What return on investment should you expect from your software?

Tuesday 5 January, 2021

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Insight Legal Chairman, Brian Welsh suggests that you shouldn’t make time and money your only criteria when considering the ROI offered by a new software product.


When a business owner, CEO or IT manager purchases a new software product for their company, it’s usually with the same Return on Investment (ROI) in mind: to save their organisation time and money.

But that’s blinkered thinking because ROI shouldn’t just be about saving you time and money. It should also be about strengthening your relationship with your customer by making life easier for them and thereby enhancing their overall experience.

Let’s look at it from your customer’s perspective

Of course, you should absolutely be looking for time and money savings from a software product. I’m not suggesting that’s wrong.

But if that’s all a software product does,  i.e. making the process smoother and/or a little bit cheaper on your side – your business is the only one receiving the benefit. As far as your customer’s concerned, nothing’s changed. So, once your new software has speeded everything up or reduced your costs, you’re unlikely to see much more ROI.

In some cases, if the savings your new software gives you are substantial enough, that might be all you need.

In many cases, though, the savings you’ll make will probably be minimal: a slight speed-up on the process, and a slight reduction on costs.

Either way, you’re missing a golden opportunity.

Think about it this way: what if your new software product took the process and didn’t save you any time or money, but it improved the process so much that the outcome a) boosted your customer’s experience, and b) improved your employee’s experience.

Just consider what that could mean, going forward into the future.

Your customer’s experience will have been so amazing that they might return even more frequently. When they tell other people about the quality of their experience and how easy it is to work with you, there’s also an excellent chance you’ll enjoy a regular influx of new customers. It isn’t just bad news that travels fast. Whenever you deliver exceptional customer service, you can be sure that other people will hear about it.

As for your employees… because the new software product has improved their experience by making their jobs a little bit easier, they’ll almost certainly become more productive and effective and feel more engaged in their work. In turn, whenever your customers or potential customers have a reason to communicate with your team members, they’ll quickly realise that yours is a company that values its people and as a result is happier and more efficient. As an added bonus, you might even improve staff retention and, if you ever recruit new team members, the best candidates will want to work for you. An employer that cares about their staff is good news that travels fast too.

The takeaway

When you’re looking at the ROI offered by a new software product, don’t make time and money your only criteria. Consider the bigger picture and factor in the experience and satisfaction of your customers and your team members. Focusing on your customers will result in better customer relationships, more returning customers, more positive word-of-mouth referrals, and higher customer spend. Focusing on both your customers and team members will result in increased satisfaction and loyalty.

Don’t forget, it costs five times more to sell to a new customer than sell to a happy one, and 73% of companies with above-average customer experience perform better financially than their competitors.1

When you’re purchasing a new software product, make sure the ROI is as wide as possible.