Shared learnings from our French User Meetup on June 27, 2018.

Meeting the actual people who use our software is always energizing, especially when you have hours to discuss their challenges, joys and dreams. Being as global as we are, both with our offices as well as our customer locations, this is a rare luxury. So, let me share some thoughts we took back from Paris that will help any organization building customer centric products.

Keep the customer’s org culture in mind when approaching them for product collaboration and feedback. One customer expressed their desire for UX that fits their internal ethos. This is similar to what we have heard from an American athletic apparel customer - keeping it all about the “team member” (aka a consistent employee) experience. Depending on the company and culture, a customer may be more (or less) open to modern B2C features, like bringing social empowerment and employee-to-employee support.

Help the customers to become strategic. We talked a lot about how the mobility function should become a strategic partner inside their companies, supporting efforts to become more agile. The goal is to move mobility away from being viewed as  a transactional operation used to move people from A > B, only getting attention when something goes wrong. Our customers want this too, and see technology as an enabler, in more ways than one. The more we automate the mundane, the more they have time to think and focus on strategy. But also, they require software that helps them sell their value to the rest of the org; like creating valuable simple side-apps, or fancy yet useful dashboards tailored for HR partners, managers, and executives around the org to interact with directly – and thank our mobility buyer for the great choice later.

“How many employees in your organisation do you touch?” is a metric with huge potential to track this change to agility, and changing scope of mobility function. It’s not being tracked widely in France yet (while we’ve heard it with Silicon Valley customers already saying things like “we handle the 60% of our staff who are on a visa”). In large industrials, the assignment-on-a-policy might be just 1.5%, but we could help them drive it to 50%+, and hence turn them into a crucial function for the success of the company.

We want to thank our customers for their time and the success of the meetup event. We’re looking forward to the continued conversation and collaboration at our EMEA Customer Advisory Board in October.  

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Sten Tamkivi

About the author

Sten Tamkivi

Sten is Topia's Chief Product Officer based out of our Talinn, Estonia office. Prior to joining Topia, Sten co-founded Teleport.

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