Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Listening to the right customer feedback, product managers can change their product roadmap to accurately address market fit. Every product manager knows that not all customer feedback are created equal. Given this, it is necessary for product managers to develop a process and strategy that will filter through customer feedback in a systematic and effective manner. It is important to know how to differentiate external from internal feedback, assess them, and focus on the most relevant.

Listening to Feedback

Essentially, any and every feedback from customers is valuable. External feedback is important in enabling the product to meet the current needs of the market and stay ahead of competition. When product managers listen to their customers’ reactions, they are able to know how their product fits in the market. Regular interaction and communication with customers makes it possible for product managers to have a deeper understanding of what the customers want, what they are willing to pay for, and what they wish the products can do more for them.

Aside from feedback from customers, product managers should also consider internal feedback from their team members, front line employees, executives, and key stakeholders. Since the company’s executives are the ones who establish the goals and objectives related to product strategy, their inputs are definitely important.

Assessing Feedback

Aside from taking in customer feedback, assessment of these inputs is another responsibility of product managers. It can be quite challenging to evaluate and decide which of the suggestions and inputs from users and customers need to be prioritized, and it will be helpful for product managers to have a structure so they can effectively process customer feedback. You would not want to say yes to every customer’s suggestions. Instead, you need to remember to stay focused on your target audience and let them be your guide when deciding which feedback to use in developing your product.
It is important for product managers to refrain from allowing their customers dictate the product roadmap. While it is necessary for them to take all the ideas in, these should all go through an evaluation process that follows an objective method and strategy that also considers the context behind every customer’s feedback. If you are a product manager who struggles in this process, consider taking a product management training course.

Maintaining Balance

The challenge for product managers is to maintain balance. Since all types and sources of customer feedback are important, it is crucial for product managers to find the perfect balancing point that will meet what the customers want and at the same time drive market growth without having to drastically change product strategy. Both internal and external feedback need to be take into consideration, using a systematic assessment process, and making sure that both the customers’ and the company’s goals are met. Maintaining balance is not an easy task, but it is necessary to ensure the success of the product, both in the short term as well as long term.

At the end of the day, a product manager’s main goal is to launch a successful product. And this can only be achieved if there is a balance between meeting the needs of the market and meeting the goals of the company.

Author bio:
Michelle Rubio has been writing for SMEs across the United States, Canada, Australia and the UK for the last five years. She is a highly-experienced blogger and SEO copywriter, writing business blogs for various industries such as marketing, law, health and wellness, beauty, and education, particularly on product management training such as those offered by ProductSchool.com.

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License: Creative Commons image source

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