Happy customers are the foundation of any successful business. But in industries like software development and web design it is very hard to find truly happy customers. One of the main reasons is customers have no idea about the product until the final solution is handed over to them. Prototyping, frequent meetings help to clarify things but they do take a lot of time since it involved travelling back and forth between offices. However the latest web technologies and high speed Internet connections has led to the development of online collaborative tools, which dramatically increased productivity.
How Collaborative Tools Work
Although the implementation and the technologies chance all these tools work in a very similar way. Someone creates and object and take ownership of the object. The object could be a diagram, a document or even a project. The owner then sends out invitations to others so they can contribute to the final outcome of the object. The owner can decide the level of access to other contributors. Everyone can them modify the object until a final decision is reached. Every revision is tracked so you can easily revert to a previous version.
Advantages of Collaborative Tools
Because these are web based applications you can access them from anywhere in the world as long as you have Internet connection. This means that your clients can view your designs from his office and even modify them or comment on them. Needless to say this reduce most misunderstandings and saves time spent on emails, meetings etc.
Most of these collaboration tools have notification systems build into them. So if you are the owner or a contributor of an object you are notified when a change is made. This helps in two ways. A client can easily track any important changes you make and if he or she doesn’t like the change or find some fault with the change he can give instant feedback. So time spent on developing things unnecessary and erroneous things are greatly reduced.
When you are using collaborative tools with customers they always feel involved in the process. They can visually see the progress of any given project and they can see changes made based on their input. All these factors combined leads to very happy customers.
About the Author
Nishadha Silva is an Internet Marketing Specialist working at Cinergix, makers of Creately an online collaborative diagramming tool. It’s a great alternative to Visio and the blog has some great articles on diagramming similar to this flowchart guide.