This article is sponsored by Flatfile
According to a data onboarding survey that Flatfile recently conducted, 23% of software companies state that it can take weeks or months to import customer data, and 96% reported that they have run into problems while doing so.
Importing CSV files isn’t enjoyable for the customers prepping them, for the developers building the import function, or for the customer service and success teams fielding constant data import questions.
CRMs, ERPs, product lifecycle management software, and inventory management software are just a few of the many software categories that necessitate data importing. Without customer data, they’re useless. Unfortunately, importing customer data into these software tools is easier said than done. And a poor data onboarding experience has repercussions.
If an enterprise software provider lacks simple and effective data import capabilities, customer frustration and churn could be the result. In addition, companies typically waste precious time and resources having internal teams format spreadsheet errors, fix validation problems, and generally wrangle spreadsheets on behalf of their customers who are simply trying to import their data.
Businesses face a build vs. buy decision for importing data
Importing data is essential to get customers onboarded quickly, gaining value from a software platform. But it turns out that building a high-quality data importer is both costly and time-consuming. Essentially, it’s a product in and of itself.
Your engineering and product teams are busy building out new features that matter to your customers and fixing bugs for critical functionality. Building a data importer is not typically on their growing to-do list.
When companies build their own data importers in house, the inevitable occurs:
The team can’t give a data importer the full attention it deserves so they’re likely to produce something that isn’t intuitive for customers to use and doesn’t offer clear troubleshooting steps when an import fails.
Maintaining a data importer requires ongoing work. Once a data importer is built, there needs to be dedicated resources to update, fix and add new features to the importer.
There is, however, another option. Software companies can choose to buy a data onboarding solution to import data rather than build one from scratch.
John Baigent, the co-founder of Oversight Software and a customer of Flatfile’s data importer, Portal, says, “We aren’t spending precious time reinventing the wheel in terms of file upload, we’re spending our time developing features that our customers want to see and subsequently make their jobs easier.”
Flatfile leads the emerging data onboarding category
Effective data import is an essential part of a larger category that’s on the rise: data onboarding.
Successful data onboarding ensures that it’s as easy as possible to bring customer data into a product – whether customers themselves are migrating the data or a customer success team (as part of a white-glove onboarding experience). When data onboarding works, customer onboarding is a whole lot smoother and extensive time is no longer dedicated to asking: did the data import go okay?!
Flatfile is setting a new standard in data onboarding with two business products:
Flatfile Portal – The elegant import button for web apps
Flatfile Concierge – No-code workspaces for onboarding customer data
Thanks to Flatfile, companies of all sizes no longer need to waste time on patchwork solutions like emailing sensitive Excel files, formatting CSV templates, or hiring expensive teams to help onboard customer data.
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