Software Launches: Making the Most of Customer Feedback

July 23, 2015

in Market Your Brand

Authored by Jennette Romney

Software Launches: Making the Most of Customer Feedback

Software developers are responsible for many phases of a product’s development—from concept to implementation. But when it’s marketing’s turn to take over, software developers can muddle the process.

Valuing customer opinion and incorporating this feedback can be daunting, especially with wide-ranging user opinions. However, the customer can be the key to overall project success. Honest opinions present key opportunities to re-evaluate the foundations a product was built upon.

The following strategies will help drive greater value from your feedback, for both the customer, and the brand.

Step 1: Use your product from a customer perspective

There’s a difference between real product usage and intended product usage. Rather than dictate how the workflow feels and customer usage should proceed with the product, it’s necessary to understand that a majority of customers may be using the technology in ways that might have never been thought about. Always be willing to challenge assumptions and gather customer intelligence to influence future product development—not to merely validate it.

Active monitoring tools, such as CRM systems, analytics, etc.—can track event frequency and traffic in the application or website, and it can be done without introducing opinions.

Step 2: Incorporate customer opinion

The customers who are considered power users of the product are the ones that it is most valuable to foster close relationships with. It is important to make sure they are comfortable in sharing what they really think about the latest products, and that they are aware as early as possible of new ideas or features—like through email or social, for example.

The best way to raise their comfort level is to communicate clearly that their opinions are taken into account and that negative opinions will not change the overall relationship.

Step 3: Be a customer advocate

Some adages never go out of style. Remember, the customer is always right, because their opinions of a product, not the product’s overall value, matters most. It’s important to focus on this, instead of defending the fact that the product may do what is expected of it.

Make sure to consider customer feedback honestly. If the customer is suggesting a new and valuable feature, then provide feedback to the customer that their suggestion is valid. Acknowledge the fact that their idea might become part of a future enhancement.

If customer feedback is valid, but requires changes that are not feasible, then acknowledge these potential hurdles. This transparent communication is key to establishing trust for your brand.

 

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