Business is all about optimization. In an ideal world, everything about your organization would be as efficient and easy to understand as possible.
No one would ever be confused, there would be no wasted time, and every aspect of your job would run like a well-oiled machine.
But the thing is, while we might hope to someday reach that fantasy world, it takes a lot of hard work to get there.
Things don’t just immediately run as smoothly as we might want them to. They can, and they will if we know what we’re doing, but sometimes there are a couple hiccups along the way that we need to be prepared for.
One scenario you might run into on your way to your ideal business is the tradeoff we sometimes face between user experience and ease of reporting.
Basically, the things that make your life easier over there on the organization end of things can sometimes end up making your clients’ lives more difficult.
It’s not the end of the world, but you do need to be prepared to recognize this and take measures to ensure that everything works out as well as it possibly can.
Here’s the situation
To understand what this all means, let’s take a look at a scenario we ran into recently here at Regpack.
There’s a school program that runs before and after school every week.
If a parent wants their kid to go to the program every morning, it’ll cost them $130 for the month. If they want their kid to go to the program every afternoon, it’s $255, but if they want to send their kid both mornings and afternoons, there’s a discount – it only costs you $310 for the month.
Well, maybe on paper.
Once we take that paper and start making things digital, though, it actually gets a little less straightforward.
But, there’s a problem
The most obvious solution is just to create three separate options – one for mornings, one for afternoons, and one for both. Just like on the current paper application.
But the thing is, that makes things more complicated on your end. Maybe you have 20 slots for morning registration. Your system will automatically keep you from overbooking there, but what about the people who signed up for both mornings and afternoons? You’re now going to have to manually check two lists of people, just to keep from overbooking.
Not the worst thing in the world, sure, but that’s not what automation is about. This isn’t the sort of thing you should have to do manually – that’s why you invested in this kind of software!
Our system needs to get smarter
Thankfully, there is a workaround for this.
Good software is flexible and will take these kinds of headaches off your shoulders.
All you have to do is go into your system, and have the software automatically apply a discount when a parent selects both the morning and afternoon plans.
Then, you just need to keep your customers informed about the discount, and voilà—problem solved.
Keeping your business flexible
Now, not all businesses are going to run into this exact problem, but it’s important to recognize that a) challenges like this do sometimes come up, and b) you have the tools to fix them when they do.
You always need to be ready to see things from your customers’ perspective.
Part of building a good system is understanding that what’s easiest for you isn’t always going to be easiest for your clients, and vice versa.
The key is finding the right balance between the two.
That’s why your business always needs to be flexible.
Smart software can go a long way to handling your day to day paperwork, but there’s a reason your job isn’t done by robots. We need real people like you to think about these things, prepare for them, and make the right calls.
Striking the right balance between user experience and ease of reporting is one of the great skills it’s important to learn when operating a business.
Great software gives great tools. You just need to be ready to use them, and to think about what the consequences of your actions will be on your customers.
We want to make life as easy as possible for as many people as possible. That’s what business is all about, and that’s exactly why we’re here to help.