Custom-Developed vs. Canned Solutions. Which is the Right Choice for Your Customers?

Great! You’ve decided it’s time for your business to undergo a digital transformation. You’re ready to take the next step and choose your path to migrate your data and optimize your processes. There are two clear avenues ahead, and uncertainty as to what is best: should you go with the industry standard and choose a pre-packaged (or canned) solution that is a one-size fits all, or should you go a bit further and invest more time (and possibly – but not necessarily – money) into a custom-built solution that is developed to fit your customers’ needs to a T?

Not Your Pro and Cons List

It’s easy to run down the typical list of reasons why one path is better than the other from your vantage point, but this isn’t a question for you, or your team. The real exercise here is to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and experience your company’s service and customer-facing processes from the client’s point of view to see how they may feel, what they’d want instead, and see if a canned solution will suffice, or if the custom-developed software is the way to go.

Becoming Your Own Customer

If you are just starting your digital transformation journey, this is a great opportunity to use design thinking to anticipate what your customers want to see from you, identify blind spots, and make sure you are creating the perfect customer experience from the get-go.

For those who already have a solution in place and they might be looking for an upgrade, the process is a little bit different. When you’re the mastermind behind the operations of a business, it may be hard to remember that the person on the other side doesn’t know how the system is supposed to function, and they may even be encountering it for the first time. It’s imperative to take advantage of focus groups or other types of unbiased control subjects that can give you a better idea of how someone unfamiliar with your business interacts with your current digital front.

The Decision

If you were looking at the choice of canned vs. custom from your standpoint, these are some of the things you would be weighing to take your pick:

  • If I go with a pre-packaged solution, am I paying for things I don’t need, instead of getting something custom-developed where I know I’m getting tools I know I will use for sure?

But for your customer, the landscape can look a bit different. If you’re using a canned solution, they may, upon interacting with it, realize they’ve seen a similar system elsewhere and know there’s nothing special about it. On the other hand, if you custom-build something for your customers, they might take note of the fact that the solution is something new to them, it takes into account everything they need, and provides them with a one-of-a-kind experience that they won’t find anywhere else.

Bottom Line

Whether you decide to go with a canned solution or a custom-built program, the most important thing is that you move forward in kickstarting your company’s digital transformation. And when it comes to deciding your plan of action, remember to place your customer experience goals as a priority in your quest to find the perfect fit for your company. If you still can’t decide, take the plunge and give us a call. We can always help guide you in the right direction for you, and for your customers.