3 Tips for Community-Driven Software Development
When working with a tech company, it’s important to look for a true partner—a team that will listen and respond to your needs and suggestions.
At SupplyMover, many of our highlighted features were driven by suggestions made to us by customers, and that kind of relationship—honest, helpful, two-way—is the best way for both sides to get what they want: the software company gets happy customers, and the customer gets radical features. Building and maintaining those relationships is important.
Here are three tips for getting the most out of a relationship with a software company.
1. Honest Feedback
Make sure that you’re open to whatever comments—complaints, criticism, or otherwise—that might be helpful. When both sides are open and honest, ideas can flow freely back and forth. When there’s an obstacle, such as one side feeling closed off or dismissive of feedback, it’s hard to make any headway.
2. Two-Way Communication
Equally important is the fact that communication is two-way. It isn’t just one side broadcasting their thoughts, it’s about having a conversation. Saying something positive drives the conversation one way; bringing up a problem drives it another. But both sides should be open to wherever the conversation lands in order to get the best product possible into the hands of the customer. That kind of back-and-forth is key to building trust between parties, which greatly influences the quality of feedback.
3. Expectation Setting
And part of that two-way conversation has to be devoted to expectation setting. Being honest about what fixes are possible and which are not, and being straightforward about potential timelines and priorities are equally important to be clear about. Customers have to know what the shape of the possible outcomes might be so they can make their own plans. If they’re anticipating a change that’s not coming ever or for a while, the relationship will suffer.
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