At the end of the day, product managers are building products for their customers. So, it’s critical to keep their wishes and desires top of mind when mapping out its future. Collecting feedback, pairing it with hard data, and using that to guide development is a big part of the product and adoption strategy at Kajabi, which offers a platform for small companies offering online learning to build websites and manage their business.
Jeremy Saenz, Kajabi’s chief product officer, recently joined Pendo’s “Driving Product Adoption with Customer Centricity” webinar to give advice on keeping the customer at the center of your operation. Here are some of his best tips:
Check your empathy
Customers who rely on software to underpin all that they do are naturally very passionate about making sure it works the way they want and need it to. Hearing that passion from a customer may send you head-first into finding a fix or building that new feature.
While it’s always important to have empathy for customers, you should check that tendency against data more representative of your wider customer landscape. You might find that a feature that a handful of customers are begging you to overhaul isn’t being used by the majority of users to justify the effort.
Start with the data, then check with the customer
Use adoption and usage data to get a pulse on how customers are using your app. Once you’ve used data to identify which features or fixes are highest priority, then hit the pavement to validate it through customer outreach. Quantitative data gives you the ground truth of what customers are actually doing, which can inform and deepen your discussions with them.
The need for speed
Having the ability to collect and analyze data in near real-time is a critical factor in using qualitative and quantitative data to keep the customer at the center of your roadmap. Having to wait a month or more to validate what a customer is telling you with hard data just doesn’t make the grade these days.
A feedback management tool like Pendo Feedback allows Kajabi to move faster when innovating, because tight feedback loops built on real-time quantitative data and qualitative customer conversations allow for quicker iteration.
Kajabi tries to be as transparent as is reasonable for their customers, giving them insight into the company’s development process and how they’re thinking about their roadmap. Sometimes, that means answering some hard questions, and when you have to say “No,” it pays to be able to share the data and research that’s backing up your reasoning.
Use customer ideas as an iteration engine
Kajabi doesn’t try to build every single request a customer makes through its feedback channels. In fact, it’s seldom the case that an idea makes it to develop in exactly the form it was proposed. Instead, the aggregate customer feedback data is used as an input to power the development team’s innovation engine. Looking for larger patterns in customers’ desires can lead to better product decisions.
Iteration and communication drive adoption
When you ship a new feature, you’re going to inevitably get a torrent of feedback on what’s right with it and what’s wrong. Don’t just ignore that and move on to the next big project—use that feedback to iterate on and improve the feature and be sure to communicate that work to your customers. That can help make sure the feature you put all that work into actually gets adopted.
If you want to see Jeremy’s full presentation, you can watch the webinar recording here: