Mario needs Luigi. Mulder needs Scully. Everyone needs a great partner – especially tech companies that are focused on the user experience.
No company builds all of its own tools. Even the largest companies in the world trust outside partners for functions like payroll, public relations, advertising, recruiting, and more. It just takes too much time to do it all by yourself. Why invest energy and resources into a new solution when someone has already created an inexpensive solution to the same problem?
Technology partnerships are the natural and right answer to a variety of challenges. When two companies find the right opportunity, a partnership allows both companies to use the situation to their mutual benefit. This is especially true for user experiences, where small improvements can translate into huge profits for the companies involved.
Check out some of the most recent technology partnerships this year. Dolby.io and Stream recently partnered to provide a more comprehensive, integrated communication solution for web and mobile apps. Collaboration gives users access to an advanced solution for voice, video and chat. Both companies offer top-notch communication APIs, so a partnership only made sense.
Technology partnerships are the natural and right answer to a variety of challenges
In another area, commerce experience management tool Salsify has partnered with Label Insight, a growth allocation company, to improve data transfer. This makes it easier for users to find the foods they want quickly and easily. Here, too, the two companies complement each other in a way that benefits the end user.
However, evaluating potential partners is a difficult task. How can companies find the perfect Robin for their Batman without giving up too much control or taking unnecessary risks? Let’s go over some of the best tips to make tech partnerships work for both businesses and their end users.
Agree on a common goal.
Before you can find the right partner, you need to understand your goal first. What opportunity are you trying to take? What skills are you currently lacking?
Perhaps you can achieve your current user experience goals without a partner. Maybe you haven’t even thought about the new features a partner might bring. Think about what you want to achieve, then think bigger. Once you have some goals in mind with different ambitions, you can evaluate partners based on their ability to achieve them.
Look at your clout.
Sometimes you might want to work with a company whose brand is much smaller than your own. However, don’t discount the value of name recognition. There is a lot of psychology in the user experience, and when people see a name they know and trust, they can be more positive about the following experience.
When evaluating partnerships, consider your specific goals. If the partnership is mostly backend work with little marketing fanfare, brand may not be an important factor. However, if you want users to expect something specific from the experience, your partner’s brand should play an important role.
Ask a trusted source.
You probably already have other partners for other functions. You may know someone who can help you. Talk to investors, colleagues, and other executives who may have connections that could help.
Don’t go ahead with a set goal unless you know exactly what you need and who you want to reach. Instead, present your problem to your network, explain your thoughts on what you want to achieve, and see how the open conversation goes. You may discover some partnership opportunities that you would not otherwise have considered.
Get feedback from the users themselves.
The best user experience is a solution to a user’s frustration. Automating systems that used to require manual input is a great way to demonstrate to users that you listen and take care of their concerns.
If you aren’t sure what your users want most, do some research. Submit surveys to measure customer satisfaction across different parts of your product or service. Call customers who have complained in the past and take an informal survey about the challenges they have faced. The more knowledge you get from the source, the smarter you can be when choosing a partner.
Look outside of your industry.
The right partner for your company may have nothing to do with the industry in which you operate. Think horizontally – what are other companies in similar positions in other industries doing in your situation?
This is a great opportunity to see your business through new eyes. Sometimes you may find that one common problem in your industry can easily be resolved in another. You won’t know if you don’t look. So tap your connections and read the latest industry-specific publications outside of your bubble to find out more.
User experience is highly correlated with user engagement. If you don’t deliver an enjoyable experience, your users get frustrated and seek a solution, often without ever telling you about the problem. Talk to your users and find partners who can help deliver the experiences your users deserve.