Manage-Remote-Software-Team

Top Tips for Managing a Remote Software Development Team

Every corporation, no matter how profitable, always seeks to cut down on operational costs. One of the most effective ways to reach this goal is outsourcing—the practice of seeking external support for non-primary business functions, so it can focus on its core goals, all while saving time and money. 

Manage-Remote-Software-Team

The trend of hiring remote employees is a modern business strategy that combines low-cost software development and experts. A poll by Gallup shows that 37% of the respondents said they have dabbled in some form of remote work. Big tech companies like Skype, MYSQL, SeatGeek, and Opera have all employed outsourcing in one way or another.

Whether you choose to get support from a third-party located in your main office’s country (onshore), a neighboring country (nearshore), or an entirely different region (offshore), learning how to properly manage a remote software team is crucial to your project’s success.

 

Managing Remote Software Teams Effectively

  1. Hire the right people and train if necessary

When recruiting your remote staff, the process should be of the same quality as when you’re hiring for the main office. Naturally, you’d want to work with an experienced software team who have the right mindset and attitude and are prepared to work in multinational environments. Experience in remote work is helpful but should not be a necessity.

You’ll have to communicate with your remote developers on a regular basis, so your questions should just be the same as the ones you’d ask any on-site worker. The next logical step is to train them, as it mitigates their shortcomings and weak spots while fostering positive traits. With adequate training, you can also compensate for the cultural differences, most notably communication concerns.

 

  1. Define work procedures

Clearly lay out project guidelines for productivity, teamwork, and accountability to your employees. Explain the project, describe the goals in detail, and review the requirements to make sure you have all the functionality you need. Your remote team can work faster and give a more precise quote if you clearly state the vision of your project.

Your outsourced partner may be highly-experienced with businesses in your industry but remember that they’ve never worked with you before. Focusing on training and orientation remote teams during the onboarding process will reduce the risk of potentially costly mistakes in the long run.

 

  1. Schedule communications to stay on the same page

Working across potentially different time zones is a challenge, so you should strictly maintain scheduled meetings to help all offices align and organize every team’s workflow. When you fail to conduct regular consultations and meetings, there can be gaps in communication, causing delays.

A good practice is to hold regular meetings with your remote team (weekly or monthly). These catch-up sessions can be used to ensure everyone is aligned on priorities, facilitate brainstorming sessions, and educate partners on new projects or products.

 

  1. Utilize collaboration tools and test it regularly

Outsourcing employees are nowadays made easier with reliable collaboration tools like Slack, Skype, Google Hangouts, etc. These programs are essential as they can help structure your teams’ work and contribute to productivity. There are also tools available for instant messaging, email, file sharing, project management, productivity, among others. Don’t forget to test their functionalities to figure out the tool that best fits your organizational structure and workflow.

 

  1. Share and work on feedback

Give immediate and extensive feedback on every iteration and sprint, so your remote team knows what to work on. Of course, be prepared to hear the team’s feedback as well. Have a quick chat every now and then to know their perspective on things. A few good questions like what could go wrong with the project, what you could do differently, and if they have all the tools to complete the work should be enough to maintain a clear direction for the partnership.

 

  1. Continuous integration

Continuous integration refers to keeping the source code of the program in a continuously “working state”. Continuous integration is more helpful when teams are in different locations with different working hours as it can help in efficiency and productivity. When teams can’t always communicate in an ad hoc way to diagnose problems, it builds discipline and maintains efficiency.

 

  1. Be prepared with a NDA

The nature of a developer’s work involves a lot of proprietary code, algorithms, and other confidential information. At some point during the project, they may also gain access to your client database, core platform, and the company’s proprietary algorithms. You should always ask them to sign a non-disclosure agreement before getting started for the safety of your sensitive information.

 

  1. Have a face-to-face from time to time

Traveling to your remote staff’s location to meet them helps you personally settle their concerns without being pressed for time. You can also consider flying your remote workers in for a short training opportunity at headquarters. This allows you to establish personal connections and inspire them with your passion and vision for the project. It’s a good investment for long-term productivity.

 

  1. Forget micromanagement

Micromanaging your employees is never an efficient policy; more so when you’re managing outsourced workers. You may especially find it hard if you have a background in software development. So, instead of solving issues with the programming, work on communicating the project goals and concerns.

 

  1. Learn the social aspect of software development

Your team must learn how to rely on your outsourcing partner’s accountability as individuals, and to build trust at an organizational level. Help create an online community with them that aims to share knowledge, and fosters collective code ownership, a culture of learning and accountability, and interaction among team members.

Don’t let projects become siloed. Support your team as they find the most effective way to meet their objectives.

 

Conclusion

With all the advantages you can enjoy from hiring a remote team for your software development, it’s easy to overlook the challenges you may also face. That’s why it’s important to discover for yourself if it’s something critical to your business and if you have the resources to pull it off.

More than having the right management strategies, clear communication with the group especially in terms of objectives and deadlines, proper tools and resources to effectively work on the project, and being flexible with their expert perspectives are some of the considerations you should have before hiring a remote software team.

 

To find out how the seasoned experts at Intelligent Bee can help with your business’ software needs, contact us today!


Easiest-Programming-Language

Which Programming Language is the Easiest to Learn?

When you hear the word coding, what comes to mind?

Easiest-Programming-Language

It’s not surprising to hear the answers like “intimidating,” “difficult,” or even “boring.” Even though there are learning communities and an increasing number of resources online, the topic isn’t exactly easy to digest on your own. Add the fact that people say you need to put in a lot of hours, or else you’ll never get the hang of it. Truth be told, it really is like learning a whole new language.

Despite these odds, software engineering is proving to become more popular and relevant today. We’re living in a tech-filled world where companies are constantly creating programs and systems that make our lives easier. The number of self-taught expert developers is rising—69% of programmers in a Stack Overflow survey revealed that they learned how to code on their own.

So, if you’re interested in learning to code, you might be wondering what’s the best foundational coding language to start with. Below are some of the easiest programming languages you can learn and what you can build with it.

 

7 of the Easiest Programming Languages to Learn

 

  1. HTML

Ease of Use: 5/5

13.3% of programmers agree that HTML is the most straightforward programming language to learn if you’re starting (13% may not seem like a huge number but let’s keep in mind that it’s really difficult to get programmers to agree on things). HTML is the backbone language of most modern web pages across any browser, making the knowledge of this program highly relevant in any field. With HTML, it’s easy to view the source code of other web pages. You can use this in conjunction with other languages as well.

 

  1. Python

Ease of Use: 4/5

Python is widely praised for its high readability and simple syntax, with 9% of programmers voting this as the second easiest language to learn after HTML. It’s one of the most widely-used high-level programming languages and has a lot of tutorials published online for self-study. Learning Python is a great stepping stone for learning other object-oriented languages. With this coding language, you can automate and mine data, and do cool things like create a calculator or build a blockchain.

 

  1. C++

Ease of Use: 4/5

Many programmers love C++. Those with less than ten years of experience rate it as the second language they’re most comfortable using, right after HTML. It’s used to code desktop applications, especially those that are performance-intensive. In fact, Microsoft, Oracle, PayPal, and Adobe are written using C++. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that knowledge of this coding language remains in high demand. Some of the things you can create with this are games, operating systems, and desktop programs.

 

  1. JavaScript

Ease of Use: 3.5/5

JavaScript is an open source code that combines C, C++, and Java. According to a survey from WP Engine, 5.4% programmers think that JavaScript allows them to be the most creative with their projects. 5% also agree that it’s versatile language to write in, which is good for increased functionality and compatibility of the code. JavaScript is one of the most popular frameworks, perfect for interactive web components. You can build websites, web apps, presentations, server applications, web servers, games, and smartwatch apps with JavaScript.

 

  1. Ruby

Ease of Use: 3.5/5

At its core, Ruby was designed to be user-friendly—their tagline even reads “a programmer’s best friend.” They have a framework called Ruby on Rails which supports this language fabulously. The ease of use of the script and structure together makes it a natural choice for creating mobile and desktop apps, web apps, database work, web servers, and more.

 

  1. PHP

Ease of Use: 3/5

PHP is an all-purpose scripting language that can be embedded in HTML. According to the TIOBE Index, it’s one of the top 10 most popular programming languages worldwide. However, compared to other languages, the trend for skill in this language seems to be declining. That said, it doesn’t mean that learning PHP is a bad choice, as you can use it for web development, desktop applications rich in graphics, command line scripting, and server-side scripting.

 

  1. Java

Ease of Use: 3/5

Java is a class-based, object-oriented coding language, which makes it capable of creating feature-rich programs. It was designed to be portable, meaning you can find it on various platforms, operating systems, and gadgets. It has an extensive toolset and active editors in its online learning community, who help learners with their questions or coding errors.

Knowledge of Java opens a lot of doors to employment. You can write web apps, develop games, automate cloud computing tasks, develop smart gadgets and incorporate IoT tech in your creations.

 

Final Thoughts

The demand for computer programmers will likely continue to increase over the years. To build interest for the current and future generations, we must strive to create better learning programs and encourage those who show interest in the subject matter.

Learning how to code is never going to be a walk in the park, but with the right tools, learning community, and mentor, it’s definitely not out of reach!

 

Don't have time to learn how to code? Contact Intelligent Bee for all your software development needs!


Software-Deployment-Checklist--Banner

Software Deployment Checklist for Businesses

Software-Deployment-Checklist--Banner

Every business wants their new app or software, whether in its first iteration or the form of an update, to launch successfully. In this day and age, many users expect polished, hi-tech platforms accessible at their fingertips. Sorting out all the kinks and bugs on your new software is critical in ensuring all systems and their usability are optimized and performing well.

Overall, software or web deployment covers installation, configuration, running, testing, and tweaking systems in your product. You want to make sure that nothing less than the best is getting released to the public. It may sound like a daunting task, but with this checklist, you can make sure that you’ll have all your bases covered.

Software deployment testing can be done both in a test environment before deployment or in the live environment after deployment. For this article, we’ll go with live environment testing after deployment.

Software-Deployment-Checklist--Infographic

Understanding the Deployment Process

 

  • Close the loop between development and operations

Having your development and operations departments on the same page of your deployment schedule is best for everyone in the team. There should be transparency and responsibility to inform both sides about infrastructure changes, timing, and release strategy.

 

  • Develop a rollback plan

If the live version of your software encounters too many problems, it’s wise to have a rollback plan. Revert it to the previous state and ensure that the rollback has no issues, either. Sometimes, this can cause more problems than patch up a problematic software release.

 

  • Notify stakeholders of the release

This is an easily overlooked part of the planning process that can make a huge difference when it comes to successful adoption of the software. Something as simple as informing users and stakeholders about the schedule can save a significant amount of time and prevent unnecessary confusion.

 

  • Develop and finalize your release strategy

The deployment comes in different kinds, so align with your team about which type you want to execute for your software. Will you roll it out completely or by batches? Does it require a reinstall for your users or will the update take effect online? Go for the right kind of operations that matches the nature of your software.

 

  • Keep changes to a minimum

As you near deployment, you should be able to lock all systems in place. If you plan on making any changes, make sure you inform your team and keep them to a minimum. Any alterations should not be significant enough to delay the timeline unless you plan on pushing it back. It’s always better to be sure and prepared.

 

  • Utilize automation tools

Wherever you can remove human error, do so. Automation tools now exist to make deployment possible in a few clicks of a button. This can speed up repetitive tasks and allow you to control how much you want to deploy rather than all at once. Automation is also essential in your rollback strategy—if you automate that process as well, there’s no need for you to redo or lose a lot of changes on your code.

 

  • Consider a continuous deployment process

Continuous deployment, part of the continuous improvement mindset, involves deploying new software updates automatically when developers make a change (it assumes that there will always be bugs in the production version). The upside of incremental rollouts is that they’re systematically quicker and easier to rollback than full-releases. But of course, there are additional costs involved with the high demand for quality assurance testing.

 

  • Keep a close eye for bugs or crashes

Even though deployment is fully automated nowadays, errors can still occur. Standby during the deployment proper and get ready to dive in to fix your codes or scripts should it be needed. This is where your rollback plan can potentially come in handy.

 

  • Test all critical areas of your software

Make sure all systems are greenlit and working as they should. Do several tests such as functionality testing, user experience testing, performance testing, compatibility testing, and security testing, to name a few. These tests will allow you to gather statistical and analytical data on how well your software is performing.

 

  • Systematically report all bugs and errors

Proper categorization of errors makes prioritizing and testing a lot simpler. The most urgent fixes should be first deployed in the test environment for regression testing before being deployed in the live environment. Repeat this testing cycle for all as you move forward in the deployment process.

 

  • Set up performance metrics

How will you know if your deployment was a success? You can create your KPIs for the software surface level, such as page load times and server CPU usage. Or, you can drill down further and come up with custom KPIs. These can measure the efficiency and effectiveness of every aspect of your DevOps’ toolchain.

 

  • Keep an eye on error logs

How are your logs doing? Take note of the volume and make sure that it hasn’t changed drastically. It’s generally bad news if logs stop or if the number drastically increases. Check the records of any new features you’re testing out as well and identify a baseline of when you need to step in if you start receiving error logs.

 

  • Use an error-tracking program

It’s always a good idea to utilize a bug-tracking software like Bugzilla or Airbrake to manage contextual information about the errors your software encounters. Not only will these tools make you quicker to respond to potential issues, you’ll also get a much better idea of the software’s overall health.

 

Flexible Software Deployment

In this day and age, software deployment needs to be flexible and agile. Here’s how you can do that:

  • Having a software deployment checklist can help you get your business in order. If you’re prepared for any scenario, you’ll be able to think on your feet faster.
  • Have the necessary deployment tools in your arsenal so you can automate all the critical parts of your software development and deployment.
  • Keep observing KPIs to detect any problems, should there be any. Be sure to trace the source so you can avoid the same issues from arising next time.
  • Never release an update without a rollback strategy. Sometimes, the best way to fix software issues is to revert to the previous version, so don’t forget to backup.

The best case you can hope for during software deployment is to let it run itself without having to worry too much. With preparedness and having the right tools to support your processes, you can be sure that your next deployment will always go smoother than the last.

 

Conclusion

The success of a software deployment doesn’t just rely on the performance, scalability, and excellent user experience of your software—it should also be able to reflect in your business success goals. If your number of users, conversations, and usage are increasing, that means that the new software has made a significant impact on your business operations as well.

Software development is a meticulous process. If you choose to seek external support, be sure to avoid common mistakes when outsourcing software development. The more careful you execute this, the more it will save you from future headaches on possible bugs, crashes, or any other failures you don’t want your software to have.


How-Mobile-Apps-Help-Grow-Businesses

10 Ways Mobile Apps Help Grow Businesses

How often do you browse Amazon listings via their mobile app or place an order through the McDonalds app? As the digital era goes mobile, companies get into the groove of building their own mobile apps that enable customers to stay connected and get things done with just a few taps on their devices.

How-Mobile-Apps-Help-Grow-Businesses

Your business doesn’t have to be as big as Starbucks or Nike for apps to be considered valuable to your growth. If your company has yet to start milking the flow of opportunities that mobile offers, then there’s no time to waste. A look at the following mobile device usage statistics show how mobile app development can benefit your business:

  • 80% of smartphone users are more inclined to purchase from companies with mobile apps or sites that help them answer their inquiries quickly. (Google)
  • 90% of users’ time on their mobile phones is spent on apps. (Flurry)
  • Smartphone users are more likely to purchase from brands whose mobile apps or sites tailor information to their location. (Google)
  • Compared to mobile sites, customers view 4.2x more products per session on apps. (JMango360)

 

Questions to Ask Before Building a Business App

The temptation is reasonable. But before you take the plunge, it’s helpful to check if your vision aligns with your mobile app’s purpose. Here are a few questions to ask before you push through with your mobile app development.

  • Do your competitors have apps? What features do they have?
  • How will it help your customers? What problems will the app solve?
  • Do you want to enhance the experience of your existing customers or bring new ones in?
  • Will you offer a customer loyalty program?
  • Will it simplify processes for your internal team or your customers?

If you have solid answers to all these, then it’s time to start building your mobile app!

 

How Mobile Apps Can Support Your Business

 

  1. Boost brand image

Mobile apps provide awareness through branded communication with consumers. Without one, your brand might come across as outdated. As with distributing stickers or calendars with your brand image, your logo and brand name are constantly plastered on your customers’ device home screens. Your customer’s regular interaction with your app also fosters trust, which conditions them to commit to your brand.

 

  1. Enhance customer service

Customer service and support has evolved from person-to-person interactions to digital channels. Having the ability to access your products and services 24/7 without having to wait for regular business hours is a great advantage for customers. Plus, points for your brand if your app includes a messaging feature where they can reach you directly without leaving the app.

 

  1. Personalized marketing channel

Mobile apps offer various ways where you can diversify personalized marketing campaigns, such as push notifications. You can use them to advertise new products, discounts, special events, promotions, and much more. You can also use it to remind existing customers how long they haven’t shopped with you or when their waitlisted item gets restocked.

 

  1. Make consumers feel more valued

Business is all about give and take. As much as you want to increase your sales, you also want to show how much you value your customers. One way to encourage more conversions is through a loyalty program built into the app.

The more frequent they avail of your products or service, the more points they get, which they can use to claim rewards—exclusive to app subscribers. Seeing how many points they’ve earned and what rewards are on offer without going to your website will entice them to follow through then and there.  

 

  1. Get on that word-of-mouth marketing

One of the most powerful effects of the mobile age is its strong facilitation of word-of-mouth marketing. You can feature a referral program within the app and reward customers who share the app or your content to a friend.

 

  1. Quick access to data anytime, anywhere

With every mobile app comes an array of data analytics features. Like a website, you’ll have access to all the behavioral and transactional data collected by your mobile app. This information can help your brand build insights on your target audience and improve future campaigns.

 

  1. Better productivity

With automation lifting a heavy weight off employees’ shoulders, they can focus on more on their primary function: providing a great product/service. Corporate apps can make jobs more convenient and help produce more quality work. The use of a cloud service can additionally help make decision-making faster and more efficient.

 

  1. Automation of processes

One of the primary reasons why businesses are jumping on enterprise mobility is because of automation. Being able to automate and streamline various tasks with minimal human intervention can save you precious time at work and reduce the risk of error.

 

Summing it up

We live in a fast-paced digital era, and it’s never been more obvious that smartphones and mobile apps have marked their territory in people’s lives. It’s up to businesses to adapt if they want to ride the trends and embrace this digital transformation, which is an excellent way to connect with customers, improve branding, or scale business processes more efficiently.

 

You don’t have to be a tech company to have a mobile app. Every brand deserves to have its own “big idea” when it comes to mobile apps. So, what’s yours?


Technical Support In-House vs Outsourced

Technical Support: In-House vs. Outsourced

IT support is a critical aspect in business, especially in these times when the use of technology is so widespread. In your own backyard, you’ll find that a lot of your processes depend on your organization’s IT system and resources. For instance, your IT team is responsible for making sure that your files and data are stored and backed up properly, or that only authorized persons will have access to your internal network.

Technical Support In-House vs Outsourced

Tech support also helps resolve issues and complaints that customers might have when using your product or navigating your site, app, software, and the like. Altogether, these forms of support can offer tremendous value to your business’s growth, which makes it imperative that you invest in excellent IT support for your business.

The question is whether you should build your own team or outsource your tech support. Because both options come with their own advantages and drawbacks, it might not be easy for you to choose one over the other. A good rule of thumb is to use your unique business situation as the basis for your decision.

Here’s a rundown of how an in-house and outsourced technical support stack up against each other.

 

The In-House Tech Support Option

Pros Cons
Your employees’ salary will be the same regardless of the size or nature of the task at hand. You’ll need to scale up your team to cater to a broad range of expertise.
You’ll have a point person on site most of the time, so addressing issues will be fairly quick. You must have an on-call staff to deal with problems that happen outside of regular working hours, on holidays, or when your point person is unavailable.
The team knows your company’s set-up and system inside out. You need to invest in regular training to your IT staff to upgrade their skills.

 

Requirements

Having the right resources can help ensure that your in-house IT support team operates efficiently. It all starts with recruiting network administrators, developers, and technicians with a degree or certification in the fields of computer science, computing, or software engineering. Your candidate should demonstrate skills in troubleshooting, logical thinking, and problem-solving.

Time management is also an important aspect since your IT team will be dealing with time-sensitive service issues and requests. Not to mention the need for good interpersonal skills (they are your support staff after all). Without good communication, you're bound to run into some problems.

There should be a dedicated workspace for your tech support team, too. You’ll need to set it up with the right infrastructure, including the necessary hardware and software. Your team won’t be able to do without internet connectivity, servers, modern computers, routers, telecom equipment, productivity applications, database management system, and the like.  

 

When Do You Need an In-house IT Support?

Here are some cases when it might be ideal to build or maintain your own tech team:

  • You’re developing a product and you need to closely coordinate different aspects of the project with your team.
  • You’ve implemented customized systems that only your team can understand.
  • You’re in the fintech industry, where the technology itself is the main product or unique selling proposition of your company.
  • Your operations involve handling ultra-sensitive data that you’re not willing to share with third parties.

 

The Outsourced Tech Support Option

Pros Cons
Your customers will have 24/7 access to an IT help desk. There might be communication or cultural barriers between your customers/employees and your outsourced tech support team.
You have lower overhead costs, including those related to infrastructure, employee benefits, and trainings, as well as building leases. You might have limited management control over remote employees.
You have more free time focus on your business’s daily operations and core competencies. You have to set parameters regarding data privacy and intellectual property concerns.

 

Requirements

With outsourced technical support, most of the requirements pertaining to recruitment, training, and IT infrastructure will be the responsibility of your service provider. However, you must determine the level of IT support service to outsource. Here are three possible models:

  1. Break-Fix Support. The outsourcing company remotely fixes any issues with any of your computers or your network as they happen. There will be additional charges for on-site visits or when there are replacement parts needed for your equipment.
  2. Pro-active Support. The goal is for the IT support company to prevent system outages in your network through regular monitoring or updating of your hardware and software.
  3. Fully Managed Support. This involves delegating all of your IT support and maintenance needs to the outsourcing company. If you’re choosing this service model, make sure to discuss key areas such as response times, staff coverage hours, compatibility of applications, hardware warranties, and everything else that might impact the quality of support for your company or customers.

 

When Do You Need to Outsource Your Tech Support?

You may need to hire an expert tech support team in these situations:

  • You plan to use your cost savings to build bigger or better products or services.
  • You’re in an industry – e-commerce included – where you want to focus on what you’re selling rather than how you’re selling it.
  • You have different skill and knowledge requirements for every project in the pipeline.
  • You’re working with critical deadlines for your project, product, or service.
  • Your business is expanding into foreign markets or highly specialized industries.

 

Final Words

There’s no question about the importance of a good IT support for your business. While choosing between having an internal IT help desk and outsourcing to an expert tech support team may depend on your business priorities, it’s worth noting that outsourced IT support offers several long-term benefits for your company. These may range from reduced operational costs to a wider pool of IT experts and access to on-demand services.

As a result, your product or service model becomes more efficient and satisfying for your customers while providing overall growth for your business.

 

Find out how the experts at Intelligent Bee can make technical support a breeze!


iOS vs Android Apps Development

Android vs iOS: What Platform Should You Build Your Mobile App For?

Now that we live in a society that’s heavily reliant on mobile technology, mobile app development has seen a boom over the last few years. As smartphones get an upgrade with each brand’s release of their flagship device, apps become more advanced. They dish out more features that not only help users but also businesses to expand their operations through this platform. Apple has even trademarked the catchphrase “there’s an app for that” to let users know there is one that can actually help with just about any particular task.

iOS vs Android Apps Development

According to an App Annie report, the mobile app industry earned a whopping US$41.1 billion in gross annual revenue and according to Statista, it’s projected to hit US$101.1 billion by 2020. With the population of smartphone users growing each year, the market is far from saturated.

Internet on-the-go is clearly a necessity for many users, and there’s nowhere to go but up. More companies are starting to jump into the mobile app arena after regarding smartphones as a catalyst that can grow their business. The mobile app platform has become a channel to boost sales, increase brand awareness and deliver content through branded apps.

But how do you jump into the fray? Like all things technical, there’s a process you need to go through. Here’s how it currently goes:

 

  1. Choose an initial platform for the app

There are two giants that dominate the current smartphone market: Android and iOS. To find out which one has more users, a study by Gartner found that 87.8% of smartphones sold in Q3 of 2016 globally were Android. In contrast, Apple only had 11.5%. While there is a huge difference, that doesn’t mean going for Android is the better choice.

 

  1. Test and get feedback

Once you’ve developed your app on your preferred platform, you will need to beta test it to an intended audience and collect feedback on how it works. During this process, you will know if everything about how the app is designed works perfectly. You will also find out if there are bugs you need to fix and improvements that would make your app better.

 

  1. Make iterations and expand features

After zeroing in on the bugs and identifying what you need to improve on, you can release new versions packed with all the new features. This is a continuous process; as your business improves, so does your app to deliver the best user experience you can offer.

 

  1. Build and release the app on the other platform

You will eventually be able to figure out how everything works on your initial operating system. The next step is to widen your reach, so your next move is to release your app on the other platform.

But for your initial development, testing, and optimization processes, you should be able to address the question: Which platform should you go for? Let’s weigh up the differences.

 

Android

The Pros: With its open-source software, Android offers app developers a low barrier of entry and allows the use of crowd-created frameworks and plugins. This results in a platform that’s more flexible, which gives developers the freedom to play around with their app’s features and functionalities. This kind of technical environment enables them to modify apps to make the necessary improvements.

As mentioned earlier, Android operating systems have a huge monopoly over the smartphone market. Although this makes Android look like the obvious first choice, there are many other factors that come into play.

The Cons: Although Android’s open-source nature is favorable for developers, it’s a double-edged sword. Android app development is more complex, taking more time to master. And while the OS covers a wide variety of devices and iterations, this benefit causes a large amount of fragmentation. This results in varied user experiences across all devices.

With its highly-fragmented platform, developers are faced with a real challenge as apps need to be optimized for various screen sizes and operating systems. This leads to a lot of compatibility and testing required, ultimately increasing development costs. For this reason, app development takes longer than those on iOS.

 

iOS

The Pros: iOS offers a more stable and exclusive platform for developers, making the apps easier to use. Apple designed it to be a closed platform, so the company can design all of their own hardware and software around it. This gives them the authority to impose strict guidelines, resulting to a quick and responsive platform where apps are designed well with less piracy involved.

Since 2016, over 25% of iOS developers earned over US$5,000 in monthly revenue, while only 16% of Android developers generated the same amount. And when it comes to monthly revenues earned by mobile operating systems, a Statista study estimates iOS earns US$8,100 on average per month, bumping Android to second place with US$4,900. But despite these numbers favoring iOS, a third of developers prefer Android.

Compared to the thousands of devices using Android, iOS runs on a mere 20 devices. And with both resolution and screen size playing a smaller role in the app development process, it’s quicker and easier. This results in significantly less device fragmentation.

To put things into perspective, developing an app compatible with three of the latest iOS version covers about 97% of all iOS users. This makes it a fitting choice for first-timers in app development.

The Cons: Due to its restrictive nature, developer guidelines offer a fixed set of tools to build an app, making customization limited. And with the frameworks used to build an app, many of them licensed, development costs could increase.

Additionally, iOS is widely regarded as a more mature operating system than Android, with established rules and standards. These can make approval from the App Store more difficult, taking 4-5 days for an app to be granted one.

 

Cross-Platform App Development

The Pros: Essentially, cross-platform app development allows you to develop two apps---both for Android and iOS---at the same time. The tools you can use reduces the time and costs related to app development on both platforms. One of the most influential frameworks currently out there is React Native.

React Native is the brainchild of Facebook with the goal of having a framework for smooth and easy cross-platform mobile development. This means no more creating apps separately for Android and iOS. All it takes is one codebase and you’ll be able to create awesome apps that work on both platforms without compromising user experience or interface.

Since cross-platform app development has a ‘write once, run everywhere’ approach, it greatly reduces costs and development time. This means there is no need to learn multiple technologies; all you need is to master a few and you can set things in motion. Initial deployment for your app will move along much faster due to its single codebase nature.

Additionally, any changes needed to be done on the app can be implemented simultaneously without making separate changes on each platform. In terms of business, it’s ideal to develop cross-platform apps to reach a wider audience, which would ultimately lead to higher revenues.

The Cons: Compared to Android and iOS, cross-platform apps do not perfectly integrate into their target operating systems. This results in some apps failing to perform at an optimal level due to erratic communication between cross-platform code and the device’s Android or iOS components. This may also result in failure when it comes to delivering optimized user experiences.

 

Conclusion

Your choice will entirely depend on your business goals and budget. Each of these platforms has its strengths and weaknesses, but to help you decide, you should know what’s going to work for your business. After careful consideration of your costing, the time of release, and the reach/target audience you’re aiming for, you may have a clearer picture as to where you would want to build your app.

 

Looking for a pro to help with your mobile app development project? Contact our seasoned experts at Intelligent Bee to learn what we can do for your business!


Software Development Outsourcing Mistakes

10 Mistakes to Avoid When Outsourcing Software Development

It’s true that every business process takes time to learn, execute, and grasp—but they are essential steps, nonetheless, and thus should be meticulously done to keep the company going.

Software Development Outsourcing Mistakes

However, it’s also true that all businesses aim to be the best in their industry and to achieve that, they need to focus more time and effort in the activities in which they intend to be experts. When you become the best in the field, you become more globally competitive, giving you an edge against other companies.

But that would mean abandoning other activities which may still be necessary. To solve this dilemma, outsourcing some businesses processes can help, especially with things like IT-related tasks. Outsourcing software development and other functions will allow you to focus your resources on your area of expertise, so you can have more time to modernize offerings, give better customer service, and increase profits.

Rising demand for software developers makes this a more competitive playing field, so it helps to know the best practices to take:

 

The Selection Process

Now that you’ve decided to get into outsourcing, it’s time to find the right partner. Keep in mind that not all software development services are created equal, so you need to be on the lookout for considerations that fit your needs. Due diligence can make or break the quality of the software, not to mention your business relationship with your third-party service provider.

Some factors to consider include:

  • Location and distance of the outsourced company
  • Experience and qualifications—including communication skills
  • Technical expertise
  • Cultural considerations
  • Rates
  • Legal, physical, and technical protection

 

Costly Mistakes When Outsourcing Software Development

 

  • Not doing market research

Before even attempting to outsource software development, do a bit of market research. Understand the hurdle that you want your solutions to overcome, then find the market for service providers that address said hurdle.

Identify what solutions your competitors are using. Look at some of the more successful brands in your industry. What are they offering? How do they execute their strategies? Don’t worry too much about the negative perception with copying your competitors’ strategies because without market research, you will fail even if your idea is original.

 

  • Poor selection process

As mentioned, a thorough selection process can help you find the best service provider. In essence, not considering the factors (perhaps, just choosing one because it’s cheap) is a recipe for disaster. Conduct research and analysis on your prospects, including cost-based and non-cost-based factors, operating model, and get an understanding of how the market functions.

You can also check reviews and feedbacks from previous customers, read their portfolio, website, blog posts, and social media accounts, or learn their company values and culture.

 

  • Unclear requirements and vision

Without details of the project, your outsourced team won’t be able to work on anything, and things can get worse if your details are incomplete. You first need to know exactly you want to create to form the idea and implement it through the software.

Along with a vision for the project, you need to have a plan on how to see it through. More importantly, communicate it clearly to the team—everyone from both sides must have a deep understanding of the project and should ask any questions if anything is unclear.

 

  • Putting hourly rate ahead of everything

Rates will always be a consideration when it comes to outsourcing, but the problem occurs when hourly rates become the main determinant when choosing a team. What many businesses don’t realize is that, in the long run, they could be spending much more on fixing the mistakes made by their badly-picked team. However, it’s also true that high hourly rates don’t guarantee high-quality work.

Instead, pay attention to the hourly rate but don’t consider it as the most critical consideration, as low prices don’t guarantee savings. Have a range of hourly rates that you’re happy to work with, filter the potential candidates by this factor, and then continue checking for other necessary elements.

 

  • Resisting knowledge of modern trends

There are a few reasons why some software development teams are not able to keep up with the newest techniques or trends in their industry. The problem lies when your work requires those modern ways to come into play. However, it’s also never a good indication when an outsourced company fails to learn new solutions to obstacles using the latest technology trends.

 

  • Ignorance of cultural differences

This often happens when the outsourced company is located abroad, or a country that is not of your own. Even if there’s no language barrier (as long as both parties speak proper English), discrepancies between cultures will always be evident, whether it’s through the gestures, speaking intonations, traditions, and customs.

When not appropriately handled, differences may cause communication breakdowns and process inefficiencies. Therefore, it’s also important to get acquainted with your partner’s cultural norms and orient your own staff about them.

 

  • Not considering the difference in time zone

Another problem that may arise when getting a partner abroad is the difference in time zones. Communication is essential when working with an outsourced company to ensure that the process is going smoothly. However, a difference in working hours may be a problem when progress gets halted due to delays that are the main consequences of different work schedules.

Despite this, there are ways to stay productive and keep the work going. May it be adjusting schedules as necessary or overlapping work hours to give both parties a chance to align, you need to sidestep this hurdle and work with this time zone difference in the best way possible (if applicable).

 

  • Poor communication

Contrary to what you may think, having a partner in a different country isn’t the only root cause of poor communication between teams. After all, there are tools like email and instant messaging that can make remote staffing work. It’s merely because, for some reason, there are teams who refuse to collaborate or stay informed about what’s going on.

Utilize multiple channels, so you have a backup just in case one doesn’t work. Make sure to respond promptly when questions or concerns are raised. Having regular meetings to keep the teams up to speed about any problems or what needs to be done next is also important. Orient the team, as well, on how to appropriately respond to emails or messages.

 

  • Not hiring your own in-house developer

You may have a solid team of software developers as partners, but who will supervise their work? This is where an expert can help you. Someone who has at least some degree of knowledge in software development can look after the quality and aptness of work. This employee can also set clear-cut requirements for the outsourced team to follow.

 

  • Not considering security and protection

Privacy is essential when it comes to many things, including software development. Different countries have different legal systems; therefore, it’s likely that when you get a partner from abroad, you are not automatically bound by the same intellectual property rules.

Before you hire an offshore vendor and trust them with potentially sensitive information, pay close attention to the contract management. Have a legal expert on staff so you can properly set a non-disclosure agreement with all areas clearly defined to protect your project as your intellectual property.

 

Get Outsourcing Right

In general, the right outsourcing company is one that is equally motivated as you are because you share the same vision, especially if your requirements are bespoke in nature. Having a working partner also entails building and maintaining a good relationship. After all, you’re basically working toward the same goal, and it’s a lot easier to meet the objectives when working in harmony.

 

Looking for an outsourced software provider to enhance your business' IT capabilities? Look no further than your expert team at Intelligent Bee!


Simple Guide to Understanding Tech Support Jargon-Banner

A Simple Guide to Understanding Tech Support Jargon

If you’ve attended a meeting before with an outsourced tech support agency or with professionals in the industry, then you’ve probably encountered someone blurting out tech terms incomprehensible to others outside the field. During these situations, someone almost always ends up saying, “In English, please.”

Simple Guide to Understanding Tech Support Jargon-Banner

This familiar image rings true to customers talking to tech support specialists and support specialists working with anyone outside their department. It’s like a conversation with two people speaking in two different languages.

It can be quite overwhelming for people who aren’t technologically well-versed to explain a complicated issue to a specialist. In the same way, it can be difficult for experts to find and offer solutions if that person is unable to communicate the problem clearly. The future success of technical support depends on how well your team is able to overcome these "language barriers".

 

Get in the Know With the Technobabble

To anyone but a tech specialist, jargon and error messages may appear like just a hunk of gibberish. As an IT worker, business owner, or professional in a technical industry, it’s your responsibility to familiarize yourself with these terms in case you encounter them. More importantly, ”talking the talk” will help in keeping a smooth flow of communication between you and your outsourced tech support team, allowing you to build a more productive working relationship with them.

What you need is a glossary of no-fuss, snackable definitions of technical jargon to wrap your head around unfamiliar terms quickly. To help you bridge the language gap, here are 40 tech terms broken down for everyone’s understanding. It’s time to crack the code!

Simple Guide to Understanding Tech Support Jargon-Infographic

 

Tips to Ensure Your Tech Support Conversation Goes Smoothly

Communication is a give-and-take process—working with a tech support specialist is exclusively about that. When you encounter an issue way beyond your knowledge and control, there goes your tech team to the rescue. You have to work together to make the job a little less complicated to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

Here are ways to make your conversation with your outsourced tech support specialist a more pleasant and less painful experience.

 

  • Be Prepared Before Making the Call

Before you ring them up or message them about your concern, make sure that you know what to say. The more prepared you are to explain the details, the less time you’ll have to spend going round and round about the problem. Here are a few things to observe before you pick up the phone:

Timeline: When did the issue turn up? How long has it been occurring since?

Troubleshooting: Have you tried fixing the problem yourself before? Whether it made the problem worse or held it off for awhile, you need to let your tech staff know if you’ve done anything already.

Error message: For instance, System Error Codes, Browser Error Codes, Blue Screen of Death (BSoD)

If there are no error messages, write down exactly what’s going on (e.g., screen freezes every time you open a specific application). Saying “it just stopped working” won’t help.

Write these down before you call for help. Not only will this help your tech support better understand the issue, but it’ll give then more time and possibly less effort to find a solution.

 

  • Explain the Problem Clearly

When it’s time to report the problem, you can’t just point to the screen and shrug your shoulders implying you have no idea what happened. You need to give them more than “the internet doesn’t work.”

Vague: “The internet stopped working.”

Clear: “Chrome stopped working, but Firefox works fine.”

Explain in full detail what you did before and after the issue arose. Don’t hold back any information. You wouldn’t know which are irrelevant and which aren’t, so telling them as much detail as possible can help speed up the process.

 

  • Follow the Instructions

Before you ask “are you sure this will work?” Test it out first. Make sure that you follow all the steps.

If your tech support asks you to check something, you need to follow the instructions to the letter. Even if you’ve tested it before and found nothing, do as they say—they know what they’re on to. There’s a reason why they’re walking you through this, so it’s crucial that you follow their lead. If you don’t understand the instruction, don’t be afraid to ask.

 

  • Repeat the Details

One way to prevent miscommunication is by repeating after what they say. For example:

Support specialist: “Go to menu A, look for X then click Y, then select Z.”

You: “Okay, I found menu A, I clicked on X, then I clicked y, and then z.”

Doesn’t this sound clearer than “Okay, done”? Repeating what they’re saying as you go through the steps—being more specific—both of you will feel confident that you’ve completed the instruction. This proves that you understood each other.

 

  • Ask for a Ticket Number

Also called a reference number or incidence number, a ticket number refers to your tech support’s ticket management system which records the problems they receive.

They are required to track the details of your call in the reference number so if another specialist has to take over, he or she can pick up from where you left off. This especially helps if you need to call again.

 

TL; DR

Don’t let the language barrier become this huge, thick wall between you and your tech staff. You’ll misinterpret some techy terms, but don’t worry. This just means you have to be more patient and mindful of the gap—and find ways on how you can both meet halfway. Brushing up your knowledge on some technobabble and avoiding costly tech support mistakes is a good start.

Support specialists are always happy to help and solve mysteries. Having an excellent outsourced tech support in your team to walk you and your customers through any technology crisis can help you get back to work in no time, keeping your business operations running ever so smoothly.

 

The tech support world can be difficult to navigate without the right support staff. Find out how the experts at Intelligent Bee can help improve your business today!


Examples of Corporations Creating Awesome Mobile Apps

9 Examples of Businesses Creating Awesome Mobile Apps

Businesses that venture into the mobile app industry have better chances of interacting with users of their product or service straight on their smartphone. It’s an effective way of engaging consumers, especially since it’s said that an average smartphone user has more or less 17 to 18 apps installed on their phone. Hours spent among smartphone users are also leaning heavily toward app usage, with 90% of time spent in-app.

Examples of Corporations Creating Awesome Mobile Apps

Indeed, trends state that corporate mobile apps can help companies achieve their objectives – whether that involves building a base of loyal users or finding an extra source of revenue for the company. With multiple ways of monetizing their apps such as download fees, subscription, in-app purchases, advertising, more companies are willing to invest their time and resources in building mobile apps that can establish their brands as industry leaders.

 

Mobile Apps by Businesses That Set the Standard for Awesome

Here are some of the best examples of corporate mobile apps out there, courtesy of companies that are dead serious about bringing their business on mobile and innovating the way of doing things for customers:

 

  1. Amazon

Amazon Mobile App

Amazon has become a household name, and its mobile app has a great deal to do with the status it has established. As the leader in America’s online retail industry, Amazon raises the bar with the way its app works for customers as well as for its own business.

The app’s push notifications are very useful for customers, who instantly get alerts when Amazon starts shipping their orders. Customers don’t have to keep checking their account to know the progress of their expected deliveries. This kind of awareness reduces the anxiety and frustration that customers feel before receiving their parcels, not to mention that Amazon’s brand name stays on top of customers’ mind.

To initiate sales, the Amazon app also comes with a wish list feature. Amazon users can share their wish list on their social media pages for their family and friends to see, increasing the chance for Amazon to make a sale.

 

  1. Domino’s Pizza

Domino's Pizza Mobile App

In the case of Domino’s Pizza, the company similarly uses tracking technologies to inform customers about the status of their pizza order – whether it’s on the preparation stage or in the process of delivery. Not only that, as customers can use the app to create tailored takeaway meals from Domino’s standard menu. It’s a perfect example of delivering a personalized experience based on the actual preferences of customers.

 

  1. easyJet

easyJet Mobile App

EasyJet is a British airline that enables travelers to manage their flights directly on its app. The easyJet mobile app serves as a one-stop travel shop where passengers can search for and buy tickets for domestic and international destinations. The app also allows adding of seats, online check-in, and downloading of boarding passes, making every transaction as convenient and as worry-free as possible.

easyJet customers can also track the arrival and departure for all flights and even get live updates from the airline’s Control Centre. Beyond these functionalities, the carrier’s mobile app is hailed for reliability, accuracy, and timeliness of service.

 

  1. iFood Assistant by Kraft

iFood Assistant Mobile App

iFood Assistant is Kraft’s corporate mobile app that offers a wealth of dish recipes based on Kraft food products. Users who want to cook up a particular dish can easily create a shopping list within the app, paving way for Kraft to suggest using ingredients that are manufactured by the company. What’s even better about the iFood Assistant app is that it offers coupons that users can use for groceries or other promotions from Kraft.

 

  1. L’Oreal Makeup Genius

L'Oreal Makeup Genius Mobile App

Cosmetics company L’Oreal ventured into the augmented reality (AR) space to give customers a chance to try out its products through the Makeup Genius app in 2014.

Using advanced facial mapping technology, the app allows users to virtually apply makeup on their face and turns the users’ smartphone camera into a virtual mirror, allowing them to see the results of their makeup session in real time. This makes product testing a lot more convenient and enhances the customer experience as a whole.

To make this happen, Makeup Genius scans the users’ face, chooses suitable L’Oreal products, and applies them virtually on the users’ eyes, lips, and other facial contours. The app is smart enough to follow the head movements of users, so they can see how the makeup looks on them from various angles.

 

  1. MLB.com

MLB.com Mobile App

Baseball fans will never miss out on what’s happening in the sport league, thanks to the MLB At Bat mobile app. The app allows users to watch and listen to the games in real time. Users can also check the app’s archives and follow their favorite team as the app shares the latest news, game standings, and other stats. The app caters to Android, BlackBerry, and iPhone users with the same functionalities across platforms.

 

  1. Midland Medical

Midland Medical Inventory App

Businesses that regularly perform stock inventories can follow Midland Medical’s lead in tapping digital technologies to its processes. As a distributor of medical supplies, Midland Medical needed to speed up its inventory receiving process, so it could respond to customers’ queries with just a quick look at its database.

To achieve this goal, the company took advantage of readily available tools, such as mobile devices and Bluetooth scanners, and went a step further in mobile app development by going for a custom-built software application that enables warehouse personnel to automate the addition of new inventory into the company’s database. In addition, they opened up the customer side of things

 

  1. MY ASICS

My Asics Mobile App

Corporate mobile apps can also be a way for companies to interact with the communities they’re serving. ASICS, an equipment and apparel company, does this by offering customized training plans and helpful content that users can take advantage of on the MY ASICS app. In turn, ASICS receives valuable insights and feedback about the kind of products or services that fitness enthusiasts want.

 

  1. thetrainline

thetrainline Mobile App

The thetrainline mobile app is for users who prefer to book train tickets in advance. Once they have a confirmed booking on the app, they can just pick up their tickets across UK train stations. The app also gives users a chance to find the best fares and save their favorite journeys to make it easy for them to book their next trip.

On the business end of things, the app also shortens the time it takes to buy a ticket. The reduction in transaction times for train companies simply means more efficiency and more savings in the long run.

 

Wrap-up

There’s not a doubt that the business landscape looks bright for companies who are venturing into mobile app development. Mobile apps can help enterprises capture a significant share of one of the fastest growing segments in the global economy.

If you haven’t ventured into the mobile app industry, it may be time to do so. You don’t have to focus on the selling aspect through and through, when you can be creative enough to incorporate information about your products or services through other features of your app.

Moreover, you should be ready to experience some challenges along the way—such as finding the right mobile app development company. Just make sure your mobile app development partner truly understands your business model and designs the app accordingly so your company will run more efficiently.

 

Want some help developing your next mobile app? Contact the team of experts at Intelligent Bee today!


Tech-Support-Gone-Wrong

10 Brilliant Examples of Tech Support Gone Wrong

Most businesses these days rely on stable internet connections and complex computer systems to handle their daily operations. So when something goes haywire in your network or device, who you gonna call?

Your amazing tech support team (nope, not the Ghostbusters)!

Tech-Support-Gone-Wrong

These trained professionals are your front liners against a multitude of issues. From network connectivity problems to DDoS attacks, your tech specialists can help you get back to work in no time and safeguard your business’ best interests.

But sometimes, conversations with your tech support team don’t go the way you expect it to. The same narrative happens when support reps chat with customers. This can be frustrating since it can create inefficiencies within the company that incur additional costs.

 

When Tech Support Goes Wrong

Tech support professionals are people, too, and they make mistakes just like any regular joe. Problems arise, and things go wrong—that’s part of the business. But there are ways to prevent and correct these mishaps. Take a look at these chat support blunders and see how each one should have been resolved.

 

  • Over-automated responses

Canned responses make operations easier for businesses and assure customers that their inquiry is acknowledged. But it doesn’t resolve customer problems right away.  Customers want personal conversations. Automated responses just won’t cut it.

1-Over-automated responses

Solution: Using chatbots is more common nowadays, but it would have been more effective if the bot redirected the customer to a real person after the initial greeting. This would’ve solved the problem faster and given the customer a smooth experience.

 

  • Failing to inform customers you need time to resolve their issue

Tech support specialists aren’t always available to address a problem right away. Maybe they’re on break or dealing with internal tasks. But this shouldn’t be an excuse to leave your customer hanging.

2-Failing to inform the customers you need time to resolve their issue

Solution: If the tech support needs time to look into the issue, a response like “I need a few moments to resolve this issue. Do you mind holding on while I look into it? Really sorry for this inconvenience, [customer’s name]!” You can also ask the customer to leave their contact information followed by: “If you’re in a hurry, I’d be more than willing to email you with an answer.”

 

  • Not letting go of customers

It’s sad to see your customers go. But when they’ve made the firm decision to end the contract or unsubscribe from your services, the best approach would be to provide them a great service until the very end. Below you’ll see a clingy representative who refuses to give up on the customer.

3-Not letting go of customers

Solution: When a customer decides to discontinue their relationship with your company, it’s best to give them what they want. You’d want to keep the conversation professional yet friendly enough to comply with their request and bid them goodbye. Because the last thing you want to do is make them feel like they’re being taken hostage.

 

  • Taking complaints personally

You can’t please everyone. That’s the hard truth. You get compliments and complaints. If a customer didn’t like your service and takes their frustration to social media, respond professionally.

Here, you’ll see a brand taking a blow personally: @mentioning the complainant along with a defensive and incompetent message—on a social media channel—where things like these go viral quickly.

4-Taking complaints personally

Solution: No matter how unsightly and unpolished the complaint is, it’s best not to stoop down to that level. There are cases where it’s better to stay silent than say anything at all. And if you’re ever going to respond, remember to always keep your words chewy and sweet, in case you have to eat it afterward.

 

  • A customer mistakes you for another company

Customers make mistakes, too. This isn’t that big of a deal and when it does happen, see it as an opportunity to win their service.

5-Customer reaches out on the wrong company

Solution: Instead of snubbing the customer or simply saying “Sorry, wrong company!”, be a good Samaritan and point them to the right direction.

For example, if someone contacted us, a software development company, thinking we’re a kindergarten school or a learning school (for some reason), we would respond like this:

“Hi, [customer;s name]! We’re afraid you reached out to the wrong company! We’re a software development company based in Delaware helping companies streamline their ideas. You can find [Intended Company] here: [link]. Let us know how we can help you in the future!”

 

  • Undertrained support representatives

Some bad tech support experiences stem from undertrained support representatives. If the negative experience causes the customer to share it online, like what happened to Amazon a few years back, this can hurt the brand.

6-Undertrained support representatives

Solution: The best prevention to this is dealing with it early in the process. Make sure that you hire a reputable outsourced tech support team that are trained in their field. Also, encourage your support team to regularly exercise their knowledge about your brand, services, and products. Enlighten them about their responsibilities as well as the functions of other departments. So, if they encounter an inquiry beyond their capacity, they know who to coordinate with.

 

  • Lack of empathy

Empathy is a soft skill that is difficult to teach. When a customer reaches out to you asking for help after some kind of tragedy struck them, the least you want to do is stress them even more.

7-Lack in empathy and sensitivity

Solution: You want to treat your customers with compassion. For cases such as this, you may offer to review suspicious activities from their account and provide them with the best help you can.

 

  • Asking the customer to switch channels

You may have different channels where customers can contact you. But if one decided to reach out via your website’s live chat, and you ask them to send an email instead, then you’re on the running for bad customer service.

8-Asking the customer to switch channels

Solution: If a customer reaches out via phone or however method they choose, respect that decision. It’s their personal preference. If the issue can be resolved through that channel, then walk them through it via that same platform. 

 

  • Irrelevant upselling attempts

Customers get turned off at the sight and sound of inappropriate attempts at selling them other products or services.

9-Irrelevant upselling attempts

Solution: They already contacted you due to service interest or request, which means your brand already got their attention. You obtained a new customer! So answer their inquiry directly. Is your monthly subscription plan a fixed price? Yes, or no?

 

  • Making the customer feel stupid

You should never make your customer feel stupid or at fault. That’s a recipe for disaster.

In such cases where the customer is at fault or simply not looking hard enough to find solutions to their problems, go for an empathic and friendly approach.

10-Making the customer feel stupid

Solution: Instead of going the passive route like the example above, try resolving the issue at hand like this:

“Hi, [customer’s name]!

Thanks for raising this to our attention. The new interface got me confused, too, at first, so no worries! On the upside, I’ve found the way around it by [explain the solution].

I hope this helps! Don’t hesitate to reach out for further questions.

Cheers,

Angel – Support Rep”

 

Wrapping Up

Not all customers are created equal. Which makes excellent customer support a vital facet of your company. It’s the one aspect that reaches out to your customers; it’s the voice of your brand.

Outsourced technical support not only helps your business cut back on IT costs but also saves you valuable time while improving customer experience. You can focus all your attention on growing your company, and your tech experts will handle streamlining your operations and keeping your customers satisfied. That’s what having a great tech support team is all about!

 

Learn more about the future of technical support outsourcing or send us an inquiry today!