Featured in StartupNation
By: Jason Pratts
It’s no secret that some of the largest success stories in the mobile age have been consumer-driven companies like Tinder, Snapchat and Uber. We’re part of a changing ecosystem where customers are not only demanding a digital, modernized experience, but expecting it. When it comes to the B2B space, traditional, antiquated systems, like point of sale (POS), tend to be stuck behind the times.
Until Appetize, 100 percent of stadiums and arenas in the United States were using on-premise point of sale systems like NCR and Oracle Micros. Despite the push for simpler, sign-up-and-go POS systems by small businesses, enterprise customers remained untouched by tablet, cloud and mobile technologies. Many not even utilizing touch screens. Fast-forward to 2018 and the shift to cloud-based, mobile and enterprise POS technology has skyrocketed, thanks to modern tech companies disrupting the status quo.
Below, we share how Appetize, a modern payments platform, has immersed itself into the world’s largest enterprises, and how your startup can do the same.
The product your customers need
It’s inevitable that your company will be pulled in different directions – clients wanting specific functionality only they will use, sales wanting you to address a different market and product needing you to slow down. It’s easy to lose sight of your number one priority: your customers.
Take the time to understand your market and get to know your clients. Let them show you how to build the best product for their needs and take those learnings to build a stronger product for your next client.
For example, we knew we needed to build an omni-channel, innovative point of sale platform that could be relied on and trusted. To earn that trust in the early days, there were times my co-founders and I picked up and lived in different cities to be closer to customers for feedback. There is no way we would be processing billions of transactions today were it not for those early customers’ feedback.
The great thing about working closely with clients to improve product is that you get customers who are brought into the process, and ultimately serve as great references for future clients.
The importance of the cloud
Enterprises have been scarred by cloud-based startups adapting products too much to fit their needs. It’s not that they don’t believe that the cloud and mobility are the future, it’s that they’re not ready to disrupt their operations to make the switch. Think about it: large organizations don’t use intelligent lighting controls despite knowing they could save energy, self-checkout lanes are rarely incorporated despite the success at airports and grocery stores, and mobile ordering is rarely available outside of the restaurant industry.
In the payments space, hesitation is understandable when you’re processing millions of dollars in transactions each day. The cloud provides flexibility, security and dependability to a once legacy-driven industry. Enterprises can now manage multiple entities in one centralized location in real-time. That means everything from live views and exportable reports to nationwide price changes. Becoming a dependable solution provider means going beyond the basics and truly explaining how the cloud simplifies and transforms business operations.
The importance of customer service
It’s a well-known fact that relationships are the foundation to any B2B business. Yet, we often see other technology companies win business and then move on to the next target. Be sure to invest in client relationships, as they build a strong product feedback loop, a book of references for future sales and make for a sticky platform.
When it comes to the enterprise space, you’re dealing with multiple stakeholders across the organization. Ensure your team builds a customer-centric approach so any client concern or issue is handled diligently and in a timely manner.
For example, our clients have 24/7 access to our support team via chat, email and phone. It may seem like a no brainer, but in the B2B space, legacy systems have always relied on their name instead of their client. Break the mold and invest in people who will always put the client first without hesitation.