Head of Marketing & Customer Engagement
Making the change
Software is all about changes. Changes are an important part of every software development life cycle. Generally, we follow the policy of “give the client what they want”. We aim to achieve 100% client satisfaction, and this in itself necessitates changes, so we embrace them because we’re always striving to be better. We manage the changes efficiently, strive for excellence, analyse every implementation, test it and ensure it’s up to our high standards, and, of course, along the way we will make some mistakes which we correct and learn from.
Change for most is unnerving, whether it is developing software or making wholesale changes to your business. Whatever the change is, it’s new, it needs to be created, it needs to work, it needs to be learned, it needs to be taught, it needs to be marketed and to compete that change better be bloody good! That sounds like a lot of work to me and as much as most of us don’t fear work, we tend to resist changing the way we work. We like our comfort zone.
But what if we could change AND make ourselves the comfiest, we’ve ever been?
Uncross your fingers
No one running a business should launch themselves into a new venture with their fingers crossed. That’s not the best strategy to deal with risk. What I learned from 12 years working within the retail and tech sectors, is that the more you know, the less you fear. That’s part of the reason I wanted to write the second part of this article; it was to share how change doesn’t need to be something you navigate alone and shouldn’t be something you fear. Now, more than ever we need to be there for each other, in our personal lives and in business. At Denovo, one of our core values is working collaboratively with our partners.
Why software adoptions tend to struggle
Behind every software purchase sits the quietly powerful contingent of people who can make it a failure. These people aren’t angry or malicious. They don’t have plans to destroy the project. They simply don’t understand what to do with the recently purchased product; they may not be motivated to use it, or they have loyalty to the way they have done it for years.
There can be other reasons that software adoptions fail, of course. Perhaps the product selection was misguided, and the product can’t actually solve the problems for which it was purchased. Or, perhaps it was never fully implemented.
Unfortunately, it’s not unheard of to come across implementations that were scheduled to be completed in six months and three years after kick-off, the project team distributes a weary congratulatory email for completing the fourth milestone in a six-milestone project.
Though these scenarios do happen, nothing has quite as much impact to the success of a software solution as the person responsible for using it. As far as we’re concerned, this person is the end user and she/he is royalty.
The customer is always…
Right? Wrong. The customer always takes the lead. When the provider and customer work collaboratively to get the “right” solution, that is what creates success. And let’s be honest we don’t want to be right; we simply want the problem fixed. Right?
Customer service is a given. Customer success, on the other hand, is an informal partnership in achieving goals. It is part aspiration and all directive. It is embodied in roles like Support & Implementation and Partnership Development Managers who proactively engage the end users, joining their business goals with products and expertise.
Whatever way it is fulfilled, its final shape is relentless advocacy of customers’ interests to the rest of the product owner’s business.
When you think about making a change and you land on choosing a new software provider or upgrading your existing system, there are numerous considerations that must be taken into account. Firstly, you have to think about the features that are important to your firm and decide on a software that meets your needs within your budget. However, it’s just as important to consider other factors that can make a huge impact on the overall success of your software selection.
Here are the most important considerations to keep in mind:
Timing is everything when it comes moving to a new software provider. At Denovo, we take everything into consideration, from the size of the firm to how much data there is being transferred. We are also flexible when it comes to implementations and like to work with our partners when agreeing migration dates.
Once we have collated all the information, we provide you with a project plan for your migration.
Data Transfer and Conversion
We like to visit the site to collect the most up to date version of your data. This also gives us a chance to introduce ourselves to you and welcome you to Denovo. We can also arrange to do this remotely using video conferencing.
Depending on the version of software you currently use, determines how long the conversion will be. Normally this process can take anywhere between 2-3months. We will keep you up to date as much as you need and want on how things are progressing. If you have in inhouse IT person or team, we will work collaboratively with them.
When businesses grow, the importance of system integration grows with it. It’s common for more and more software programs to be added to operations — each doing its own handy thing and each offering its own unique service.
Unfortunately, system integration is often inadvertently overlooked. New systems don’t always play nicely together, resulting in data silos. And as you add more programs, it becomes harder to integrate them into your current workflows.
With Denovo’s system integration, you increase efficiency, productivity and opportunity. All the technologies implemented are in one place, talk and work seamlessly with one another.
For example, we currently integrate with the likes of Office365, Amiqus ID and DocuSign.
We work alongside your IT team to provide secure, remote access to your server. This is typically done via VPN or RDP. We also take a copy of the data locally, using an encrypted removeable hard drive.
We support you from the day you sign up with Denovo. Whether it being a phone/video call, site visit or email. We like to introduce ourselves properly, as we are going to be working together for a while. We then undertake a consultation keeping you updated on progress of the project.
Once the migration is complete and you are using Denovo full time, you will then have the support of 15 members of the team with over 150 years of combined experience.
This is done with the help of our fully integrated helpdesk system which keeps you informed on the status of your interaction, who it is with and updates on the support you are receiving.
Denovo can provide local support to your business with the likes of hardware support, helping you with infrastructure issues, PC/Laptop or printing problems.
Training is carried out by our highly trained team of IT experts. We can do this remotely using our support software or with a 3rd party solution, and it can be carried out on site if that’s more convenient/at the appropriate time.
Listen to customer change requests
One of the most powerful ways to improve the performance of our teams is to train our team members to not only listen carefully but to document what they’ve learned from their conversations with partners. You are our best source for details about our successes and failures and often it is the unscripted, unstructured feedback data that provides the best insights into the experience we are providing.
Often some of our best data comes from conversations on the front lines that are recorded in our CRM — and that data is only as strong as the listening skills of the people having the conversation.
Listening is a crucial part of customer service interactions and training. Making sure that our teams have the listening skills necessary is an essential part of the toolbox they need to succeed with customers.
5 Step Process
Once we’ve eased any concerns you have it comes down to a very simple 5 step process:
- Client survey – A Client Survey will assess your needs, aspirations and requirements to streamline the firms existing working practices.
- Implementation Timeline – The Schedule of Implementation document will form the main project management milestones.
- Technical Survey – Our expert team visit you to carry out a non-disruptive Technical Survey, reviewing existing hardware, fibre and broadband speeds.
- Date Transfer & Onboarding – The Data Transfer involves converting client and firm data to our accounts system allowing uninterrupted working practice.
- Bespoke Training – Bespoke training is carried out by our dedicated team of expert trainers at Denovo HQ or wherever works for you.
Making sense of change
In many instances, our fears reflect our own neurotic anxieties rather than being grounded in what is actually happening to us. More often than not fear arises from the unknown and what we imagine might happen rather than from the known.
During periods of change, many of us imagine outcomes that have little likelihood of happening or, if they do happen, turn out to be far less damaging and hurtful than we imagined they would be at the time.
We help you to make sense of what is changing your business and why:
- Openly and transparently share information with you and your team, even when the information is unlikely to be received favourably. This requires our support and implementation team to be explicit about what they know, share that knowledge with you so we can educate your team.
- Listen to your concerns and opinions. We treat you with the dignity and respect you deserve to build trust in our partnership. You know your business better than us, so you tell us what problem you need resolved and we create the fix.
- Reframe changes and tech jargon to help you understand how changes in the way the system works helps your practice thrive.
- Support you to understand how you and your team are experiencing and reacting to the changes and help you to prioritise activities to get the most out of our software.