My wife and are in the middle of buying kitchen appliances. Given that we have never purchased appliances before, there are so many choices, they’re expensive and we will use them so much; we are doing quite a bit of research – more than I ever would have imagined. We have gone to different showrooms, read reviews online, browsed through product literature, talked to friends and read lots of opinions on forums.
At numerous points along the way, I have been tempted to just go with the top choice in Consumer Reports and call it a day. I certainly didn’t do this much research when I bought my car. But as soon as I say that and read online reviews of the top CR picks, I go back to doing the research.
Of course, throughout this whole process, I can’t help but relate it to Capterra – and the process of buying any kind of software for a business. Most people making the purchase are making it for the first time. There are usually dozens, if not hundreds, of software choices available. They typically run anywhere from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of dollars. And we stand to benefit tremendously (or to feel frustrated to no end) from the software that we buy.
For these kinds of purchases, there is a tremendous amount of risk involved. One software product can help catapult your company to the next level. Another one can drag you down for months or even longer. So how do you reduce the risk? The same way you do when buying your kitchen appliances:
1) Seriously consider what your needs and priorities are. What do you need the software to do?
2) Include all stakeholders. Not asking the end user for their opinion on a software demo is akin to not asking your spouse (whoever does the cooking) for their opinion on the oven.
3) Talk to your peers. And not just the testimonials provided by the vendors.
4) Be thorough. Consider as many choices as you can.
Many software buyers just look at the first few products they come across, or use whatever their colleague is using, or go with the market leader – and come to regret it later. Your company’s specific needs and end users are different from everyone else’s so recognize that and avoid the temptation to cut the process short! It may take you a little longer, but it will probably save you many headaches in the long run.