I serve as the visionary at EOS Worldwide with a passion for helping entrepreneurs get what they want from their businesses.
It’s no secret that the pandemic catalyzed a global race toward digital transformation. From the enterprise level to small businesses, firms of all sizes had to adjust to the fact that digitization was no longer just an option but a necessity. This has come to hold true for everything from day-to-day operations to approach to lead generation.
This shift in thinking has been great news for software creators, as it highlighted the need to digitize quickly and effectively. But as I saw at my own company, it also hasn’t made the process of transitioning clients to new software any easier.
If your company has taken the time to develop proprietary software that automates previously manual processes, you already understand your product’s value and why it is worth your customers’ time to switch. But this rationale isn’t always as clear to customers, who may view technology as more of a disruption than augmentation. That’s why it’s so important to partner with your customers in a way that helps them understand and experience your products’ benefits.
All of this comes down to being a good partner for your customers. That means migrating customers at the appropriate time, providing comprehensive migration support and avoiding the risks of moving too quickly.
Transitioning your customers to new software means partnering with them in a way that helps them better understand and experience your products’ benefits. Here are four strategies to help you navigate the process.
1. Don’t sleep on your software.
Great software never sleeps. How do you make great software? One key we’ve found at EOS Worldwide is to leverage predictive analytics so that we can democratize data science disciplines. One way we accomplish this is by gathering data from customers through their scorecards. This better enables us able to extrapolate correlations between measurables with actual revenue and profit to help them understand what inputs matter.
Another good rule of thumb is to “think, make and check.” When implementing product updates, start by thinking through potential areas of improvement based on customer feedback and analytics, then make the updates and check through testing to ensure the updates are viable.
2. Make sure your software has a product-market fit.
Ensuring your software has a product-market fit goes back to partnering with your customers. If your company is going to use software, you must do it in a way that’s perfectly in line with your core focus, your passion and your niche.
My company’s passion is helping entrepreneurs live their ideal lives. The more you can demonstrate to your customers that you are wholeheartedly committed to helping them solve their problems, the more buy-in you’ll have from them, and the more quickly you’ll build rapport.
Before launching your software, make sure you can articulate your product’s market fit. Ask your customers what they want and need, and implement that feedback into your product road maps. You might even choose to continue testing features and functionality in a free beta version or conduct focus groups.
Above all else, your software should align with your mission, vision and values as a business. Otherwise, you’ll never be able to answer the question: “Why should we go with your software over the competition?”
3. Share a step-by-step migration process graphic.
Migrating software is a massive undertaking for any business and can be extremely overwhelming. You’ll help put operations teams’ minds at ease by simplifying and communicating the project step-by-step.
If possible, put together a visual detailing of each phase of the migration: what’s happening, what’s required, who’s involved and an estimate of how long each step should take. This will help the implementers feel a sense of control over the project because they will have a clearer understanding of exactly what it entails and the resources available to them.
4. Remember, change doesn’t happen overnight.
As excited as you are about launching your software, it’s important to remember that software implementation is a change management project. Introducing change for both internal and external stakeholders requires a thoughtful, sometimes slow approach to ensure appropriate buy-in. You also need to make sure to communicate the understanding that what you’re offering will be much more valuable than what you currently have.
Prepare thoroughly for the transition when migrating to new software.
Digital transformation enabled by new software can allow you to scale your core focus and core market value. Migrating customers to new, proprietary software is a nuanced endeavor that requires a thoughtful approach to change management. By anticipating and addressing roadblocks and keeping a customer-first mindset, you can simplify the migration process while also making your business more effective.
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