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The Importance of Customer Service in Custom Software Development

The Importance of Customer Service in Custom Software Development

July 20, 2017
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handshake-2056023_960_720Good customer service is always pleasant, but when you’re seeking a custom product, it’s vital. Custom software development relies on engaging developers who investigate the motives and goals driving your custom software order. To make the best possible product, developers also need to spend significant time discussing and exploring the relevant elements of your business, such as workflow and culture. The best customer service is always face to face. If you have questions, you should be able to speak to your developer rather than just sending emails.

Custom Software Development Should Begin with an Interview


At the very beginning of your professional relationship, your custom software development firm should arrange for an interview with a developer or a team of developers. This is more than just superior customer service. This interview will give the developers the keys they need to make the ideal product for your business. Unlike a hiring interview, the developers should ask just as many, if not more, questions than you do. Developers have to do more than just say ‘yes’ your list of criteria. This initial conversation is critical to the development of your final product. Although you’ll have plenty of time to present your needs, it’s the developers’ responsibility to dig deeper.

First and foremost, developers need to know what questions to ask. If you say you need software to optimize HR’s workflow, the developers need to delve into more than just the technical concerns. Great developers should look into the goals, business priorities, and unique cultures that are driving your needs. Developers should demonstrate a clear interest in helping you reach your goals and not just selling a piece of software.

Developers Should See the Whole Picture


The best custom software development companies send developers to visit your business in person. While the initial interview helps map out an initial plan, developers need further research in order to create a truly tailored product. This means speaking with you in person and seeing your business with their own eyes. Even a simple office meeting reveals a lot about a business. What motivational materials do you use? How large is your operation, and how densely populated are your workstations? Are your company’s goals and policies displayed? A good developer will notice these things.

Visiting in person is especially important for certain types of software. A developer visiting your production area may see an opportunity for increased efficiency you haven’t noticed. They may also be able to suggest new or innovative tools that would work especially well with your unique workflow. These visits also give developers a chance to ask more questions. Seeing how you do business turns abstract ideas into concrete processes. There’s a huge difference between knowing what an assembly line is and seeing how a specific assembly line is arranged and staffed.

If possible, developers should also interview your employees, or have access to employee notes about problems with the existing system. These encourage further discussion and may trigger new questions developers hadn’t thought to ask during the initial interview. In short, developers should stay engaged and communicative throughout the custom software development process.

Your Developer Should Be Available


Not all custom software development companies use traditional staffing methods. Some employ long distance developers who receive their assignments and send in their work remotely. While there are many types of business that can benefit from this arrangement, custom software developers lose efficiency and quality under these circumstances. The best employees come into an office where they focus on work. This is not only more secure, but it’s better for customer service. After all, if your developer is supposed to keep in touch with you throughout the development process, they should be reachable. Good developers should speak to clients from their office, where they can look up answers quickly and turn to other professionals if they need additional input or suggestions.

Traditional offices promote vastly more efficient communication. This means your messages are far less likely to get lost in the shuffle. You should be able to speak with the developer assigned to your project during regular business hours. An office makes this possible. Employees tend to follow procedures more responsibly when they share a roof with their bosses, too, so traditionally staffed development companies typically provide better products overall.

The best way to build superior custom software is to ask a lot of questions. Every business and every need are slightly different, so the best developers must have advanced customer service skills. After all, custom software development isn’t about selling a product. It’s about building one to suit you and your business. The more the developer understands your business, the better they can do their job. Customer service and custom software development go hand in hand.