I’m not a technical person. Sure, I love to play with new gadgets that come on the scene, I’m an avid online shopper, and yes, you’ll see me wandering around with my son looking for the nearest Pokéstop.
My employer is deeply rooted in technology; touching everything from programming, installation, maintenance, repair, and even selling the equipment itself. I can honestly tell you I am probably the only person here who has no clue about the workings of one solution to the next. I’m the “wanna-be-geek” in the land of nerds I guess you can say… my peers would probably even tell me I’m getting that lingo wrong!
Where I fit in is with marketing and graphic design which thankfully means that I can convert the technical jargon into words the average person can understand. Even more recently however I have become deeply involved with the product management side. If you’re anything like me, you may be wondering why they would involve me when I admittedly have no behind-the-scenes technical experience. Simply put, neither do many of our clients.
When people use technology, they don’t necessarily need to understand how it all works in order to know what features or changes they would like to see. Like you, I use the products and I have my own formed opinions about features and what changes I would like to see to further benefit me. Also like you, I don’t care about how it gets done, I just know that I WANT it done and I WANT it done ASAP.
Technology can seem like a cold industry to get into for a creative thinker like me, but I can tell you that there is more heart involved in this business than you would ever expect. I have seen teams come together to devise solutions based on a client’s limited budget with absolutely no kick-backs or commissions in mind… just a genuine desire to give the client the best solution they can.
I have seen managers jump through hoops trying to negotiate our costs so we can get the reduce our prices as low as possible to meet the individual needs of the client.
We have managers that respond to each negative satisfaction survey to determine how we can improve our processes and win back the client’s trust.
I have personally taken on breathing new life into a product that has gained recent momentum. I regularly reach out to clients directly to see what features they enjoy and what feature requests they want added to a future release. While this has been a huge undertaking, being involved on the client level to develop this product excites me.
Technology itself may be cold and calculated, but the people who make up the industry have enough heart to give it a soul.
When choosing a technology vendor, make sure you found someone that will put that heart into the work they do for you. That’s where the true value of a technology partner weighs in. Be honest about your budget and expectations and the right team will help you move mountains to succeed because having a long-term client says much more about your reputation than only working for short-term customers.
It took me one hour to figure out how to turn on my first I-pad.
It took less than 20 minutes to find the heart behind this technology company.
Take a look at your long standing vendor partnerships. Why have you stayed with them as long as you have? What value did they bring to your company to have earned your loyalty?