Chances are, you’ve been using specific software applications for a while. You might be wondering whether you’re using the best options.
How do you know if your CRM or email marketing system is the most effective alternative? How can you be certain you’ve made the right choice for your company?
Here are some guidelines to help you make this determination.
1. You did the research
Jumping into using a new software application is a big deal. It often costs plenty of money to maintain your subscription so you should have done sufficient research to know what you were getting before handing over your credit card.
If you investigated all your options and compared the features and prices, and took them for a test drive before committing to the contract, then there’s a good chance you have the best software for your needs. If you also reached out to the company to get answers to further questions, you’re in an even better position.
For instance, before adopting fleet maintenance software, business owners want to know what the integrations are, what their competitors use, and whether the prospective vendor responds to changes in technology so you don’t get left behind. These are vital questions to cover before committing to any application since the services often require a year-long plan for the best deal.
You wouldn’t want to pay for software for an entire year and discover early on that it isn’t going to meet all your needs. Of course it’s also entirely possible that since you signed up for one program, a better application hit the market. Then too, you might have missed one the first time around.
2. You’ve tried all the other options
If you’ve cycled through several applications and only your current app does the job, then you’ve probably got the best one (for the time being). Nothing beats first-hand, direct experience when you’re weeding out the good from the bad and trying to figure out which features you need and which you can live without.
3. You don’t have any complaints
If you and your team aren’t constantly commenting on what an application could do better, or how it doesn’t cover certain crucial functions, you probably have the ideal solution for your business. It is possible, though, that there might be a cheaper application out there that would be just as effective, so keep an open mind.
Two simple tips for adopting a new application
1. Don’t switch multiple times
If you recognize you may require a better application, don’t repeatedly switch to new programs to test them out because you’ll frustrate and confuse your staff. Many people have a hard time adapting to a new software program and will reflexively resist the shift to a new platform, even when it’s better and more user-friendly.
Constantly changing the tools your team is expected to use is likely to result in chaos. Instead, take the time to test each potential application thoroughly, and only make the change when you are absolutely certain about your choice.
Even though using the software might be part of their job requirement, you’ll need to get buy-in from your team before they’ll go along with it. You can put them through this process once or twice, but it will become increasingly difficult on a repetitive basis.
2. Ask for employee input
When an application isn’t working out, ask your team what they think about the current tool and the potential options out there. Find out what they love and hate about the current application, and ask them what features would make their workflows easier.
Avoid switching to any application that your entire team objects to adopting if they have a good reason. Sometimes tools have amazing features, but if they’re difficult to use or don’t support a productive flow in your particular firm, you won’t benefit from using them.
Asking your team what they like, prefer, want, and need doesn’t mean you necessarily have to go with their recommendations. However, since they are the ones who will be using it, they should have a say in the matter.
The appropriate tool will make a huge difference in productivity and employee satisfaction.
The best software is an objective determination
Whether or not your software is the best will depend on your needs. Very often, there just isn’t an ideal application for every business need, although there will be some that get used more than others.
It never hurts to research the most well-known options, but keep in mind that popular applications often cost the most. Also, they are typically designed to perform a variety of functions, some of which you may not need.
Despite the popularity of a particular application, you’d be wise to make your final purchasing decision based on your genuine needs, and then you won’t go wrong.