Does it make sense to involve the customer in the workflows?

In the B2C segment, marketers of top companies have long learned to involve customers in the processes of creating new products, the interactivity helps to understand the audience and increase sales.

But if it is clear how the interaction occurs between customers and companies, is it possible to implement this in relation to business services? And is it even necessary? We will tell you our own example.

Our Customer Engagement Experience

We are a team of developers of the Yusmp Group, we are approached by customers who need applications, websites, and other web products for business. For example, we recently talked about a case service for medical clinics that included mobile and web applications. We created an online auto parts store, a social network for employees of a store chain, and much more. All these projects were different, but we always involved our customers in the workflow.

In YuSMP Group, customers become part of the project team, and, that’s right, they also work on the product.

What it looks like:

  • We always stay in touch, even if we are in different time zones. Here we try to adapt to the client and find the optimal time for discussions, even during non-working hours.
  • We provide access to materials in Confluence and tasks in Jira, so the customer can track the execution of tasks and be in a single information space with the team.
  • Every week we hold meetings where we discuss ideas and issues.
  • We show the customer the short-term results and make adjustments if necessary.
  • We speak the same language with the customer. Thanks to the project manager, of course.
  • We openly discuss all the processes, and the processes can change if we both want to.

Advantages of working with a  client as a team member

Expectation — reality

What are the advantages of this approach for both parties? The most striking example is that the customer's expectations coincide with reality.

The fact is that when the client is involved in the process, he sees at an early stage what is happening with the project. The client can touch the still raw functionality and make adjustments at an early stage.

Work speed

Another non-obvious advantage is the speed of development. When the client is part of the team, he quickly gives feedback to the developers, so the changes are made promptly and the process is generally more lively.

We like the result

When the customer is satisfied — we are also satisfied. We are proud of all the products we have created. Many employees of the YuSMP Group studio download the developed applications and follow them as users.

What are the disadvantages of this approach?

It can be difficult for the customer and the team to agree, but there are no hopeless situations. We always carefully explain our point of view and listen to the client's wishes. As the customer becomes involved in the project, there is more understanding and less disagreement.

For the client, the main disadvantage of this approach is, of course, the time that he spends on the project. It is easier to outsource tasks and forget about them until the result is ready.

Is it mandatory to have a client on the team?

Here we should make it clear that we never force the customer into the processes. Usually, we offer close cooperation, talking about the advantages of this approach, and the client makes the choice himself. Tell us, as the customer, how would you act? Have you joined the team or fully delegated the processes?