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So you’re done building, what about the support?

You’ve had a vision. You’ve got a prototype and an MVP that’s thrilling. You outsourced the development and got the product up and running – it took longer and cost more than anticipated but you’ve arrived. It wasn’t easy, but you’re here. You’ve put so much money and time into this beautiful little platform/app/service/site. It’s a beautiful thing.

Now What?

Keep builing. Build the pre-sales support, the affiliate network, the materials to support the sales and marketing effort. While you’re at it build the end-to-end lifecycle support designed to catch prospects, funnel them through the on-boarding process into up and using your platform/app/service. Build the knowledgebase and troubleshooters and sophisticated helpdesk, video tutorials, handbooks and quickstart guides people have come to expect in self-service online reality. Be sure to have a live-chat, phone support and actuall downloads for those old-school enough to make those demands.

When you’re done with all those things put a process of review in place to keep it all up to date and then measure your attrition, on-boarding data, configuration data, and every other metric that might hint at where the gap is.

Product development is like a mountain – sure, there’s a mountain but you probably wont be parachuted in at the peak. There’s the planning and the gear and the drive and the hike in – then there’s the climb and the summit – followed by the descent and the hike out and the drive home. Your product it the peak … don’t forget the rest.

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