Product catalogs may work like ecommerce websites, but medtech company websites have to do more than just serve up product information. Companies need to tell their brand story, guide patients to relevant information, demonstrate why doctors should use their technology, and help administrators understand the value benefits.
In this webinar we covered:
- How to balance usability and SEO
Should all of your corporate and product information live on the same domain, or should you guide people to various subdomains?
- What to look for in your analytics
We know we should be referring to our web stats frequently, but what information will be most relevant for designing a product catalog?
- How user expectations should guide design
Product catalogs don’t win for being clever. They make money by allowing customers to easily accomplish their goals. Still, we can bring excellent design to usable sites.
Michael: All right, and welcome. We are talking today about unlocking better sales and customer service interactions with real customer data. My name is Michael Roberts, and I’m joined by Justin Bantuelle here. So we’re gonna dive in. There’s, there’s a lot that we want to cover today, so we wanna make sure that we get the chance to, to go through all of this. And then we’ve left like a good section of time at the end of this to kind of talk through some questions and answers, because that’s, that’s the real benefit here is, you know, we can show you sort of what it looks like to have the benefit, but to be able to get in and talk about some very real world scenarios. That’s, that’s our goal today. So let’s, let’s take a look at how this data connectivity can go from just a nice to have to an actual, have, have some real business impact for your company.
Michael: So the first thing to, to just note is we’ve got data in a bunch of different systems, right? They’re sitting in all these different places, data that could help us with closing sales, simplifying customer service efforts, all of these different things that we could do if the data was just speaking to one another, right? Like, if it was just put together in sort of a useful way that we could easily get to and that’s for so many reasons, more difficult than it should be. There’s, there’s a number of things that you have to get to kind of talk to one another. And so it takes real intent. So let’s talk just for a second about what, what the disadvantages are of not having that data talk to one another correctly. So this, these surveys that we’ll look at first are just a little bit older, but there’s a couple different surveys from 26 20 17, and the first one said that approximately 6 million in cost are lost to time resources, duplicated efforts, and missed opportunities.
Michael: And it’s that duplicated efforts component of that that’s so frustrating because that, that seems to happen in so many different ways. Business users are spending 34 minutes a day just transferring data from one system to another. That’s just silly even back in 2017. That was silly. Another study says that organizations are losing an average of 15 million a year. So depending on what size your company is, right, how many people you have that could be involved in potentially losing that sort of time that they should be gaining back. These are the kinds of losses you can see. And this, this last stat again, this was six years ago, but this stat of nearly 60% of organizations don’t measure the annual financial cost of poor quality data. Their data is so bad, they don’t even bother with trying to measure how much they’re actually losing because of that, of that, of that disconnection between all those sources.
Michael: So, frustrating, sad, but certainly something that we’ve seen. And then one other quick survey to look at. Business users are spending more time each week moving or entering data than they do actually analyzing it or using it to make decisions. As somebody that’s compiled a lot of reports, I can definitely verify that that’s a case that happens in that you try to pull together meaningful data, but you just get so many reports in and you don’t have a real reason for it all. It just becomes more noise, right? We’re, we’re all distracted. We all have a lot of things going on. Half of companies and organizations believe that disconnected data is hurting them, whether it’s for the ability to innovate or meeting customer needs. So clearly there’s an issue here, and these are some of the places where your data might live.
Michael: They might be in a CRM and some sort of support ticket system and some sort of billing system, right? There’s, there’s all these different ways that that data could be going, and specifically for medtech companies, things like your case data could be sitting on a medical device somewhere. There could be some sort of online application that could have be providing some sort of review for that. But, but people, again, maybe seeing it in this silo or completely disconnected from all of that. So there are real opportunities that that med tech companies in particular can, can see from creating this cross section. And that’s what we’re gonna look at here in just a second. But I, I list out all of these different things and then ask this question. You know, what could you do if you could pull that information together more meaningfully?
Michael: And this isn’t just a rhetorical question, right? This isn’t something that’s just like, oh, it would be nice if we had this, this data connectivity. Because if you’re going to do anything where you’re gonna move forward with connecting this data, you need to know what your benefits are gonna be. You need to have a reason. There has to be a why behind it. We love to get into the weeds and really focus on how it all comes together and how all these different technologies work. And, you know, we really geek out of that kind of stuff. But if the why isn’t there, it doesn’t matter. It’s all pointless. It’s just an exercise in, in technology. So I wanna take a a second to just talk about what are some of the business needs that you can resolve with connected data? What are you actually gonna use to get some sort of buy-in when you’re talking to the people that are actually establishing the budgets and putting this together?
Michael: So the first thing that I wanted to focus in on was, was customer satisfaction. You know, we’re talking about sales being able to resolve sales needs. We’re talking about customer service needs. Customer satisfaction is a crucial component of how customers interact with your company. Being able to speed up meaningful responses and not just get back to somebody and say, yes, I’ll go find out for you, but actually be able to look at some sort of set, set of information and come up with a real answer. There’s a marketer by the name of Jay Baer who talks about how critical this is becoming, and it’s the, the pandemic only accelerated the need for companies to be quick at answering at answering customers questions. And the funny thing is, it’s not, it’s not the young people that are out there needing these answers so fast.
Michael: It’s actually the, as you look at the different generations the higher you get in the, that generation, the more expectant we are of being able to get information back quickly. So that’d be the, the first thing is just looking at customer satisfaction metrics. There are a couple of different ones that I like to use. Of course there’s the net promoter score, which is just simply that question of how likely are you to refer us to somebody else? But even more than that is the customer effort score. So I think about, especially, you know, any kind of connected systems where you’re online and you’re trying to complete a task, how much effort the customer had to spend in order to make that thing happen, to complete what they were there to, to do, the easier that is, the quicker customers are gonna be able to get their work done, the more pleased they’re gonna be because the, the experience was set up in a meaningful way and it was a useful way of doing it.
Michael: And then the higher that that customer satisfaction level is, it’s likely that the lifetime customer value as a whole is going to be higher. You’re gonna be able to keep your customers longer because you’re not frustrating them with silly things. You’re able to serve them better by getting them answers quick, more quickly. And the other thing is, as, as we’re kind of talking about this customer effort score, the higher that device usage is, the more likely you are to retain that user, to retain that that customer. You know, think about if you have any sort of one-off costs that go with any procedure, the higher the num, the amount of usage is for that device, the more your company is gonna benefit. The longer that you can keep people on and have that become a part of their workflow, they’re gonna want to use that sort of device going forward.
Michael: So these are a couple of things where Justin, we’ll talk about this more sort of at the end, that we can really kind of talk about sort of how we’ve seen the need for an actual event really drive how well the project has succeeded when it’s come to getting, you know, buy-in from people higher up. And, you know, and, and even weathering changes that happen, you know, as you see different administration change and leadership change and all of that sort of stuff as well. So, let’s talk about our dashboard that we’ve created. This is an example dashboard that we’ve created. It’s the kind of thing that we would build. Justin, we’ve got a couple of different clients that have some sort of interface like this, at least that. So so very quickly what I wanna do is just kind of show off what kind of data we’re capturing here and talk about why that actually matters to somebody.
Michael: So what we’ve done is there are, you can see at the top there, there’s a number of surgeries completed. There’s a number of case reviews. So, you know, if you talk, take a look at our Dr. Reyes that we made up for this particular example. Dr. Reyes performed, you know, a certain number of surgeries there, and then she logged in several times to look at her cases and to actually get a, a feel for how those cases went and looking to see what she can do with that information. A lot of times in, in some of the systems that we’ve built, people are trying to export some of that information, maybe looking for specific points within a procedure, that sort of stuff would be the kinds of things they’d be looking at in case reviews. And then on the top right, when I think about customer service people, customer success people, salespeople, these are the kinds of metrics that I would want to keep an eye on.
Michael: When was the last surgery completed? And then when was the last case review? When was the last time that Dr. Reyes used our system in some meaningful way? Does that gap start to extend beyond what we think is normal, especially for Dr. Reyes, for her behavior in the past? Does it go for a couple months since she last used the system? If that’s, if that’s my customer, I’m calling Dr. Reyes and saying, Hey, is there some sort of problem with the machine? Is there some sort of problem with the way that cases are getting scheduled? You know, can we, can we talk about this and look at like how we can kind of help you troubleshoot this problem? And then the other thing that’s that also in this particular view when you kind of like look at this from like a marketing perspective as well, is sort of the CRM data that you would have, right?
Michael: Your customer relationship management data. And it’s just a matter of here’s when we sent out a note sent out an email, and here’s when the customer opened that email. So it’s this kind of cross section of here’s what our marketing was able to achieve, here’s how Dr. Reyes is using the device, here’s how Dr. Reyes is using our online systems, and we’re getting this really interesting kind of overview of how she’s interacting with our brand, with our device, with all of these different components. But I look at that timeline and I go, man, I don’t like that it’s been two weeks since she last used our system. What can we do about that? Let’s go add a task and we’re gonna get our sales rep and our product team to follow up to see what’s going on. Maybe we can get some more information there and she can let us know if, if she is running into any kind of thing that we need to troubleshoot.
Michael: This is then is the kind of thing that, again, you could go and do in your CRM directly, but you could also do it direct directly from this kind of system to just speed up that process so you’re not having to bounce between several different screens. Maybe this can help make people more, more efficient and give them all the real data they need to make these decisions and to assign these tasks. You go, you set your task, you save your task, and then now in the bottom right corner, we’ve got that information populated there to where people can easily see if you’re a salesperson, a customer service person, any of that kind of stuff, you can tell that Dr. Reye’s account is going to be getting some attention soon, and you can kind of rest easy in that knowing that somebody’s gonna be looking into that and trying to help out.
Michael: So that was sort of our hypothetical version of this. But I also want to kind of talk about some very real world cases where we can show all of the information. These are past projects that we can kind of talk about a little more freely as opposed to some current projects that we have going on right now. The Teleflex Vascular Catalog. Justin, this is where I can kind of really lean on you here and not make you just sit and, and listen to me talk the whole time, but I know that in order to get data into this system, this wasn’t just a one-time grab a bunch of information and dump it into a catalog, but this was something that was getting refreshed on a very regular basis. Can you, can you walk us through that process?
Justin: Sure, absolutely. So a a common situation is that you have a ton of data and it’s maybe not well structured or it’s housed in a massive tool like sap, and it gonna be years until you can get somebody internal to build a some kind of endpoint so that your application can pull that data. Maybe it’s particularly onerous to update it in there, but you need to get the data out to somebody, right? And the data needs to update routinely. With a catalog like this this constantly changes to the product. Maybe the product itself is the same, but then there’s components within the kit that the product is packaged in that gets cycled out. You want to make sure that you’re able to include additional information, like maybe competitor codes will be able to be searched so that you can present your product that serves the same purpose.
Justin: There’s all kinds of complex interactions between this data, or maybe this is sold out, but, or this was discontinued, but this is the replacement for it. So it’s not even just like, this is our product, this is our catalog mm-hmm. , there’s just reams of data that you want to be able to keep current. So to connect that to a system like this, which would be like an online version of a print catalog so that it’s more of a living document that people can see what you have. Ideally you would connect it to some kind of source of truth and it would pull in automatically. That’s always, always the best case scenario, but usually that’s prohibitively expensive due to the underlying technologies where that data’s housed. Timelines. Maybe this is something you’re building fresh and it’s difficult to justify the budget for it.
Justin: People aren’t willing to sign off on it until you’ve built a phase one, so you may need to do something in the interim that’s much more manual. This gets back to what we were talking about in the beginning where a lot of people spend a lot of time on data entry type tasks as opposed to the actual like analytics around data, but sometimes you need to do it manually upfront. In this case, I believe most of this data was powered by spreadsheets, but we agreed on a very rigid format. They had one person who was kind of responsible for the assembly and organization of the spreadsheets. There was a, a singular repository for where they would house them and make updates to them. So they created a lot of structure around something that’s often very freeform with spreadsheets. So that kind of enforcement allowed it to reduce the ongoing pain of maintenance with it. So they were able to upload those at any time to just make the content more up to date, so mm-hmm. , they could do it on demand, and they–we, we worked with them to find a interim solution so they could get this off the ground without having to deal with sap, which was a much bigger lift and something they wanted to do in a later phase. Absolutely. does that kinda speak to what you were talking about there, Michael?
Michael: Yeah, absolutely. So the connecting that data from from all the potential messiness down to a single source to where, and, and, you know, to where people could look at this according to what worked for them, right? I, I remember that in some of this, like this particular case, depending on which country you were in, some products were available and some weren’t. Right, you’re talking about like some of the, the pain of like trying to serve customers different, different hospitals and that kind of stuff. Again, going from a, a paper, you know, catalog to actually something that is, you know, something that you can use. But just creating sort of that streamlined process to where, you know, we’re not so much looking at looking at like the, the particular physician data or something like that, but this is a very, you know, potentially messy set of data that that was in the past. It was very messy to be able to kind of bring it down to this kind of single source was definitely, definitely a huge win for them. And then looking at another project that’s, that’s near and dear to us when you’re talking about trying to be able to work with, with our own customers in addition.
Justin: If I go back to the other one for Yeah, absolutely. I just wanted to talk a bit about like the advantages that were conferred from this, right? If you think about, if you just, you just had a print catalog, you have no idea who’s interested in one in particular until they make a purchase, but like, this enables so much more in terms of how your customers are engaging with your products. You’re able to see who’s visiting, what, what are the most commonly viewed products versus the most commonly purchased ones. Yeah, right. It fills in a gap of knowledge that you were lacking around how your customer’s engaging with you. This enabled like wishlists and things like that. So it does, it, it’s not just that you get a bunch of data sorted out and then suddenly like, okay, now I can do my application, but it adds a ream of additional data that you want to be slicing up and looking at and understanding.
Justin: So it kind of begets more data that can add more value down the line as well. Yeah. But now you need to look at that and glean meaningful insights from it, but that’s automatically produced at this point. Not necessarily automatically analyzed, but you’re not doing manual input to understand how people are doing things. Whereas like with these sales tools, if you’re like, they’re calling you and then you’re trying to capture that somewhere and then communicate to somebody else, like, this is what’s popular, this is what people are buying, right? This can take some of that lift off of you of data entry after the fact.
Michael: Mm-Hmm. . Yeah. It’s, it’s interesting, you know, so much of, of the sales process happens online, right? Yeah. It’s, so much of it happens without our direct intervention. People are doing so much more research they’re doing, and you know, the stats on this are, are pretty mind blowing. And so to be able to have that where you can come back and say, you know, guys, we’ve got, you know, everybody, we’ve got this product being looked at this often, but only 20% of the time are they actually going through and making the purchase. There’s a real gap here. You know, and that may be something that a salesperson could hear in person, maybe not, but that sort of interest and then actual follow through, that’s, that’s a big, a big gap, right?
Justin: You create some real actionable opportunities.
Michael: Absolutely. Absolutely. And that, and that’s really the point of all of this stuff that we’re looking at, is that yes, it’s great if you have the information, but again, if you’re not doing anything with it, you know, you’re just, you’re losing so many opportunities looking at one too far, but looking at sort of our own dashboard. And I wanna make sure we leave some time here for, for questions that we can throw in as well. But looking at our own dashboard, you know, this was about combining a number of different sources of information to make it easier for our customers and for ourselves. This is something where we work with a lot of orthopedic, spine, and neuro practices, and we help them with their marketing online, but there’s just a lot of administration that goes into all of that. So we’ve got a payment system, we’ve got user management, we’ve got email management, all of these different pieces of things, and how many systems are we, are we pulling from, from a two different, like systems that are like an email provider and then like a payment processor and then you That’s
Justin: Right. Then we have our system itself.
Michael: Yeah. Yeah. So three different systems working in combination. Again, you could go to all of these different sources and we, we did for a long time go to all of these different sources to manage all of these things one at a time. It just, again, loses so much time, loses how fast we can help customers, how fast customers can do their own stuff. And, and a lot of this wasn’t even possible for customers to manage on their own before. That’s
Justin: Right. Yeah. Yes. The majority of this they would have to reach out to us. They the invoices being accessible online really helps to answer questions is about, wait, how much am I paying? Yeah, what was I paying for within that? Like when you just have a li like a item on your credit card every month, you maybe lose track of it. So like email management for example, we have a number of emails that we provide for free, but then if they add additional users after that there’s a cost associated with it and this makes it very transparent. So we found that with a lot of our customers they had churn with their, like front desk staff, for example mm-hmm. , and they were maintaining a bunch of email addresses that were inactive. Yeah. Yeah. So this makes it very clear to them that one they’re paying and who two, what emails they’re paying for with that, whereas before they had to contact us to have us turn off an email or add a new email, things like that.
Justin: So of course they’re not gonna do any kind of cleanup or recognize, and we don’t know when their staffing changes. So this helped ameliorate that save some money for them. If they need to add new people, they can do it themselves. They’re still welcome to reach out to us and we’ll do it for ’em. Sure. But I, I think it just added a lot of transparency. Pay them paying us is just a lot less painful now with this there was one point of contact always at the company before mm-hmm. this allowed them to add a few different users. So somebody can be responsible for billing, somebody can be responsible for office administration. Those have different roles and responsibilities in what they can see, so it’s not just like tying the systems together so you can see it all, but it does empower them just to take care of what they need and see what they need. Mm-Hmm. in one place.
Michael: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So yeah, this is definitely, I, I think of this more as a customer service tool. But again, so much of the customer service is back in the customer’s hands. They can take care of their own needs, which is, which is definitely huge in this, in this era. So looking at some of the hurdles that exist to be able to, to make these kinds of things happen, you know, if, if you’re wanting to start out with this process of, of starting connecting data, you’ve already figured out sort of this is, this is the benefit benefit that we’re gonna get, right? Like, this is the, the thing that we as a company are gonna benefit from when we do this. But then those next steps are pulling together those lists of systems that you need to have talk to one another, looking at the ways that, that they can connect if there are costs associated.
Michael: And there are almost always costs associated with it, if it’s nothing else in just time. But figuring out what those costs are gonna be and then working with the dev team to figure out how this is all gonna work, the feasibility of it, the structure, maintenance updates, all of those kinds of things. And we certainly talked several times about how much people don’t think about the updates and maintenance beyond just the, I got it live and now I’m done phase. So there’s, there’s a lot that goes into that, and there’s, there’s definitely a lot of hurdles that people do face. And just to kind of wrap up this, this sort of like, presentation component of this, and then I definitely have some questions for you that I wanna throw at you, Justin, just as we’re kind of thinking through this getting buy-in as, as we’ve talked about earlier, here are the business needs that the business benefits that we’re gonna receive, but now let’s go ahead and share those with whomever.
Michael: It could potentially be, you know, approving some sort of budget or, or approving these, these kinds of projects. But I think that people definitely get very big eyes, you know, eyes bigger than their stomach kind of scenario where they start seeing, man, I’d like to get this data and that data and this data and that data, and maybe that’s gonna be beneficial. But all of those things that they’re grabbing at have a cost associated with them. I guess, can you speak to that some in terms of like how we’ve coached people through that kind of process in the past?
Justin: Yeah, absolutely. So I think having a vision is essential, right? Like, you wanna know where you’re trying to go but you know, if you have like a three year plan, you’re not gonna just fund and work for three years and then turn something on at the end of three years, right? Nobody’s gonna go for that proposal. So you need to figure out how to break down targets within that, find some kind of maybe minimum viable product, maybe something more than minimum viable. There’s nothing wrong with shooting for a little more than just like something bare bones. You may need to make enough of a splash to really gain credibility with your initial release. Doing something that’s too thin can underwhelm people and then you sort of lose them for further updates. So, but there’s a lot of considerations that go into it, but usually there is going to be some kind of core that can prove value on its own, even if it’s not where you want to go yet.
Justin: Mm-Hmm. . So knowing that you’re building your system towards that communicating that to developers communicating that to the, the people that are making the decisions, just the whole team needs to know like where you want to go, and then work with you to identify what’s a reasonable scope. If you come to the executives with a much more modest proposal and explain that this is how you’re getting from point A to point B to point C usually they’re keen to fund that initial round to prove that out. And if you know that the people you’re working with to build this for you are enabling, answering those questions, giving you the resources that then justify that second round, that third round mm-hmm. , right? If you’re taking that and having this very data driven conversation with the people that you need approval from it becomes a very easy conversation.
Justin: It becomes much more straightforward. And that’s generally how I recommend doing it. You also normally just, if you’re, realistically, if you’re paying somebody else to build something for you, you might not have all of the trust built up with them, right? So it’s a much safer bet to feel out the people that we’re working with to understand that they are the right people. They they’re people you do trust to see this through all the way or allow you to back out. Mm-Hmm. . I’ve seen a lot of projects that are just massive in scale and are like a year of development, and then 75% of the budget’s consumed and the project is nowhere near completion, and they’re so unsatisfied with who they hired and they just feel completely burned, and then there’s no budget and nobody’s willing to fund a whole do-over on it, right? They’re like, no, make do with what you’ve got, and you kind of can’t. So I think there’s a lot of value for a whole bunch of different reasons in taking more gradual steps towards what you’re trying to achieve and proving it out as you go and building that buy-in, demonstrating that value generating consensus. It just protects everyone, I think.
Michael: Yeah. You know, one of the things I was thinking about as we were, you know, kind of pulling this material together is that our job, right, as a company is we build these things, you know, on a custom level and pull all these different types of data together. But, you know, some of this stuff can be done in a, you can kind of dabble, I guess is the way that I would say. Like, you can just focus on, Hey, I’m just gonna pull data into the CRM and I’m gonna try to start connecting data from multiple sources right now and see how far my CRM can get me. I’m gonna do some of this manually and just see like what value I actually get out of having my own sort of dashboard that creates like this stuff like with our top customers and understanding what those new things are, being able to get some sort of idea of how valuable it’s gonna be.
Michael: One of the other things that, that I, you know, we just kind of I wanted to make sure we were hitting our time marks, but one of the other things that I think is so critical around all this is getting those benchmarks to understand this is how much value we’re getting right now out of the systems that we have. This is what our lifetime customer value looks like. This is what our customer satisfaction scores are right now without having these systems in place. Then starting seeing can we improve those? Can we make some sort of change with the different systems that we have available? I very quickly breezed right past the idea of costs of retrieving data. But there are some, there are definitely costs that go into that. Can you kind of talk through what cost around just data gathering and assembling and, and all of that sort of stuff means? And I know that’s a very, very broad question.
Michael: But if you can give some examples of like how
Justin: So with some tools, with some companies, like a lot of times you’re not housing the data directly or using some kind of cloud service. A lot of them offer APIs, A lot of them it’s your data. Some of them say No, if you’re working outside our system, then you’re gonna have to pay additional licensure fees or upgrade to this far more expensive plan. So sometimes it’s just a monthly or annual cost to even get access to it for the way you wanna work with it. Mm. Because you wanna cross reference that data against something else, and you can’t tie the two together in total, you’re able to extract the data and sometimes they make it very hard to extract that information. Mm-Hmm. , it could be that they’re the right tool, and that’s a fair cost. It could be that the wrong tool because they’re porting the information and making it difficult for you.
Justin: So some of it is just routine expenditure. Then beyond that you typically need to pay for some kind of middleware, I guess, for lack of a better word, that we’ll tie this information together in a meaningful way. Like you can pull from a whole bunch of different sources and feed that into an application you build and you have to pay to get the application built. Right. You need some kind of front end interface so that you can access this. But all that data does need to get married together. Mm-Hmm. . So there’s some kind of backend cost involved in fusing all of that information together and matching up the different records from the different systems tying all that together so that what you’re showing is a true representation of the info from your CRM, from your like data lake, from whatever other systems you may have.
Justin: Maybe you have a user authentication system somewhere else that you need to pull in order to understand who a person is to understand the data that belongs to them from everywhere. Maybe there’s higher level like facility or like hospital or customer data where you may have a bunch of users. There’s just a lot of different avenues that you may need to come at it from. There may be a lot of different sources. You may not need all of them immediately. Maybe you only need a little bit of information from some obviously in the medical space a lot of times EHRs are the data that is most difficult to get at. And that’s where you can incur a lot of expenditure, either through somebody manually exporting that data, scrubbing it so that it’s de-identified, or has the minimum necessary information for the, to satisfy the business associate agreement you have with a trusted partner. Mm-Hmm. . And paying somebody manually to do that is very time intensive and resource intensive. Sure. If you have an automated system wired up that definitely gets pricey in terms of paying for automated configurations between the two. And that’s not even to speak of all the legal hoops you have to jump through. And then you’re paying legal for that. You’re tying up a lot of people’s time. So these things can be very time intensive and cost intensive for several different reasons.
Michael: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Okay. So let’s do one last question here. And it’s a very open-ended one, , but the question I always like to ask in these kinds of things is, you know, what are we not mentioning as of yet? This is very much like the marketing guy’s view around, you know, thinking through these kinds of systems, but is there, are there other points or like other advice that you would leave somebody that’s thinking through how they can improve customer service, how they can improve sales responsiveness by looking at like how to tie systems together more effectively?
Justin: We’ve touched on it a little bit, but I would really emphasize consensus. The how of things in some ways is the least interesting question, right? Like the point of having a development team is that they figure out how to tie this together for you. Mm-Hmm. , if you can articulate the problems that you have and that you’re trying to solve, that’s great. That’s like essential to it. But if you’re not, if you’re trying to enable sales and you’re not talking to the sales team about the tool that you’re building, and you hand them something and say, Hey, you have to go use this, I know this is gonna make your job better. If you never talk to them about their problems or generate a buy-in from them about why you’re building this, it might flop even though it’s amazing. Mm-Hmm. . So like there’s just the social dynamic to making sure people have a seat at the table and a voice that really helps make someone like this stick.
Justin: I’ve seen amazing systems get built and just not utilized. Sure. And it’s almost always some kind of like political component to it as opposed to the tech side of it being inadequate. Mm-Hmm. . I think sometimes there is a negotiation that does need to happen where someone will say, I’ll only use this, but it has to do everything for me. Right. And finding some kind of compromise there where it’s like, that’s too expensive, but this is really important to the company. And finding a happy medium where it’s like, we’re, we’re gonna work towards that, but this is where we’re starting. Mm-Hmm. I would maybe caution against going to proof of concept with something. Sure. I’ve seen a lot of situations where something’s like really strapped for budget for a phase one, and it almost ends up being like a phase 0.5 or something.
Justin: Yeah. And it ends up proving it’s so valuable that it’s suddenly the whole company is depending on this, and maybe you built it brutally, you were racing to get it up and live, and it’s a bad code base, it’s not very reusable. It’s tremendously difficult to add the new functionality because you were just completely fixated on this one target mm-hmm. , and you lost sight of everything it needed to be expanded to do. So going too small upfront can harm you when you now have locked yourself into this thing that was meant to be kind of throwaway, just to show that it would be valuable. Right. You accidentally made it too valuable without putting enough into building it intelligently and now everyone needs it. So you can’t just scrap it and start over. Everyone’s actually using it on a day-to-day basis, and you’re kind of trapped now.
Justin: So I think having a long view on things making sure that you’ve given everyone who needs it a seat at the table. Mm-Hmm. . I think that having a mentality of iteration is important. Mm-Hmm. so often you’re guessing at the start, right? You understand your business, you understand your customers, you build something that you’re pretty sure is gonna be useful, but you’re not gonna get everything right up front. And that’s okay. If you get that in front of your customer and you have a healthy dialogue with them and you explain like, Hey, I’ve got this out here for you, but I need your feedback. I want to make this better for you. I’m committed to you, I’m committed to this product. Please like, help me know what does work for you, what doesn’t work for you. There’s very structured ways you can go about that.
Justin: It’s not just like come talk to me when you have something to say, but like, like actually engaging with sorts of surveys, questionnaires. Yeah. But not just like blindsided them with it, explaining why you’re doing that ahead of time so that they feel invested, they feel like they’re a partner in this product that they have purchased from you. And improving on it and something that’s like, okay, that you’ve shown care on, and then start releasing new things that take it from okay to excellent can sometimes generate even more trust and longevity in a relationship. Mm-Hmm. . So I, I think just understanding that there’s a, there’s a healthy amount of iteration that should happen with things like this. You can take your own data, your own analytics, you can get your customer feedback and improve over time. I, I think that’s more essential than just releasing the perfect product upfront, which is impossible. And until you have something launched, you can’t gain feedback.
Michael: Mm-Hmm. . Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. So
Justin: You don’t wanna lose ground spinning the wheels. Yeah. Yeah.
Michael: Yeah. Absolutely. Well, this is awesome. Thank you Justin. I appreciate your time today. Good to talk through sort of this, this process of making it less painful to see what your customers need and to be able to respond to them. This was our first webinar. We will be looking at creating another webinar coming up. We’ll be looking at some of the kind of work that, like what we did there for Teleflex and looking at product catalogs companies that have a massive amount of products and need to be able to get those out in meaningful ways and the least confusing way possible. So we’ve already had some interesting conversations around that. So look forward to seeing you there at that next, next event. Thank you so much for attending today. We appreciate it.
Justin: Take care.
Michael spends a great deal of time with the healthcare industry both professionally and personally, which gives him the perspective of what stakeholders on either side of the care equation need.
He began coding in 2008 and subsequently shifted his attention entirely to online marketing. Michael completed his MBA in 2018, focusing on the intersection of healthcare and marketing.