I have been surprised lately by how much traction my posts on Web-to-print have been getting lately. It tells me that I’m on to something. Currently, I’m working on an article for Printing Impressions on getting user buy-in once the system is installed. In other words, printers only make money with Web-to-print if their clients’ employees are actually using the portals you develop, so how do you ensure that happens?
You can’t guarantee anything, of course. But here are 5 of the best practices I’ve been talking about in no particular order. What would you add to this list?
1. Charge for development, template-building, and execution. If something is free, there is little perceived value.
2. Place the link to the portal in a place where employees regularly go to conduct business. Also known as, “If they can’t find it, they can’t use it.”
3. Proactively work with the customer on its launch plan. If the customer doesn’t have a plan to get its employees to buy into and use the system, then help them create one. Webinars, seminars, help desks, employee newsletters. What would you recommend?
4. Understand how people will actually use the system. For example, if they are salespeople out in the field, ordering on iPads, the site cannot use Flash. If it relies on Flash, then — newsflash — it won’t get used.
5. Keep the feedback line open and respond to user requests. If the templates are being designed by corporate and employees, distributors, or other authorized users hate them, guess what? They won’t use them. (Assuming they’ve been given a choice.) Solicit and respond to user feedback and give the users on the ground what they need, want, and will use.
There are lots of more, but it’s a great platform for discussion. What do you think of this list? What best practices would you add to it? What has worked for you in the past?