How to Succeed in Creating a Successful Product in the Hospitality Industry
By Karim Meghji Head Of Product, BookingSuite (USA), Inc. | October 25, 2015
When you think about creating a new software product, whether for the hospitality industry or any other, the technical details often come to mind first. Will the product work well? Do you have the right staff to make sure that it does? If you're not a developer or engineer, you may assume that you have to leave the development to the technology experts, and wait to weigh in until they have something ready to test.
This isn't entirely true, however. There's a lot more to building a new product than just the technical aspect. You must plan ahead, and be willing to change course when needed. Being strategic and systematic is vital. And above all, you won't succeed unless you keep the customer at the center of your conversations. Managers and other leaders have an important part to play when it comes to driving these conversations and implementing the overall process.
That isn't to say you can ignore the technical piece. Indeed, you've got to have excellent design and execution with any new product, whether we're talking about blue jeans or cloud-based software solutions. Before you get to the building stage, though, there's some important soul-searching that needs to happen. Approaching this planning stage with a healthy dose of critical thinking and honesty will lead to the best product possible. And that's what everybody wants, from the business to the consumer.
Honesty is the Best Policy
First, put yourself in your potential customer's shoes. This might seem obvious, but it does take some careful consideration. Make sure that you understand exactly what you plan to offer them by understanding just what your product can do for them-along with what it can't do. Don't over-promise, even in the planning stages. Disappointment is a powerful emotion, and there's almost nothing worse than feeling as though you have been misled by a purchase or service experience. In a customer-driven world, it's vital to be honest about the product at all times. Online reviews spread the word of consumer disappointment quickly. Avoid this, and maximize sales, by being truthful about what you offer. That's right: in business and in sales, the key to success is honesty.
So, how do you make sure you're being honest about what this product can do? You have to figure out the core need the product might address, for starters. Then, evaluate whether and how well a particular product would meet that need.