We make it a point to encourage communication between our customers and our support. We receive many suggestions and requests daily for a wide variety of different features that could make a difference for our users.
At Debitoor, we listen to these requests and suggestions. We record every single one, to be considered when it comes to growing and developing the software in the the best way possible.
Requests cover a very broad range of different features and functions and our developers organise and analyse each one to determine the top priorities, the ones that will best benefit the largest number of users.
But the days can turn into weeks or months, and some users will follow up on their suggestions, wondering why something that would be highly useful for them and their business has not yet been added to the software.
It’s understandable that some might assume this means that we don’t take their suggestions into account. Nothing could be further from the truth. We take every request into consideration, however, the process of implementing changes to the software is more than just a quick addition.
In this article, we’ll take you ‘behind the scenes’ so-to-speak, in order to give you a better understanding of the process.
How we record and filter your messages
We receive your requests and suggestions through a number of different channels, including:
- In-app chat
- Social media
- Comments or reviews
- Partners and accountants
When a message contains a suggestion, we add a tag to group it with similar requests from other users so that we always have a clear picture of how many users are asking for a particular feature or function.
What we take into account
The collection and categorisation of ideas is only the first step in the process leading to their potential development for implementation in the software. There are certain aspects of the software that must be prioritised. So how do we do it? By closely following a set of criteria:
Local legislation and requirements. Invoicing and accounting regulations can change from year to year, and they are not the same in every country in which we operate. It’s essential that we provide software to create invoices that comply with local requirements, so before we start developing new features, we ensure that this complies with the law - which can be a bit of a time-consuming process.
Simplicity. There are plenty of ideas for new features or functions that could be of great use to users. However, their implementation would cause Debitoor to become increasingly more complex, more difficult to use. This strays from our central objective of providing intuitive, user-friendly tools for freelancers, sole traders, and small businesses with no background in accounting.
Innovation. We’re always looking to create the most advanced solutions to allow entrepreneurs to manage their business more easily. Often, this means exploring solutions that have not previously been looked into by competitors or users.
Reconciling different needs. With a wide range of users comes a wide range of different needs. Some apply to many users, others might apply only to a few, or even one in particular. So which ones should be selected for development? We always try to choose the one that benefits a large number of users, but that also does not put others at a disadvantage.
Partners and integrations. Some functions take an extraordinary amount of work to develop, such as direct debit, stock management, payroll, etc. So much so that many online programs are dedicated to just one of these functions. In these cases, we consider whether a partnership with an existing software that offers a function useful to our users might be a better option than months of trial and error.
The competitive arena. No business exists in a vacuum. Debitoor competes with other accounting and invoicing software and is part of a larger, layered ecosystem that includes software like ours that cater to small businesses, freelancers, and sole traders. To continue to grow and develop, we must also take stock of what the competition is doing.
How we develop your ideas
Once the aspects listed above are considered, our developers select the suggestion that best meets the criteria - the decision is often a difficult one. The following is how the planning and production of a new feature or function goes within the development team.
Note that our developers always keep the central purpose of Debitoor in mind, even when creating features or functions that add a bit of breadth to the software. We do not want our users to need an instruction manual to use the software.
In the development process, we typically seek the participation of our users because we believe that the best solution comes from cooperation, from a co-creation process that includes the use of:
- Prototypes: a clickable example of how the new feature/function will work
- Beta versions: early, functioning implementation of the new feature/function
- Questionnaires: we want to know what you think
This continuous interaction between users and developers is, to us, crucial for the development of simple, effective, and helpful new features and functions. There is nothing better for a developer than a positive user response to their work, so all feedback is taken in and used to better the software.
Debitoor is a small, passionate company committed to our mission: to provide tools and resources to the self-employed that help them grow and succeed in their business.
We are aware that we have limited resources, and this often means that it’s necessary for us to focus on a small number of projects, but that does not lessen our ambition.
When we are not able to add a requested feature or function instantly, it does not mean that we have disregarded it completely - it might just be a feature that will take more time to develop, or that simply cannot be prioritised at the moment.
Your ideas and requests give us guidance and inspiration for making Debitoor even better than it is today. Never doubt that the continued development of Debitoor revolves around you, our users.