A. Increasing market share using technology (internet or other such means)
Market share is one of the things every company wants to build up. It’s not just ‘number of sales this month’ that matter, we’re talking “how much of the market comes to us regularly for xyz service/product?” – which is what can be addressed quite easily.
Most often the problem with making this happen is the lack of clarity, so people either wait for clarity (and lose the time advantage) or act in a rush and end up with a mess. It’s surprisingly simple to maintain balance here actually, and the best part is that anyone can do it. I’ve trained people who’re quite (to be blunt) tech-disabled and marketing-disabled – but given the right process, action steps and some hand holding they build up really well.
B. Delivering on-time customer satisfaction – UX, CS
What do customers want? Today that’s an easy question to answer. One request and you’ll have hundreds of customers flocking in to tell you what’s wrong with your system and how you can improve it. You don’t have to believe me on this – but the first step is simply “ask the customer”.
Sure it’s fun to hear of some magic quickfix for any customer related problems, but we know it’s never that easy. Some simple tricks to ensure your baby doesn’t get squished in the crowd of customers coming back for ‘feedback’:
1. Start early, start Beta. This was always very effective for me. Clients never whine too much when it’s a Beta because they know it’ll be under testing… And they’ll be extra grateful for the rates with the perception of “ooh a discount AND they’ll fix the bugs“.
2. Do regular updates and publicize them! Often smaller software package creators fail to publicize their updates and lose out on valuable marketshare. Even if a customer does not want a product upgrade (free or paid) if they know the service is good (timely and to-the-point) they will come back again, and again and again – and they’ll forward your messages to their friends who want the product.
3. Forget creative – make it work first. Some software sucks – though it looks nice, comes in a neat package, etc etc – but it does not do the job you bought it for! Same rule applies for services and your marketing literature/website/ads – if you over promise with a fancy design and over-styled preview, you’re less likely to be able to deliver later, which can become a customer service disaster. Wish all you want for a larger marketshare but be careful what you put out there.
C. Refining technology processes (inside tech – by creating/updating processes or replacing software)
One of the easiest for most techies to understand
1. Versioning systems keep updating – today’s special is GIT or SVN – tomorrow will have another good batch. Stay on track and ensure you make the best features available to your team.
2. Upgrades – software is always ‘new’ and has new features that could help your product/service be the best one out there. Subscribing to tech blogs is a big advantage as you always know what the new features are, and can plan how to roll them ‘in’ to your technology piece
3. Stability – Sure I know people say this is not ‘strategy’ – but sometimes it is. If your systems are anywhere near 3 years old its “old” (yes they do that every 3 years, for both IT and Tax purposes) you want to add ‘stability’ to your strategy list. Most companies will have something that needs to be prepped for strategic replacement, so keep your stuff ready to roll into the new system you’ll likely take in the next 3-6 months.
Delay if you must, but try to stick to schedule. Nobody wants a site outage before they switch to a new firewall/switch or a system failure because nobody realized the hard drive was 5 years old.