A Product in the context of software and web applications can is a software for re-sale or a repeatable automated software service. The software or service could be sold to other similar businesses or general public and the target geography can be one country, a region or global. Mostly the product is sold on a Software As A Service (SaaS) model though the business may sell it for a one off fee.
Google Play, Apple Store and Microsoft App store allow for Apps to be sold on global platforms and reach millions of potential customers instantly. Alternatively, products can be a web-based Cloud hosted application, a software extension or connector that does not rely on an app download.
Product Support is a vital piece of the product success jigsaw. Established companies and particularly start-ups can take a somewhat inward view that having a partner take care of product support could compromise the Intellectual Property or product support quality. Without doubt due diligence is a must but more important is being open and understanding the options and properly weighing the pros cons of each approach. Having a partner build and deliver support for your product gives you significant advantages and ability to scale and often minimises risk rather than increasing it. The cost effectiveness and flexibility with this approach are added benefits.
We think product companies should Think big Think different. A sound working framework with a partner built on an open trust-based relationship can give product companies access to multi-skilled teams that understand the industry, the product, the customer base and support needs. The team can support a wide range of customers via multi-channels and across different time zones. Further the partner can bring additional expertise to strengthen support with technologies such as advanced chat bots and train the bots further to provide enhanced automated support.
Imagine the support situation where a product is in nascent stage and gets approximately 1000 sales and support calls annually. With a major version release the base starts to grow 10% month on month. In such a scenario the call volume would grow to 3000+ (i.e. over 300%) in one year. If the month on month growth was 20%, the call volume would grow to nearly 9000 i.e. 900% higher call volume in 12 months. Would the business be able to cope with this?
There is the other underestimated side to this. Once a product starts breaking even or making a margin, businesses often fall in the trap of allocating some of their core product resources to support or hire support resources en-masse. While this helps in the short term, it mostly slows down the core product development effectively diluting your key strength.
A specialised product support partner who is building knowledge as you develop, launch and grow the product and who has established support processes will allow your business to speed up both product development while ramping up quality support without compromising either. The impetus achieved can multiply growth as higher support and feedback loops would mean consistently good customer feedback which can be a key influence for higher sales.