How Much Should the Customer Matter to Product Managers?

Project Managers must understand customer needs.

It is all about knowing when to involve the customers and how to cater to their needs. Making customers an integral part of the product lifecycle ensures that you will receive the proper feedback and be able to implement improvements in the products.

The significance of Customer Feedback For the Product Manager

Customer feedback acts as a strong motivator as customer will see themselves as de facto product advisors. Communicating with customers frequently will work towards making your products better. There are a number of decisions that can benefit from a customer’s input. These include the look and feel of the product, different features, pricing models, the selling process and target market. Customers would also enjoy the ability to give your product a try as they have been playing a part in its creation.

Gartner Analysts have coined a term: “feedback loops” between internal and external people and processes. These feedback loops will allow users of a digital technology to help evolve the design and use of digital technology with appropriate speed to make a difference at the point of need.

Collecting And Analyzing The Feedback 

As a product manager, you should make conversations with real consumers. The process and means of communication may vary. Phone calls, personal meetings or making public product demonstrations are some of the main ways this is accomplished. These interactions deliver honest insights into the product and can assist in understanding the needs, of customers associated with your product.

Apart from feedback conversations, sharing your roadmap with the customers will keep them in the product loop. This will also let you form a picture of your product development progress and help you judge its effectiveness. This step does not require sharing the detailed process of your work, but designing another version of the roadmap which suits the sharing process can definitely help.

Customer feedback acts as a data source which must be analyzed before drawing direct conclusions. As a Product Manager, you should let your decisions be influenced by the responses generated but the product development must not be completely based on personal opinions. Feedback trends need to be studied as you are required to measure the opinions and suggestions according to their source. At the end of the day, the responses which will play the most significant role will be the ones from targeted customer groups.

Customer Feedback Clues To Help Improve Your Product

  • Comparisons made by customers between your product and other similar ones matter a lot. They work as a judge of the features of your product aand can guide you to make the necessary changes to help improve your product above that of a competitor. Price and reliability are also important matters of discussion and can help guide decisions that you make regarding features and cost.
  • The responses received by the promotional campaigns you generate for your product help to inform you if there are any modifications or updates required before the actual product launch.
  • Changes in customer satisfaction levels and product ratings are some of the strongest clues to find what is lacking in your product and needs improvement.

These studies can help you design significantly better work procedures as well as improve the quality and appeal of your products.

bnr19

Mark Silver
Mark is the Lead Author & Editor of Spectechular Blog. Mark established the Spectechular blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Product Management.
Mark Silver on sabtwitterMark Silver on sablinkedinMark Silver on sabgoogleMark Silver on sabfacebook