Business and Industry Perspective
You’ve spent months pouring your heart and soul into the development of a communications product or service offering that you’re sure will change the world – or at least the industry and customers you serve. Finally, you’re on the brink of launching a new service offering. But now what?
With all the noise in the services ecosystem, it takes far more than a great product to make waves. You’ll need thoughtful planning, strategy, patience, flexibility, and more to successfully launch your new service offering.
Unfortunately, there are a few common pitfalls that companies frequently fall prey to. Here are seven of the most common issues you’ll want to avoid during a big launch.
Launching a new service offering can take years of hard work. When the big day finally comes, no one wants to believe that their product is less than perfect. But, if you’re unable to be realistic, you will miss out on valuable customer feedback and user experience data.
Be wary of assumptions and gut feelings with no data to back them up. Instead, define a process that evaluates your product objectively before, during, and after launch. The data you gather will be invaluable to your pre- and post-launch strategies.
You know your new service offering like the back of your hand. But does every employee on your team feel the same way?
It’s easy to assume that your team is clear on deliverables, expectations, and specific details surrounding a product launch. However, getting everyone truly on the same page is a huge achievement when launching a new service offering.
So, how do you make it happen? It starts with getting the right people in the right meetings. If you can, include the whole team in big picture meetings from time to time so they don’t get caught up in the details of their specific role. Then, create specific action items in context with your larger goals.
Instead of a generic request like “I need this document completed as soon as possible,” try “I need this document completed by EOD Thursday so we can share our findings at our meeting Friday morning.” Enabling your team to understand the impact of their work goes a long way. And, don’t forget to provide helpful feedback once the task is complete.
The lead up to launching a new service offering often can feel like a final push. But in reality, you’re just getting started.
The truth is that once your product has launched, your role will likely pivot somewhat. Your team is now counting on you to guide them through:
Think of your launch as a marathon, not a sprint. Your rollout is only halfway through the race.
Whether you go through a beta testing round or decide to release your offering directly to the public, make sure this distinction is crystal clear to your customers.
Without transparency, early adopters can get frustrated when working through the inevitable kinks of a less-than-fully-functional product. They may also write the product off too soon by assuming it is in its final form.
Our recommendation? Be open and honest about the status of your new service offering every step of the way. If you’re open to feedback, let customers know. And, share your roadmap for future development with them as well.
In an ideal world, you would have endless potential customers who are so excited about your new service offering that they are willing to beta test for free. In reality, however, you may only have a few advocates who will happily volunteer. In order to get the quantity and quality of feedback you need, you may need to provide incentives.
While they will likely incur an extra cost, your incentives don’t have to break the bank. A gift card or even a discount on another one of your offerings will usually suffice.
Not sure if beta testing is right for you? There are a number of benefits to beta testing, including:
The best ideas and technologies evolve over time. While most companies are open to change during development, many become a bit more set in their ways post-launch.
Testing and market research can only go so far. Your product may very well function differently once it’s released into the real world. Keeping this in mind can help you prepare to stay agile and flexible before, during, and after launching a new service offering. Rather than focusing all of your budget on the development and rollout, allocate some of your resources to post-launch updates and other adjustments.
If there’s one piece of advice you should hold above the rest, it is to avoid building and launching any product or service in a silo.
In today’s connected world, there are endless opportunities for communication and collaboration. The feedback you receive from customers, support specialists, the C-suite, and your service community can completely change the strategic trajectory of your new service offering. Prioritize taking in as much feedback as possible while still remaining agile and moving forward.
If you’re solely relying on your development team, engineers, or IT experts for feedback, you’re missing a major opportunity to build a more comprehensive and thoughtful product. At Rev.io, we use agile methodology as a framework for all of our internal projects. And one of the most key components of our methodology is agile retrospective.
Agile retrospective refers to regular reflection on what’s working, what’s not working, and where there may be opportunities for improvement. Perhaps more importantly, it’s about adjusting your behavior and strategy based on those outcomes.
By embracing change, your team can become more effective in all areas of work. If you can get comfortable applying lessons learned from previous projects, you’ll be well on your way to a successful rollout.
At the end of the day, every decision you make while developing your new product or service should be focused on your end users. Embrace them, engage with them, and consider them at every step of the process.
Take the necessary steps to grow your business at scale. Request a demo of Rev.io’s billing software today.