A new year and another opportunity to talk about how features don’t matter! This past year only highlighted for me, as we registered over 2.9 million applicants that offering up new registration features to all of our new clients was NOT what sold them on Regpack. What sold them was a deep understanding of their business and how our software can address the problems they are facing at every step of their onboarding process – from increasing their applicant completion rate, on time payments, payment processing, effective email communication and quality reporting during and after their events, programs, camps, school registration or any other onboarding process they used Regpack for. Whew, that was a long sentence.
I’ll say it every chance I get – seek solutions, not features!!! It really is the key for us at Regpack when we are onboarding a new client and also how we frame the ongoing development of our product.
In 2015, we added 673 new functionalities to our software that address problems many of our clients faced. All updates had one thing in mind: “How to make everything seamless and simple”. I know the sentence sounds a little boring and obvious but that is what drives every single new feature in Regpack. We constantly ask ourselves:
- How can we make it super simple for the applicant to register?
- How can we make the process seamless, even if the applicant is doing really strange things. How can we have the system account for that and put them on the right path to registration completion?
- How can we make sure that the admin knows everything that is going on at any given moment and can help users that need a little assistance (and know about it…)?
Seamless, seamless, seamless… that was the motto in Regpack’s dev offices in 2015 that we all repeated it to ourselves every single day, again and again. Every time a new feature was suggested by one of our +4000 organizations and tens of thousands of administrators, the question we would ask ourselves was “will this make the process more seamless for the applicant or the admin?” If the answer was yes we would rush to implement it right away out of knowledge that this is going to help the majority of our clients and make the product better.
With “seamless” in mind we can breakdown the features created into 3 main categories:
- Optimizing for mobile.
- Increasing the customization of the registration flow for each unique user.
- Making filling out forms and making payments easier!
Let’s take a look at some specific features we created in 2015 in these 3 categories.
Registration Features for Mobile Optimization
We created 289 features focusing on making Regpack work flawlessly on mobile devices. More so in 2015 than any other year so far, people are doing EVERYTHING on their mobile devices. We are an always connected, on the go society and are increasingly doing tasks on our phones that we used to reserve for when we were in front of our computers.
With a great email communication system, sending out a payment reminder email or an incomplete registration email is a breeze. But since most people read their email on their phone, and your awesome email includes a very clear call to action (make a payment, complete this form, etc), we want to make sure that when many people inevitably click on your call to action from the email on their mobile device, it’s just as easy to complete the task on their phone or tablet, as it would be on their computer. This helps to achieve our goal of increasing your completed and on time applications and payments!
The whole purpose of going online and having a great online registration software is to automate the process and take out much of the grunt work you or your registration team do. Customizing the entire registration process – from auto filling forms, sending emails addressed to the recipient and populated with their specific account information and sending timely, trigger emails are all a part of why registration software so wonderfully automates registration and helps you make the registration process smooth, quick and painless for all involved!
Our focus on new features every year is always how we can further customize aspects of the registration process and build upon what we’ve already created to make the process as personalized as possible. This is great for you since you get the information you needed with as little customer support as possible, but is also great for your brand since it ups the customer satisfaction of your organization. People love feeling special. When you customize the process you make them feel as though you’ve created the flow special for them (and with Regpack you actually have), so they are more at ease completing the process – which means for you more registered applicants and a higher bottom line!
Easy Form Completion and Payments
People hate filling out forms. I hate filling out forms (my wife always thinks it is hilarious when she sees me filling out forms, grumbling the entire time). This is something we always remember at Regpack and we work hard to make it as easy as possible. Making this easy includes:
- Making sure you never need to fill out the same information twice.
- Porting over any information you have entered in a previous program into this one, if possible.
- Making sure you see only the questions and sections that are correct for you.
- Allowing the flow within the form and between forms to be smooth, seamless and visually pleasing.
- Making sure that you never need to enter payment information more than once.
- Allowing auto billing to make sure that you do not need to access the online registration system more than you need to.
- Making sure payments are processed even if one processing company does not accept the payment (by seamlessly and automatically moving the processing to a different processing company).
- Making sure that if you forgot your password or login credentials that the system will automatically detect that situation and help you out.
- Detecting that an applicant is a little lost and notifying the support team about it in real time so they can contact them and help them out.
- Detecting changes in system configuration done by an admin that might hurt completion rates and telling them about that.
All this might seem obvious or “what is the big deal” but all of these abilities together is what makes a difference. It just makes everything flow and ensures that the applicant and the admin know what they are doing all the time. It makes sure that applicants are flying through your process without you needing to do anything or get involved. Eventually it lowers the number of support calls and emails you need to deal with.
Doing “simple” things can be very difficult. For example, “Detecting that an applicant is a little lost” might sound simple and as humans it is simple for us to detect that about a person, but for computers it is not. It took more than 103 features, optimizations, algorithm updates and flow chart changes to achieve this goal. It is one we are extremely proud of and from an engineering perspective, we have done the impossible. For our clients we have done the “obvious” since we just made things flow and that is exactly how we like it.
If Regpack is “not in the way” and “blends into the background”, then we know we’ve done our part. If when asked “How was the registration process?” applicants answer “I can’t really remember” then we feel like we got a gold medal. This is mainly what the Regpack dev team did this year – created functionalities within the system so that everything is seamless, flows logically, and blends into the background.
Your registration process is often times your onboarding process as well, and your storefront. You want it to look good and function well. The whole point of setting aside money in your budget for a software is so that you save money elsewhere, by lightening your admin workload so you can focus on other things, and creating a great experience for YOUR clients when registering with you.
The result of our hard work this year is 2.9 million applicants registered in one year and a 143% growth from 2014 to 2015. The actions we did might seem a little boring and are for sure ego-less, but the results are very heart warming! We aren’t in the business of selling features but are in the business of selling the value our software can bring to your organization. Maybe not silicon valley “cool” but very cool for our clients which is what we really care about!