How To Maximize Benefits from Your Self-Service Software
By Doug Peter, St. Clair Interactive
Over the past 30 years, I have observed thousands of self-service projects. The failure rate is about 85%.
It’s not that these were bad people. They just focused on the wrong things.
Here are 5 guidelines which I hope can help you.
1. Don’t plan or buy single purpose software.
There are very few single application business cases that justify the expense of robust software and system integration.
We encourage our clients to plan for multiple applications, and therefore multiple revenue streams. The results can be awesome.
2. Plan and buy for multiple channels.
Mobile, kiosks, internet and digital signage have certain requirements for user interaction but the core software should be “Develop Once, Publish Many Ways”.
We encourage our clients to use our predeveloped core templates (e.g. Ordering / Catalog or Loyalty or Guided Selling) and then express the presentation layers to meet the needs of each type of device and location.
3. Budget for Success.
One of the most common issues is a lack of budget for the pilot or prototype.
Hundreds of projects are abandoned after the early stages due to a lack of resources.
4. The User Experience is King!
This must be a multi-development, one team approach. Each stakeholder group has their own unique expertise and value, but also limitations.
User interaction on a touch screen is quite different from web or “mouse and keyboard” applications. Layout, responsiveness, content, and number of decisions per screen are all critical. Each layer of the solution requires specific expertise from the physical building blocks and presentation through the software and interaction design to the business objectives.
Don’t let one single operational group provide the entire solution.
It takes a team – and more skills than you might think.
5. Publish / Measure / Evolve
Over the years we have learned to design products and projects so that each layer can be manipulated. It may be the business logic or the presentation layer or the need for real time transactions or the device set. You need a dynamic environment and you need continual improvement.
Good self-service is complex and profitable self-service is even more demanding.
Chances are that we have seen good and bad examples of what you are trying to do. Let us help you save time and money.
Please download a PDF copy of this article here.
Contact us to get started on your project.