At Bloomfire, listening to customers is an important part of the everyday routine for our Client Success team. Hopefully, it’s an important part of any Client Success Manager’s role. Listening to customers’ needs and expectations is a great way to show that you value the partnership you have with your customers. Customers are the most valuable resource to any company, not only in revenue but also in terms of the feedback which they can provide.
Companies can leverage customer feedback in a variety of ways. I have found the most effective way to incorporate feedback is to track how many clients are asking for the same thing. In this way, we can justify a product feature or improvement that is driven directly by client requests.
This may sound simple, but any product team or client success team knows that this is easier said than done. It takes a lot of negotiation and tracking to justify your customer’s requests. And while each request may use different terminology, a lot of them ask for the same thing. Being able to identify and group those together is vital.
Getting Direct Customer Feedback Through Phone Calls
My favorite method of discovering customers’ needs is a regular phone call. Clients that are always the first to use new features, can provide valuable insight for their use cases, or have a large user base are the most valuable in terms of providing feedback. Depending on how heavy their use case is, regular calls can be weekly, semi-weekly or monthly. I like to share a rolling agenda that allows them to add items they would like to discuss. I usually go over any product announcements, plans, or bug fixes that could directly impact their use case.
Once I demo a planned feature or bug fix, I usually ask a direct question such as “Will this work for you?” or “Do you have any concerns?” and then just let the client speak. Typically, they’ll provide some great feedback.
In addition to soliciting customer feedback during recurring calls, I also look for feedback whenever I present a product road map. Our product road map calls are a great way for customers to hear about the changes we have made and the new features that are coming up. Clients love to hearing these updates. Oftentimes, they can provide planned examples of use cases for new features that haven’t even been announced yet. Our product team can use this valuable customer feedback to hone the details of the features or even improve their workflow.
Setting aside time to proactively connect with our customers over the phone is a great way to ensure that our product is meeting their needs today, and into the future. The key to successful customer calls is to actively listen to what they are saying and ask probing questions to tease out their needs if they don’t share them explicitly.
We use the data we gather from customer calls to prioritize which features to add to Bloomfire and when. Since we focus so much on our client needs, our road map includes features that will benefit the greatest number of Bloomfire customers.
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