You’ve made the decision to buy reporting and monitoring software. But it’s not all sunshine and roses – there are some pitfalls.
The process can be overwhelming. It’s hard to differentiate between the advantages and disadvantages of all the options. And while the platforms for gathering metrics are many and vary widely, when all is said and done, you have to pick the solution that works best for your company.
Asking the right questions (of yourself and of the provider) can help you avoid the headache of being in a service agreement that doesn’t suit your business.
Here are 5 pitfalls that can be easily avoided:
1. Short-sighted purchasing decision
Before you engage service providers, it’s important to do a bit of a self-audit. Ask yourself: “Are my requirements now the same requirements I’ll have five years from now?” What if something controversial happens in your industry? Can the platform grow with your constantly-changing business?
2. I have to be at my desk to manage my portal
Is it important to you to know when something’s happened even if you’re not at your desk? Ask the service provider how their solution supports a travelling practitioner. Maybe you want real-time alerts sent to your smartphone. Does the provider offer that as an option?
Budget certainty is important to many businesses. How important is it to your business? After the implementation costs, what other fees might be incurred? This one’s like getting locked in a cell phone service contract where you signed up for a $45/month plan but your bill always comes in at $75/month.
4. Having to pay for extra searches
Change is inevitable and flexibility in your search terms is paramount. Things may seem quiet right now, but maybe you have a product launch in a few months. Would the number of search terms you purchased be enough to monitor an influx in chatter? Does the provider offer unlimited search terms? If not, what will those extra ones cost?
5. I can’t preview my clips before purchasing them
In the end, engagement is usually what you’re trying to measure. Numbers can help tell the story, but the difference is in how your audiences are talking about you. If you’re tracking an issue, wouldn’t it be nice to preview some of the content so you can decide whether or not it’s worth including in your analysis? Ask the provider if they allow clips to be previewed before you purchase them.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Before you sign a service agreement, make sure you’re evaluating the provider from all angles. There’s a lot to take into account but you can avoid these pitfalls by asking the right questions.
What would you add?