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How Startups Can Handle a Tech Update (…and Other Issues)

tech updateIf there is one constant when it comes to technology, it’s that it doesn’t stay constant. The tech world is always changing, with any number of updates, patches, and improvements released on a sometimes-daily basis. With all those changes, it’s important that tech companies keep their software up to date and keep devices performing as they should.

This is especially important when companies encounter technical difficulties, such as outages or bugs. Take Apple as an example: Following public outcry about increased iPhone battery drain and shutdowns at the end of last year, the company released a statement about battery life and product dependability on some of its older phones. Apple provided insight into the lifespan of its phones while also reducing its out-of-warranty battery replacement fee in an effort to alleviate some of the concerns.

As a large corporation, Apple has the means and ability to quickly respond to this kind of issue or other tech-related updates. So how should startups handle a tech update? The answer is the same: with an efficient, customer-focused solution that serves to build (or sometimes rebuild) customer trust.

Starting with efficiency, it’s useful to think about handling a tech update as if it’s a support ticket. You don’t want to have continual long-term issues, so it’s important to address each ticket promptly, simply, and cohesively. Having a similar streamlined process in place for all tech updates – whether you are rolling out new software or facing a planned outage – can help you coordinate disparate teams, quickly respond to customers’ questions, and avoid unfinished tasks.

You also want to be sure to keep the customer front of mind, especially when your update doesn’t perform as planned. It can potentially hurt your brand’s credibility if you fail to inform customers of changes or ignore customers’ problems. What’s more, if customers continue to face technical issues with your product or service, it’s possible you’ll lose them to your competitors offering better performance – or even higher rankings in the App Store.

The process of building (or rebuilding) customer trust is more difficult. It’s not enough to be customer focused; many customers also want to know that you and your brand care about them. Internal disorganization, obscure or irrelevant software or devices, and missed connection points can all contribute to stalled product growth, difficulty with customer acquisition, and reduced productivity – not to mention difficulty staying attractive against the competition. If you’re not making a concerted effort to build customers’ trust in your business, chances are they will take their business elsewhere.

It’s especially important for startups to properly handle a tech update or issue as it can also impact founders’ relationships with investors. For example, if a startup is falling behind on launching version 2.0, refuses to update its outdated tech, or fails to provide a timely fix for a bug, VCs and angel investors may be wary. It can also be a regulatory or compliance risk in many industries.

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