How to delight customers and win partners with your platform
Thinking recently about my time leading RunKeeper’s Platform team, I’ve distilled the key lessons learned down to six principles platform providers should embrace to delight their customers (read “users” if you prefer that term) and partners alike:
- Customer trust is key for any consumer-facing platform to reach its maximum potential. This trust enables customers to fully embrace your own and your partners’ apps, services, and devices. Always keep customer trust top-of-mind.
- Customer control of the flow and access to their data is central to earning and keeping that trust. Note that I said “control”, not ownership, as it’s become very clear that the notion of data ownership is murky, especially in realms such as health and fitness.
- Customer control demands that they must be able to choose with whom they connect their account and share data. If you agree with this, you should default to opt-in, not opt-out.
- True customer control also requires that they be able to disconnect any partner they choose, including the platform provider (i.e. delete their account and data). Extra customer love and bonus points from many partners if the platform enables the customer to allow or disallow data retention when they disconnect. Don’t assume you know what’s best for the customer, let them choose.
- Customers like the assurance of being able to export a copy of their data (a la Google Takeout and RunKeeper data export). Even if they never choose to use your export feature, customers may see a lack of export functionality as equivalent to a closed platform, and hence never fully trust your platform offerings or commit themselves fully to them. Said another way, data export capability future proofs your platform for customers.
- Partners must have confidence that the customer is in control of their own data and its retention, not the platform provider, if a platform provider is to be fully trusted. This future proofs your platform for partners.
Interested in applying these lessons to your platform and partnerships? I’d love to help. Please contact me today to discuss!