to fluid Construction businesses, the failure to reap the benefits of a new system is often the result of a failure to commit to training – to build the essential confidence and productivity – because staff are too busy doing the day-to-day, repetitive, error-prone paper pushing or worse still an incumbent system… Of course there is a learning curve, but it’s only as complicated as you wish to make it. Lots of of on-premise construction software solutions require complex training modules to get the most from the system. Software-as-a-Service platforms are consciously designed to make it easier for the end users to be independent from the outset, with the support provided in the form of free web tutorials, getting started documentation and screen-casts etc.
Nominating a product champion internally is a vital step. This person is fundamental to the successful implementation as they will invariably be the go-to person in the organisation to assist with queries.
Once you’ve learned the basics of the application and broken the ‘too busy’ cycle, you learn how it adds value and improved service to your clients.
- “There are too many uncertainties.”
For those housebuilders and Construction companies that are moving from paper-based, spreadsheet-centric, or ‘kept-in-my-head’ Customer care processes, the leap to trusting an automated process is unnerving. Your new system needs to be part of how your team works on a daily basis when managing Customer Care. Ensure that the tool is not “another” place to go!
The team needs to be empowered to collaborate both intellectually and with the appropriate resources. In short dropping a new software application on your team with little planning and guidance will lead to confusion and little gain. The tool has to become the go-to application for that particular department or discipline. It has to become the primary tool used to manage a process to ensure that the team is not double handling.
Always remember that the individual benefit is just as important as the overall corporate benefit (if not more so).
‘You should use these new tools and strategies that we are implementing because they are going to make and save the company more money’ versus ‘You should use these new tools and strategies that we are implementing because they are going to make your life at work easier and more rewarding.’
Ensure that the collaboration makes the working life of your employees easier and more efficient.
The Benefits of Better Software
Whether you have entrenched inefficiencies that sap hours out of your day, or you’re simply ‘too busy,’ I can’t put enough emphasis on the importance of ‘finding time to make time.’
When you search for a technology solution, however, I advise keeping it simple. Don’t look for functionality that you’ll never use just so you can say the product ticks all the boxes.
Many companies start with the technology, this can be the quickest route to failure.
It’s vitally important to understand why you are doing this before you jump into the software and find that it’s not what you expected or doesn’t quite fit your business requirements!
Ask yourself- what is the business value of this new tool and how will this be used in real cases?
What’s next? In just 30 seconds, you can sign up for clixifix and quickly begin experiencing the benefits of a dedicated, purpose-built customer Care platform for Housebuilders and Commercial Contractors.
You get a 30-day free trial and we have many excellent resources to help you determine if clixifix is the right solution for your business.