The quest for the perfect product

Mathieu Blanchette
Written by Mathieu Blanchette
February 16, 2016 3 minutes to read

Week after week, we focus on building a product aimed at simplifying the day to day life of employers and employees.

In our team of 7, each member manages their schedule as they see fit. This means that we don’t face real world problems relating to employee scheduling. Thus, using our own product in that context wouldn’t give us it’s core benefits. That leads us to the question:

How can we come to create a quality product when we aren’t living those pain points on a daily basis?

To put it simply, we have access to knowledge and expertise to understand how the market works and what it needs.

A key piece of the puzzle is our CEO. He is a seasoned entrepreneur with more than 35 years of experience in employee scheduling across multiple industries (restauration, hospitality, manufacturing, etc.).

On top of all that, we’re fueled by the passion to deliver a product that exceeds the expectations of our users.

Here are 5 mottos that lead our quest in building the perfect product:

Constantly be in contact and listening to our users

They’re the ones using the product on the field, in a real world context, every day. They’re in the best position to tell us what could be improved or added to the application.

Our goal is to be easily accessible for everyone, at all times and we accomplish this by using Intercom. Users are greeted during the first moments of discovery and have access to a instantaneous chat communication with a member of the team at almost all hours of the day.

We also go a step further. If the problem or the discussion requires more in-depth and hands-on support, we don’t hesitate in offering a friendly phone call a few minutes following the request.

Guiding new users

Despite paying a lot of attention to make the experience as simple as possible, the more features we add to our product, the more the user has to deal with during discovery.

Every new feature is thought out and refined internally. If it’s destined to be used as a day-14 feature, we make it less intrusive for day-1 users, thus reducing the complexity of the onboarding experience.

Newcomers shouldn’t feel overwhelmed by features that aren’t useful to them. We guide them to gradually discover the application. As they gain confidence and familiarity, they’ll be more inclined to learn new features.

Don’t force your product

In our efforts to understand the needs of a new user, our first objective is to have a big picture of their business:

  • How many employees do they have?
  • Full time? Part time?
  • What method are they currently using to get their scheduling done?
  • How are they communicating the schedules to their employees?

We built the product to fit many types of businesses that have different ways of operating. It is essential to understand how we should present the platform so that it meets specific customer needs.

Agendrix currently offers 2 plans: free and communication.

We offer a 14 day free trial without any restrictions, allowing undecided users to use the application to it’s full collaborative and real time potential without any commitments.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that the product, in it’s current state, might not necessarily meet the needs of every business.  For example, businesses with unaffected by heavy fluctuating schedules might not see the major benefits of Agendrix.

Be realistic in these cases and do not try to force the product at all costs.

Answering feedback

It can be constructive, positive or even negative. The important thing is how we approach it.

For example, when a client doesn’t wish to move forward with our solution, we try to understand why. Is it in the layout? A feature that we don’t have yet? A lack in explaining how our product works?

In short, compliments are always welcomed, but it’s through constructive criticism that the product has seen the best improvements.

Iterate, iterate and reiterate

Agendrix 2.0 was rebuilt from the ground up. Among many of the significant changes are: complete interface overhaul, entirely new modules and native applications for employees.

Our availability module was restarted from scratch 3 times within the first months launching the new version.

All that in the quest for the perfect product.

However, we didn’t fall into the trap of waiting too long to release new features and improvements. We moved quickly with the best of our knowledge and insight at the time and released it to the public.

Afterwards, we iterated in regards to the feedback we received and from our observations.

This is how we accomplished so much in such a short amount of time.

 


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