9 Tips on How to Improve Product Experience and Maximize Customer Value
Here’s why customer feedback is the key to improve product experience and maximize customer value in every product release.
Maximizing time is crucial today as companies navigate the digital shift. Product-driven organizations typically know a top item they want to develop in their next update or release. However, what isn’t always clear is where the specific feature ranks in importance for customers.
The question then becomes how to improve product experience and at the same time maximize customer value when you only have days, not months. Traditionally, companies relied on primary market research using consultants, focus groups, research panels, and double-blind studies to obtain insights about customers. Although the results are valuable, these methods typically are expensive, take a lot of time, and the results are limited to a small group of prospective customers.
Feedback from existing customers, traditionally viewed as “backup lights” indicating where we have been, can instead be used as “headlights,” illuminating the path to where to go. Once you start looking at the data in this way, you can yield exceptional wins for customers and your business.
When strategizing on how to improve product experience, here are 9 ways you can begin to maximize customer value to further differentiate and distance your lead from your competition in every release.
How to Improve Product Experience through Feedback
- Start With Listening — And Then Expand It: Ask your customers how things are going, and then listen. You can use traditional solicited surveys as a starting point. Then, because email surveys may be less desirable to your customers, consider expanding channels to mobile web and SMS. Remember that companies that use both surveys and other sources of solicited feedback are more likely to improve the customer experience, by 10 percentage points. Embed feedback options within your product user interface, and your feedback response volume will go up. I’ve experienced increases of as much as 20X. Customer comments yield the best insights but are cumbersome for customers to create. Consider capturing voice or video and then transcribing the comments to enrich your feedback. You also will get the added benefit of seeing your customer’s true emotion!
- Don’t Overlook Unsolicited Feedback: Your customers are talking about you in various places, including on social media, ratings and review sites, support case notes, support recordings and chat logs. What’s more, customers expect you to take notice. And as an added benefit, consumers are also talking about your competitors here, so why not listen in and analyze where you perform better or may have gaps?
- Aggregate and Scale: Listening generates a mountain of data that is not scalable for a large business to operationalize. You can try to create a data lake and then put on a business intelligence frontend to do this, but it rarely achieves the level of engagement needed to act on the feedback. A customer experience management platform allows you to automate the collection and aggregation of this feedback into one place, and it empowers you to drive the right information to the right person at the right time.
Use Data to Maximize Customer Value
- Turn Feedback Into Insights Into Actions: Insights must be actionable and timely, as the majority of consumers expect an immediate response to their feedback across digital channels. This is how you operationalize actions beyond a team of analysts to thousands of employees. Product stakeholders need actionable insights that are individualized to their particular responsibilities. They must show what is most impactful to drive prioritization. By determining which metrics and associated workflows are key, you can ensure that you are prepared to act within minutes.
- Uncover the “Deeper Why”: Scores tell us the health and symptoms of what is wrong. Customer comments tell us the “deeper why.” Mining these insights using text analytics to identify what is most impactful is the only way to achieve this at scale. When using text analytics, it is not always about what people talk about the most or the sentiment used when they talk about it that predicts loyalty. Rather, it is how each of the mentions within comments affect the customer’s willingness to purchase again or recommend. That’s what matters most!
- Mix in Operational Data to Determine “How”: Customer demographics, component builds, customer authorized telemetry, product configurations, support metrics, clickstream behavior–all of this can be used to unlock “how” to act. Customers who complete a task in X minutes are likely to be Y points more satisfied than those who take longer. Customers who achieve only X hours of battery life score Y points lower. The thresholds are in your data. Your customers are telling you. Combining how customers “feel” with how your offering is “performing” unlocks “how” to act upon the feedback.
- Close the Loop With Customers: Sometimes no matter how many times we ask, we still can’t understand what would make customers happy. Talking to customers who have told you about a certain experience can help you uncover even more insights into “how” to act. Closing the loop helps to identify the specific actions to take such as improving order fulfillment time, enhancing product instructions or revising a support process that is no longer up to date. It also has the added benefit of turning a customer detractor into a promoter of your product or service.
- Incorporate Early Warning Systems: Product leaders want to focus on what will make their next release even better and not be inundated with fixing every issue, large or small. Leverage this mass of customer signals to detect issues early on. Determine which ones are the most impactful and warrant immediate action based on combining numerous signals including feedback, social, support cases, in product telemetry and product repair incidents. Resolving high impacting items will lessen the negative effects on customers and avoid massive support costs and product repairs.
- Monitor Results And Celebrate Success: With every release and product change, monitor the impact. Determine what worked. How did your customers feel? Course correct as needed. Learn what achieves the most impactful customer outcomes. Then, sail away from your competition and celebrate the well-deserved success!
Want to learn more about how to improve product experience through customer feedback? Watch HP’s story about scaling a CX program to create a customer-centric approach to product design and service delivery.