What is stickiness? Why does it matter? And how can you improve the stickiness of your application? Understanding the answers to these three essential questions can help you create an application and client experience that lead to business success.
It helps to define stickiness from the client’s perspective. HR professionals have two overriding concerns when it comes to purchasing applications. First, they want the application to perform its function exceptionally well. They also need that application to integrate effectively with their existing applications.
If the customer is happy with the performance and integration capabilities of your application, then they are likely to continue to rely on it and recommend it. That’s because it has a stickyquality that supports its ongoing use.
Your Client’s Blended Application Ecosystem
More often than not, vendors find that their client’s HR ecosystem is made up of blended systems. Even though they may have a core integrated solution stack, it’s likely that they have added other systems to expand the capabilities of that core system.
The driving force behind the diversity of systems in HR departments is the growth of SaaS (software as a service). The ability of vendors to deliver high levels of functionality through the cloud in a cost-effective manner has significantly changed how businesses approach applications. Consequently, the battle between the best of breed and the integrated applications are giving way to an influx of highly specialized niche applications.
HR professionals have access to a rapidly growing selection of applications that perform relatively narrow functions extremely well. They need these applications to develop the range of capabilities needed to efficiently manage their evolving workforce. The collection of applications they assemble over time serves their needs better than either a best-of-breed solution or an integrated solution stack.
The growth of SaaS has increased the battle between the best of breed and integrated applications, which has opened doors for an influx of highly specialized niche applications.
The Importance of Integration to Stickiness
While it’s easy for HR professionals to acquire all the applications they require, it’s not quite as easy to put them all into an ecosystem where they can all communicate effectively with each other. Here is where integration plays a crucial role in the stickiness of your application.
The same qualities that make it so easy to deploy SaaS applications also make it easy to discard them. After trying out an application and discovering that it doesn’t integrate well into their ecosystem, a client can discontinue the service. It doesn’t matter how clever the application is; if it doesn’t exchange information with other systems in all of the ways the client requires, it will be discarded.
What Is Effective Integration?
Your application becomes sticky and has a long life with the client not just because it provides a valuable service. It must also integrate well with the client’s existing systems. To improve the stickiness of your application, you must build in effective integration qualities and capabilities.
It’s important to optimize the look, feel, and functionality of the user interface (UI). The design of the UI must balance the application’s technical functionality with aesthetic appeal that supports usability in a multi-application ecosystem.
A robust API is essential. Your application must have the ability to integrate with a wide range of applications that exist now as well as those that are still in development. Your API must empower your application to seamlessly exchange and synchronize data with other applications in a client’s ecosystem. They must have confidence that the API gives them a consistent view of workforce data across their entire suite of systems.
The integration capabilities of an API are important, but it is just as important for the integration to be smooth, consistent, and reliable. It starts with implementation. Make sure that the implementation process goes smoothly for your clients. Any hiccups at this stage breeds doubts about long-term usability and reliability.
As clients are using the application, the integration should be invisible while providing consistent performance. Your application must perform as expected every single time it is used. Clients won’t continue to pay for inconsistency when they can simply switch to another application.
The combination of a well-designed UI, a robust API, along with smooth, consistent, and reliable integration shapes the customer’s perception of the quality of your application and service. This is how to improve the stickiness of your application.