Streamlining Customer Development Via Automation
Chloe Becquet serves as the Associate Director of Technology at HelloFresh. She is an IT leader and growth strategist with 10+ years of experience building out, modernizing, and streamlining systems infrastructure for fast-growing companies. She is an expert in delivering the technology strategies that allow companies to thrive by developing a strong IT foundation, ensuring scalability in IT operations, security, and compliance to support rapid growth.
In the light of your experience, what are the trends and challenges you've witnessed in the Custom Software Development space?
Communication and expectation are the most significant pain points. As a result, when a user reaches out asking for help, there's an understanding that they don't know how to resolve the issue. This is where we come in. We understand the technology side of things, and we're able to assist and resolve.But sometimes it's just the communication part and managing this expectation, which goes both ways.
For instance, if the engineer cannot communicate clearly on the same level as the customer, there can be dissatisfaction on both sides, and that is not a good thing.So just bringing the human element is important in my day today. I always look at that whenever I have users reaching out to me asking questions. So I always try to put myself in their shoes and understand that they are reaching out for a reason, so there's no reason to create any friction. And that's what I aim for and seek out ways to make it better if I don't have a solution right away. I'll look for a backup solution in the meantime. Working in many different industries is the most common thing that I see; managing expectations and the communication from both sides.
What are the trends defining the state of the Custom Software Development landscape?
From a customer perspective, they want results quicker. So trying to find streamlined technical processes is one of the major trends. I'm referring to automation, trying to automate as much as possible, to remove any bottlenecks that cause additional delays in a way that counters free up the engineer's time. Thus, the customer can get the answer or do it themselves. We refer to engineers to have the time to be able to focus on individuals who do want that human interaction, like talking on the phone or messaging. For instance, sending an email can be another friction point, so Slack has been huge in the corporate world and removes that delay. You send an email; you might not do it for a couple of hours, whereas a Slack is instant, and you get that response much faster. But at the same time, we are coming across now because we have to check email and Slack or any other IM platforms that we are working out. Because some users might prefer Slack, others might prefer emails. But going back to the automation, I get very excited about it because a lot of the work, such as the work the help desk team does, is very repetitive, such as creating and managing accounts, checking emails, and so on. When business energy is focused on the mundane task instead of vital matter such as business strategy, companies experience diminutive growth. But many of the things that prevent business growth can be addressed through automation and custom software development. Different tasks—especially tedious, repetitive, daily tasks—are streamlined and automated so that staff’s energy and time can be used in another place. When a company is scaling big and fast, the bottleneck can be at the IT level where we cannot get enough users’ on boarded into the system quickly enough, and in such case automation alleviates that.
What does the future hold for this landscape?
Again going back to the automation, once you can get automation in place, that frees up the engineer's time, and now it becomes less technical and more about human interaction. So providing that face-to-face interaction such that customers feel more engaged. From an IT perspective, if we can get all those smaller manual tasks off our plate, we can also focus on the more significant projects, which are much more impactful instead of just doing a password reset. Thus, I'm always a big supporter of automation because I've been in this space for over 12 years. And like I said, I started in an MSP, and I was the one answering the phone calls and was multitasking. I was remote, connecting to customer's computers and helping them out to the point now where it's just a simple click of a button. Such things excite me about the future where everybody gets benefited.
What would be the single piece of advice you could impart to your colleagues to excel in this space?
I always recommend everyone to expose themselves to different technology and see where it can take you. Don't be scared of it, look more into a new tool, technology, or a new process to make life easier for you and your customer