It goes without saying that the people who have the best understanding of how a scheduling software system should function are the people who use it every day. Even so, it’s not uncommon for software companies to be driven by their “vision” of how their product should function.
At Mazévo, our team has several decades of combined experience in the scheduling software business. Still, we aren’t on the “front lines” dealing with everything from daily scheduling tasks to the occasional all-hands-on-deck emergency, so when it comes to enhancing our event management software, we take our lead from our customers.
In the last year alone, their input has been essential in the development and release of Mazévo's:
The collaboration between Mazévo users and our team has been incredibly productive and a testament to the power of bringing a wide range of perspectives and experiences to bear on software development challenges.
Our 7-Step Process for Acting on Customer Needs
Some software companies do an occasional customer survey to get feedback on their products, or jot down tidbits from random conversations with system users. At Mazévo, we’ve always found it best to be intentional about how we obtain and act on customer input.
In fact, we follow the same 7-step process every time we kick off a new round of system enhancements:
- Collect product feedback from customers and prospective customers
- Make sure we fully understand the business need for any changes
- Design the new or enhanced feature
- Code and test the feature
- Release the feature
- Publicize the system update
It’s an approach that has ensured our solution continually evolves to keep pace with the ever-changing wants and needs of event scheduling departments and event scheduling software users.
Specifically, we collect feedback in many ways, most importantly during the demos we provide for customers and prospects. It’s been our experience that people tend to have some flashes of insight when immersed in a demo. For that reason, we strive to have two of our team members participate in every session—one to lead the session and the other to focus on hearing and recording particularly interesting or useful comments from participants.
Then, we carefully examine the business case for a new feature. How will it help this client or prospect? Will it help others in the same way and to the same degree? Does it enhance existing business processes? What’s the most effective way to incorporate the new functionality?
After answering those questions, we move into the design phase, where we take a step-by-step approach. This involves starting small and giving customers the functionality in a very basic form. That allows us to assess the feature and enhance it in ways that increase its value to clients.
It's easy to attempt to build a new feature that addresses every possible customer need right out of the chute. But this can lead to missteps that are painful to us and frustrating for everyone else. This approach gives us the best chance of getting the new item right the first time. But in the rare case where something hasn't quite hit the bullseye, it's much easier to make course corrections on a simple feature.
Design leads to coding and testing, where our developers use the input we’ve collected, but also their skill and experience, to turn ideas into working functionality. No feature is deemed ready to go live until we’ve done our best to break it. If it stands up to our barrage of tests, it gets the seal of approval.
Next, we release the feature. The beauty of a fully web-based system like Mazévo is that if we launch a feature at 5:00 p.m., it’s in the system and ready for you when you log in at 5:01 p.m. You don’t have to update software on your computer or have your I.T. staff make any changes to a server. The functionality is just immediately available, and we tend to put a new update out every 2-3 weeks.
After updating the system, we notify customers about the new functionality, explaining what it is, how to use it, and how it benefits them on the Updates page of our website. And finally, even as users are beginning to get familiar with the new release, our team is circling back to Step 1 of our process, and getting input for the next round of features.
A Shared Attitude of Gratitude
Clients will often thank us for new functionality that makes their job easier, makes their customers happier, etc. We certainly appreciate that, and we feel the same sense of gratitude. We’re grateful for the synergy we have with our customers and their willingness to work with us on improving Mazévo. It surely makes our job more enjoyable when our team members and customers are “pulling in the same direction.”
If you have questions about Mazévo and how it can help you and your team work more efficiently and effectively, we’re happy to answer them. Call 800-254-7615 or schedule an informative online demo.