7 Ways We Build Trusting Relationships in Software

In the world of software development, customer confidence isn't a given.
JUNE, 2019

Who do you trust with your technology?

It can be one of the most important parts of your business. It can constitute one of your most substantial investments. And if it fails, it can cost you credibility with your customers, your investors and your team.

So, who do you trust with something like that?

It's a question we think about all the time because we know what our clients have encountered on their journey to us: companies that make promises they know they can't keep, vendors who overcharge and underdeliver, tech professionals who give clients what they want instead of what they need.

We know trust isn't a given. We know it's earned, built over time. And we're willing to put in the effort because we know what happens when we do: We forge powerful, lasting relationships and turn clients into advocates, colleagues and friends.

So, how do we do it? It all starts with good work…
Do good work
When we start work with a client, we make a lot of promises.

We promise to build a platform that will work for their business. We promise to create a system that supports their business goals. And we promise to give them what they need, not just what they want.

But here's the thing: We also deliver on those promises, every single time.

The best way to establish trust is to do what you say you will — to be reliable and consistent. When you do that, you earn trust over time. That lays a strong foundation for future clients that come in the door: They've heard we do good work. Now all we have to do is deliver, which is what we do best.
Be open and honest
Sometimes, doing the best work for our clients means telling them things they don't want to hear.

Take, for instance, Mountain Khakis, a retailer who engaged us to custom-build its e-commerce site. The company came to us knowing what it wanted: a custom back-end system. But as we dug into the project, we realized Mountain Khakis didn't need something custom. Instead, an off-the-shelf system could give them everything they needed and, in the process, save them time and money.

So that's what we told them. And in the end, that's what they chose. We lost a client, but we did what was right for the business.

Companies hire us for our technological and business expertise. They know what they want, but it's our obligation to show them a better way, if we find one. We come to each project open-minded and committed to honesty and transparency at each stage of the process. That kind of communication can be difficult in the short-term, but it's always better in the end.

Stabilizing a complicated software platform while under high usage.
Manage expectations
When you can't see what's happening, how do you know it's happening?

That's the problem with technology: It's not like building a house. You can't see it rising from the ground up. You have to trust it's coming together — that the framework is solid and the construction sound.

And it's easier to trust when you're told what to expect, and when it will be done.

Delays happen. Problems arise. New discoveries push us in new directions. And every day — typically multiple times a day — our clients get insight into where we are in the process. Over time, it's taught us how something as simple as managing expectations can make all the difference.
Respond when something goes wrong
In nearly every project, something happens that we don't expect. And those moments are both challenge and opportunity.

Take Boardroom Insiders, for example: We built an entirely new platform for the company. And the transition from old platform to new wasn't seamless. There were problems and glitches. But we were on call until every last issue was fixed. That resonated.

"Inevitably, challenges come up or things aren't done the way they were supposed to be done, and the test of a great partner is how they deal with that. Dualboot always deals with that really well," Boardroom Insiders CEO, Sharon Gillenwater, told us.

Replatforming a legacy system to build a better, stronger business.
Understand the business challenges
We are developers, but that's not the only thing we do.

When we work with our clients, we dig deep into their businesses. We set out to understand their challenges and opportunities, their customers and their systems. That makes a difference when you're building the technological foundation for a company. It certainly did when we started working with John Bradford, CEO and founder of PetScreening.

"With PetScreening, I knew I needed a development team, and I knew I needed someone to run point between that team and me. Dualboot Partners was a natural fit. Not only did they understand the technology; they understood the business problem we were trying to solve," Bradford told us.

When you take the time to dig into your clients' businesses, they understand you're not just looking for the quickest way to code a new website or mobile app. You're trying to solve a problem. That goes a long way toward building trust.

From idea to a high-growth pet registration platform.
Open your network
Over our combined decades working in startups, we've built a powerful network, and there's nothing we love more than sharing that network with our clients. If you need a marketing person, chances are we know someone. If you're looking for funding, we can make connections.

Once we start working with a client, we become invested in helping that business succeed, in every possible way. So we open our community to them, and, in the process, you get access to new resources, and the community we're building grows.

Win, win.
Serve together
The work we do is a big part of who we are as a company. But it isn't everything.

We believe in giving back, to serving the community around us every way we can. When our company celebrated its first year in business recently, we toasted the accomplishment with an event at the Charlotte Rescue Mission, a nonprofit in Charlotte that helps men and women struggling with addiction. We invited our colleagues, friends and clients to participate. And the result was an incredible afternoon of service.

That service is a core part of building trust: We want to grow and build our company, just like our clients. But we want to contribute to the growth of our community at the same time.

Building trust is an ongoing process. It takes hard work, authenticity and consistency, but the good news is, that's who we are and what we do. We don't know any other way.

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