In SaaS, your Customer Success and Product teams are working towards the same goals, right? They both want to build a brilliant product, make sure users are getting the most from it and, ultimately, keep customers happy. Ok, that's maybe over simplified, but you get the picture: Great product, satisfied customers, increased retention, growth in revenue. 😍
That said, too often Customer Success and Product teams work in silos, making it that little bit harder to reach your end goals. So you really want to make sure they collaborate effectively—talking and listening to each other in order to build a product that fits the needs of its users.
What's one of the most effective ways to do that?
Implement an effective product feedback & ideation process.
But what does that mean? Often definitions of product ideation center around internal teams in an organization (normally Product, Development and Engineering departments) coming together, brainstorming ideas and leveraging the insights of product owners and developers. Crucially though, this process can miss one key element of successful product ideation—the customer’s opinion.
That's where your Customer Success team can step in and add real value to the ideation process—making sure your Product team are taking customer feedback into account when building your SaaS product.
Of course, that doesn't mean you should be letting the voice of the customer dictate your product roadmap; far from it. However, it is crucially important to gather feedback, analyze it, and implement the most pressing needs of the people who use your product everyday. This way you ensure you are making a product that delights users at every turn, and by including customer feedback into your ideation process, users feel like they are on the product building journey with your brand.
What happens when users feel appreciated and heard? They are more likely to keep using your product, and maybe even shout about it too.
But how do you go about this? How does your Customer Success team effectively gather customer feedback & ideation requests and help your product team prioritize it?
Adopting an online community is a great solution. We've come up with 5 of the main benefits of using a customer community to gather product feedback, streamline your ideation process, and prioritize feature requests. Here goes:
1. All your data is in one place.💡
As you are no doubt aware, there are a vast range of ways to gather customer feedback. From webinars to online surveys to events, the list goes on. And while this is great, it can make it really difficult to know what feedback is coming from where, and even more difficult to categorize and prioritize ideas and suggestions. With an online community, on the other hand, customer feedback, suggestions and ideation requests are all collected on one transparent platform.
2. Your data is secure. 🔒
In other words, you own the content that is produced on your online community. This is essential, especially when you're dealing with potentially sensitive ideation requests from customers. Of course you could gather feedback in other ways—on social media groups for example—but this content is not 'owned' by your organization, so it's less secure.
These are just two reasons why online communities are a great way to gather user feedback and arm your Customer Success team with customer-centric data to keep your product team on the right track. We cover three other key ways communities help with product ideation in our complete guide: How product ideation helps you build a better product. Here we also detail how integrating your Customer Success tools can unlock a whole host of customer insights, streamline your workflow, and add real value to your business. Do you have an effective product ideation process? If so, we'd love to hear from you.