Five minutes with… Mikesh and Megan on driving improvements in nursery management software
Having shaken up our employee Q&A, we’ve delved into our staff’s specialist subjects to gather more information about the powers of technology in the early years sector.
This time we’ve tasked our Senior Product Manager Mikesh and our QA Manager Megan, to tell us about driving improvements in nursery management software. Here’s what they had to say…
What do you think is special about Connect’s software?
Mikesh: It helps nurseries with the more difficult side of finance and bookings – making the day-to-day running of the nursery much easier. As a result, this leaves more time to focus on children’s learning and development. It also enhances the connection between a setting and home, making for a more rounded approach to learning.
Megan: Our software is fantastic, and it’s enhanced by the fact that we’re a close-knit company with a team who works well together. This caring trait extends through everything we do and means that not only are our products second-to-none, but our customer service is too. It makes a huge difference to the overall package that people receive when they invest in our technology.
How can customers drive improvements in the software – what process do they follow, and what happens next?
Mikesh: Rather than solely being reactive, we make it our mission to regularly gather feedback from our customers through surveys and workshops. Having collated any responses, we can first assess the urgency of each suggestion, then begin to understand if and how that change can be made via a technical session with the development and quality control teams.
Feedback can also be submitted by filling out a dedicated form on our website.
Megan: Once we have a few ideas and suggestions — particularly those which follow a theme or show a trend — we revisit the idea with customers to check that we’ve gathered the correct information and understood exactly where improvements can be made.
‘Bugs’ happen in all software — how can customers raise issues and how are these fixed?
Megan: No software is bug free, even those that are exceptionally well known, like Facebook. Customers are able to share feedback via the form on our website or through our customer support line.
Mikesh: For urgent issues — those which are seriously impacting the user — we aim to get these fixed as soon as possible. This is usually within a few hours, or certainly within a day. We also make it our mission to understand how the bug has happened, which helps us to prevent similar issues in the future.
How do new features come about? How can customers influence these? How do you roll out new features to customers?
Mikesh: Predominantly, within the product team we reach out to our customers and see where we need to move in the market and how we can advance our tech.
Megan: It’s very much about having a deep understanding of how each nursery works – as well as looking at the wider industry, and any relevant publications, to ensure that we’re constantly ahead of any changes in the sector.
Mikesh: It’s a combination of proactive development and insight gathered from our customer base.
What are the most utilised/popular features of Connect’s software?
Mikesh: Our billing and invoicing features prove extremely popular – they save settings hours of time, and it’s a function that can prove revolutionary for those who use it for the first time. It assists nurseries to calculate funding, which really helps with seasonal and annual billing processes.
Another great area is the spotlight screen – a feature that complements the new Birth to 5 Matters framework, allowing the addition of snapshots and learning stories to create journals which track children’s progress.
Megan: The design and flow of the software makes it a really flexible solution, which is suitable for nurseries of all sizes – whether large groups or smaller, individual settings.
Nurseries are able to keep parents informed with instant notifications, a really popular feature that is loved by parents and practitioners alike.
How do you see childcare software evolving over the next 10 years?
Mikesh: The world of technology is ever-changing and, as such, we have lots of exciting updates planned. All our improvements prioritise the experience for both practitioners and parents – watch this space for more exciting features in the months and years to come!