Last month, a couple of long-standing LeagueApps partners chose to move on from the LeagueApps platform in favor of another digital solution. We were disappointed that they no longer realized value in our partnership. We do wish them the best and hope they continue to deliver great sports programs and activities to their communities.
We realize this stuff happens. LeagueApps does not have contracts and we only want to have partners that recognize value from using our tools and features. We try our best to ensure customer satisfaction through both our product and our service. We value long-term partnerships and strive to have partners “for life”. In the past, partners leaving the platform has been a rare occurrence. So when it does happen we make sure to evaluate and understand what didn’t go as expected and how we can get better as a team. In this case, both partners were helpful in sharing their feedback and thoughts with us.
We also like to be transparent — both with our team internally, as well as with the LeagueApps partner community. We do a great job of celebrating the wins and milestones of our product and service. But we also want to share the struggles that we sometimes experience — struggles that most companies face — and share how we learn from them as a company. (Check out this great blog post titled The Struggle by Ben Horowitz, author of our next book club read The Hard Thing About Hard Things).
Here are some of the learnings from our most recent experience. This helps us identify how we will provide better service in the future.
1) Say NO Appropriately
Sometimes the best answer is NO. No allows the partner to go down another path (the best available and realistic path). Saying NO isn’t easy, but it’s often necessary and actually builds credibility in the long-run. When developing relationships with partners, there may be situations in which a partner’s request cannot be met. In these situations, saying NO early on should help both sides reach an alternative solution quicker without stringing the partner along.
2) Be Transparent / Communicate Clearly
Transparency can often help develop trust and respect in partnerships. In Partner Management, we often need to explain if something can or can’t be done, from either a product and service standpoint (e.g. we don’t offer in-house custom design). Taking the time to explain ‘why’ something can/can’t be done is helpful and allows our partners to better understand our process.
3) Set the Right Expectation
It’s important to set an expectation that we can deliver from the very first interactions with potential partners. It’s better, and more fair, for a partner to be disappointed (but accepting) now than later. Like #2, making sure the partner understands what we are/aren’t capable of providing is a huge factor for a partner to decide how and if they will use LeagueApps. Setting expectations from the start is key, as it helps keep both sides aligned.
Recapping these situations is helpful and lends some perspective. One of our core values is to be a student of the game, and we know we can learn from these situations and be the best at getting better!
Partners – If you are reading this and have questions, concerns, or need more clarity on our product or services, please reach out to us. Please hold us accountable and help us get better. We want to address your concerns ASAP and help you get the most possible value out of LeagueApps.