What would you think if your friends invited you over for dinner but didn’t eat the meal they served? It would be weird, right? If it’s not good enough for the chef, then why should you eat it? Is there something wrong with the meal? Unhealthy ingredients? Bread that broke the five-second rule? Milk flirting a bit too much with the expiration date?
Bottom line, it’s a flag redder than the undercooked meat you could be digging your knife into.
The same is true of companies – and employees – that don’t use their own products. If the product isn’t good enough for that business, why should you trust your own with it?
On the flip side, when you purchase products from a company that uses its own goods and services, you know the organization has faith and trust in the quality of its products. It’s such an important concept in the tech world that a few phrases have even been coined for companies that use their own products, such as “drinking your own champagne” and “eating your own dog food” — seriously, it’s really the term. And, of course, a politically correct and nowhere near as fun version has emerged in the term “self-hosting.”
Google employees use their products. And each time you call Vonage, your call is answered on the exact same cloud network, with the same quality of service and business telephone system that is sold to customers. Novell employees organize their own files using products on their shelf.
When you partner with a company that uses its own products, you’ll get the following tangible and intangible benefits:
Ability to Give Customers Insider Tricks
Yes, you can sit in on a training session. Sure, videos are great. But really knowing how to use a product comes from using it all day, every day. And, more importantly, your own career balances on how well you know it. Customer service reps who spend all day actually using the product you are calling about are much more likely to be familiar with common mistakes, shortcuts, and tricks — and are much more preferable to someone who has never used the product in the real world and spent the new employee orientation daydreaming about lunch.
Peace of Mind
Selecting a vendor is hard. You’re putting your business in someone else’s hands, and if they don’t live up to their promises, your own paycheck could be on the line. When a company trusts its own products enough to use them as part of its business model, you have the peace of mind that it’s dependable, reliable, and worth betting on.
More Engaged Customer Service
There’s something fun about running into someone who uses the same exact device as you do. It’s like you both know you were smart enough to use it and have a sense of pride in your choice. Companies whose employees use their own products have that same sense of pride, and everyone knows you do a much better job when you are engaged and proud of the products you represent.
Find Bugs Before Customers Do
Bugs happen. Quality control is great, but there are times when errors in a product are found only during real-life usage. That’s just the way it is — no way around it. When a company uses its own products, you can be assured employees will catch glitches first. And, since they can’t do their own jobs until the problem is corrected, you know fixes will be a high priority.
Remember, if the food isn’t good enough for the chef, you may want to think twice about eating it. And, if the products aren’t good enough for the vendor, you might want to rethink that, too.
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