4 Tips For Creating Repeat Customers From App IT Managers

by drjim on April 16, 2015

Product managers can learn a lot from product managers who manage apps

IT managers can learn a lot from IT managers who manage apps
Image Credit: Jason Howie

So do you have a mobile phone? I’m willing to bet that yes, you do. No matter if you have decided to go down the iPhone route or if you’ve taken the Android path, once you get past the pretty screen that your phone came with, what probably attracted you the most were all of the applications (“apps”) that you could run on your new phone. I wonder if the IT managers who are responsible for those apps would be willing to share any of their secrets with us that would help us to boost our IT manager skills?

It’s All About Community

App IT managers realize that the ultimate success of their projects have more to do with the sense of community that using the app creates rather than the app itself. What this means for the rest of us is that when someone buys our IT project, we need to welcome into our IT user family. We also have to be continuously doing things to remind them that they are part of an active and engaging group of people who are all trying to do the same thing that they are doing.

You’ve Got To Go With Your Gut

We live in a world that is awash with data. App IT managers probably have more data on their users and how they use their current projects than the rest of us have. However, app IT managers are the first ones to say that you can’t just rely on the data and your IT manager training – sometimes you have to go with your gut. As IT managers we know that this is true. Especially when it comes to launching your next project. You’ll have a lot of data about the market that you are going after; however, in the end the decision to launch or delay will come down to what your gut tells you.

I’ll Only Buy It If It’s Cool

All too often IT managers can get caught up in all of the neat things that their project does. App IT managers are the first ones to remind us that it is a crowded market out there. If we don’t do something to make our project stand out, then we’ll never get noticed and our project will never get bought. We all know that we need to help our customers out. We know more about the projects that compete in our market space. It comes down to us to explain to our customers why they need to pick our project over all others.

Don’t Make Promises That You Can’t Keep

App IT managers are all too aware of the danger of promising things that never show up. Do this once and you’ll have a very good chance of losing your best customers. For those of us who are responsible for complicated projects that have a lot of moving parts that all have to come together in order to create the next version of the project, we also need to be very careful to manage our customer’s expectations. Don’t over promise and under deliver!

What All Of This Means To You

How cool would it be to be an app IT manager? You’d have quick turnaround and you’d always be on the outlook for the newest mobile phones so that you could test your app out. The rest of us could probably learn a thing or two from this fast moving market.

What these IT managers can teach us has to do with making sure that when people buy our project they are entering into a community of users. It’s almost a little like the IT team building that we are supposed to be doing. We need to learn to trust what our gut is telling us no matter what the data says. In order to make our project stand out in a crowded market we need to make it cooler than all of the other projects. Finally, we need to be very careful to not promise more than we can deliver.

Yes, being an app IT manager could be a great job. I suspect that it comes with its own set of unique challenges. For the rest of us, what we need to do is to pay attention to what these IT managers have to tell us and use their lessons to make our projects even more desirable to our customers.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: After your product has been bought, what is the best way to form a community around your product?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As a leader of IT professionals it is your responsibility to use your IT manager skills to get them to pay attention to you. Good luck doing that! In today’s hyper-connected, always-on world, getting the members of our team to lift their heads up from their monitors or to glance away from their smartphones is, to say the least, a real challenge. However, if you are going to be successful at this manager thing, then you have to not only get them to pay attention to you, but also get them to believe in you…

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