Brand new products are unveiled every day — and many of them fall short. In fact, up to 95 percent of the new products introduced each year are ultimately unsuccessful. That’s a lot of time, money and relationships wasted. The reality is that consumers today demand near perfection, and with so much innovation occurring in and outside of Silicon Valley on a daily basis, we’ve all been spoiled in receiving it. But what happens when a new product doesn’t measure up? It’s a quick road to obsolescence for one reason: customers don’t value it.
The key to building a successful product ultimately lies in delivering value to your customers — not once, but repeatedly. In an era of almost complete transparency, customer satisfaction and feedback has never been more accessible or more essential. Every company should be focused on leveraging customer relationships to drive product development priorities. Tapping into honest, insightful feedback is key to understanding what delivers value, drives business success and ultimately becomes essential to any customer’s work. Here’s how we do it at BrightEdge:
Build a circle of trust for customer satisfaction
The first step to leveraging customer relationships is to start listening. No matter the size or industry of your customers, they all have a monumental importance in finding your own product success. Their willingness, dedication and honesty in offering product feedback are key to future innovation — so listen closely and respectfully. Take their hang-ups, difficulties and feedback seriously and identify the big issues that plague the larger group. If you’re looking for complete honesty, be prepared to hear it, and make your customers feel safe in giving whatever feedback they have. It’s all constructive in the end. At BrightEdge, we’re lucky enough to have developed powerful relationships with our customers — and we continue striving to strengthen these relationships every day (we even won an award for it!). We know that a huge part of finding success as a company lies in customer relationship management, so we work to empower our product managers with time to meet and get to know the businesses we serve. Building relationships starts with trust, so we prioritize building it with customers before expecting intellectually honest feedback.
Nice-to-haves won't change the world
As an expert on your product — and your industry — it’s up to you to understand what your customers need as opposed to what they think they need. However, it’s also important to remember that surface-level necessities might be symptoms of deeper, more complicated problems that need solving. And the distinction between those lies in two questions.
The first: Will your product help the customer satisfied and successful? Whether that’s in their relationships, their profits or their overall business results, customer success (and satisfaction) is what keeps your business growing. However, you’re not just in business to answer every customer’s whim — presumably, you’re looking to innovate on a larger scale.
So, that begs an important second question: Can your customers live or work without your product? Whether a product helps each of your individual customers succeed or not, this answer must inarguably be “no.” While building an indispensable product naturally takes time, Salesforce or Oracle didn’t get where they are by creating a suite of nice-to-haves. Optional technology is simply not enough to support business results and to renew customers year after year. We pay close attention to how our customers value our products, and we take note of the results of their product usage.
If enough of our customers identify the same issue, we know it’s a priority item. The problems worth solving are the ones that directly affect how our customers work, and we know that solving them is what keeps our customers loyal. We’re deeply invested in the success of our customers and customer satisfaction as a collective, which is why we’re inviting them all to be a part of Share15, the leading digital marketing event of the year. Join us in San Francisco this year to learn how best to leverage BrightEdge technology as well as to hear from industry experts on how to optimize success in marketing.