How to avoid “breaking Up” with your app stack
November 30, 2018
We’ve all been there. The “it’s not you, it’s me.” The tears. The “figuring out whose stuff is whose so you can move out and get on with your life.”
We’ve all had a breakup. Or many.
They suck. You spend so much time, energy, and money committing yourself to the idea that this relationship is going to work out. Until one day, it doesn’t. Could you have done more? Could they have done more? You’ll never really know.
This might sound a bit overdramatic, but when you spend time creating what you think is the perfect app stack for you, your clients, and your business just to have it not work out, it makes you want to tear your hair out.
There are a few preventative measures you can take to make sure you’ve done all you can to make these relationships work. But first, here are some things to look for if you’re thinking of kicking them to the curb.
The tough questions
I’ll be brief. You need to ask yourself:
- Is this still good for my clients?
- Is this still good for me?
- Is this still good for my business?
That’s essentially it. If one or more of these isn’t true, you probably need to look into this app a little more. Now, there are some qualifiers to that. If the app helps you and your business, but may not be as easy for your client, you might just need to do a little more work to get them onboard.
That’s where the “Breakup Avoidance Protocol” comes in. I just made that up, by the way. Don’t quote me on it.
1. Don’t assume
We all know what assuming does. If you don’t, look it up.
Apps and their companies are generally really good at instilling confidence in their users that they’re taking care of everything, because that’s their job. It’s an easy trap to fall into, especially when you’re working with 15 other apps and have 148 other things going on in your work and personal life. The idea that someone is taking one of those things off your shoulders sounds too good to be true.
That’s because it is.
Just because an app promises you the world, doesn’t mean they can necessarily follow through. But, even if they do, that’s no excuse not to check in once in a while.
If the numbers don’t add up, if the promised efficiency isn’t there, or if you just don’t enjoy using the service anymore, kick it to the curb.
Set up a schedule for yourself to go back and check in on things. If the numbers don’t add up, if the promised efficiency isn’t there, or if you just don’t enjoy using the service anymore, kick it to the curb.
But, checking in periodically before things get so bad that your only choice is to get rid of the app is obviously the better, and cheaper, option.
2. Train your staff
You might be a one-person operation. If so, this means train yourself. Take the webinars, free training, and offered classes! If you do get to the point where you need to hire an extra set of hands (or two), have your new staff do the same. Always be learning the golden rule of technology!
When you add an app into your stack, you’re clearly thinking about how it’ll affect everyone involved in your business. That includes your employees.
If you think an app isn’t working out as well as you thought, ask them about it. Get some detailed information on why it’s great, why it’s not, and what it could be doing better.
Make sure you’re checking in with them on a regular basis. If you think an app isn’t working out as well as you thought, ask them about it. Get some detailed information on why it’s great, why it’s not, and what it could be doing better. Let them explore also…I’ve learned about some great app tricks from my team.
Ideally, any concerns they have can be fixed with a little training. You’re the expert on the app. You researched it, you implemented it, you spent time over email or phone talking to your account manager getting everything set up.
You have to be diligent in training your staff to use these apps to their full potential. Otherwise, you’ve just spent a ton of money and time for someone to half-use a service that can do so much more.
3. Train clients
Your clients may be using some of your app stack as well. Ideally, the services help them help you manage their finances, expenses, and everything else we do (which is everything).
The same philosophy around training your staff applies to your clients as well. They’re using the app because you think it will be useful to them. If it’s not doing what you expected or they have no idea how to use it properly, you’re spending money and time for no reason.
The first step is to check in on clients you suspect may not be working with the app properly, or aren’t using everything it has to offer. Explain the perceived value of the app to them, and get to work training them on it. They’ll be more attentive and open to the training if they see the value for them too.
If it’s not doing what you expected or they have no idea how to use it properly, you’re spending money and time for no reason.
But, there may be a situation where the app is good for you, and not for a particular client.
It’s not ideal, but you need to work in a way that it improves the health and efficiency of your business. If using an app or process helps you do your job better, a client or two might just have to bite the bullet.
You built your app ecosystem for a reason. Don’t let it go so easily.