We truly believe that success comes from being customer driven. However, getting an accurate picture of how well your product strategy is resonating with your customer base can be extremely time-intensive and feedback is often skewed by the vocal minority.
At enform.io we’d like to pose one question; what is the minimum viable response you need from the silent majority to determine if you’re heading in the right direction?
Gaining meaningful feedback from customers can be tricky. Email campaigns and social media are great solutions if you want to blast your customers with information but yield little in the way of feedback. Having a 1-on-1 conversation with customers is an effective way to get qualitative feedback from your users but does not scale. Is there something in between that can provide instant, meaningful feedback from your users to help guide you in the right direction?
1:1 conversations are time-intensive
No one can question the value of a 1-on-1 conversation with a customer. However, one can only carry out so many customer research and development calls, site visits, and webinars with new and existing customers. Unless you’re like Alex at GrooveHQ who ambitiously talked to 500 out of a total of 2,000 customers in 4 weeks it is nearly impossible to find the bandwidth to dedicate this level of attention to customer outreach. In fact, as stunning a feat as it may have been, even Alex only managed to reach 25% of his customers. The key takeaway is that the majority of businesses simply don’t have the time nor the capacity to reach out to every single user.
Emotionless email campaigns and loud voices on social media
If you have a user base in the tens of thousands of customers, you can’t reach out to each and every one of them with a personalized message on a regular basis. Marketo has noted this in a blog post, where CMO priorities and focus is shifting to providing the right content in the right context in order to achieve personalized messages to the customer at scale. If your product has more than a handful of customers, you need something that provides the ability to quickly gauge feedback from all users in order to validate that you’re heading in the right direction.
Box covers building products for the vocal minority vs the silent majorityquite well, my only addition to that post would be, when you finally do release the feature, how do you let the entire user base know about it? How do you know if it provides meaningful value? Typically, you send out an email blast, tweet about it, publish a blog post, broadcast to followers via social media channels, and maybe even display some form of in-product message.
At the end of the day, with the exception of pointed comments from the usual suspects (Vocal Minority), high-level analysis of data in aggregate (MixPanel and Kissmetrics), and directional assumptions derived from relatively small sample sizes (Surveys), it often proves difficult to determine how well a feature addition or product improvement was received by your extended customer base. Remember, it is the silent majority that keeps your company alive and thriving. Therefore, it is imperative that you gain insight into how they feel about your product(s) on an ongoing basis.
Encouraging a minimum viable response from your active users
Today’s modern users expect maximum value in exchange for a minimal commitment. Generally, they will only tolerate interruptions that are minimally disruptive and have the potential to provide value. Think about the users you do take the time to reach out to personally. They generally feel empowered when given the opportunity to communicate directly with the people responsible for making decisions that will affect their product experience.
We believe there is truly an effective way, that “something in between” mentioned previously, that will empower and enable users to provide instant, meaningful feedback with minimal interruption, and then carry on with their daily tasks. A concise, binary response such as thumbs up / thumbs down is a universally understood concept that lends itself nicely to the way today’s users interact with some of the most popular applications in market. In this context simple truly is best as anything more complex risks interrupting a user’s workflow and has the potential to become annoying.
Enform.io is the purpose-built solution that can reliably elicit feedback and gauge sentiment from the silent majority. Embracing the concept of a minimum viable response provides product teams with the answer to this quintessential question:
Is the product heading in the right direction?
Our mission at enform.io is to deliver a solution that provides product teams with actionable insight through the immediate reactions of their customers. Learn more and request an invite at https://www.enform.io.