For a product leader, there’s nothing more frustrating than pouring your heart and soul (and time and resources) into a feature that ultimately goes unused. Particularly in a tough economic climate, where every dollar and minute counts, you simply can’t afford to leave the success of your product to chance.
By bringing a data-driven approach to how your team plans, prioritizes, and builds, you can move from making assumptions about what your users want to creating products and features your users can’t wait to get their hands on. And achieving legendary product and feature adoption status all starts with great product experience software.
In part four of our inefficiency blog series, we’ll explore where product planning and development often go wrong—and how data-driven teams are using product experience platforms to become more strategic, better prioritize their efforts, and build products and features efficiently.
One of the greatest sources of waste for businesses building or buying software (read: all businesses) is the poor use of product and engineering time. Without the right data to understand exactly which features customers actually need, these teams are forced to build in the dark. Sometimes this results in making product decisions based solely on the initiatives product managers want to work on (rather than the initiatives that will actually create the greatest impact for the company). And sometimes this results in business-critical decisions being influenced only by anecdotal feedback from the noisy few (rather than feedback trends that reflect the desires of the highest value accounts or largest number of users).
Without a single, unified source of truth for customer feedback, it’s also impossible for product and engineering teams to make informed decisions about where to focus their efforts. With feedback spread across multiple sources, they end up missing the full picture of the customer experience, and waste huge amounts of time trying to find and sort through the actionable insights spread across multiple platforms.
By using the product itself as a vehicle for collecting feedback, product teams can more easily gather input from users where and when it matters—resulting in higher response rates and better quality insights. On average, companies that use their products to solicit feedback collect product data 30% faster than their peers—which translates to more strategic and efficient product development.
How to spot inefficient feedback practices in your organization
- Your company doesn’t have a voice of the customer (VoC) program with centralized management and ownership, so feedback lives in a number of different tools across the business.
- Different teams within your company all use different tools or platforms for managing feedback.
- Your organization doesn’t have clear policies and service-level agreements (SLAs) around feedback for closing the loop with users who provide feedback.
- Product decisions are often made by product leaders based on gut feel, and it’s hard to tell a clear story about the potential business impact of those decisions.
How to use Pendo to manage and act on feedback more efficiently
- Use a product experience platform like Pendo to easily correlate (quantitative) product analytics data with (qualitative) user feedback. This insight is invaluable for understanding the potential business impact of building particular products or features, for identifying enablement gaps, and for spotting behavioral or sentiment themes amongst similar cohorts of users.
- Use in-app guides to target surveys, request feedback, or suggest functionality to specific users—for example, those who have requested a particular feature or those who have expressed dissatisfaction around a related topic.
- Create a Resource Center. And include a feedback collection module within it to give users an always-on place to submit requests.
- Close the loop to build trust and keep users updated on the status of their requests.
For product teams in particular, the roadmap is your North Star: The future state you’re working towards and the strategic direction you’re steering your product (and by extension, the company) in. Without the product analytics and customer feedback data needed to feed your roadmap, you run the risk of it devolving into a reactive punch list of features—rather than an anchor of your company’s long-term strategy.
As with disjointed feedback, not having a clear roadmap often leads product managers and engineers to waste valuable money, time, and effort building what they think stakeholders want (or what the loudest voices in the room ask for), rather than the features that will actually contribute to the company’s overarching vision. It also makes it impossible for teams to prioritize their resources or correlate their efforts to business impact. Plus, without a clearly documented strategy for where the product is going (and why), product leaders often face increased friction when pushing back on requests that don’t align to that long-term vision.
By leveraging product data and user feedback to inform your roadmap, you can more easily prioritize engineering time—or make the case for additional resources. This insight is also critical for understanding which products or features are underutilized or aren’t adding value to the business—so you can make more informed decisions about where you should continue to invest your resources, or where you can afford to sunset a feature or deprecate support.
How to spot inefficient roadmapping practices in your organization
- Your engineering team often feels like they’re “spinning their wheels” on what to build next.
- When planning your product roadmap, you don’t start with—or have an easy way to pull from—product analytics data to inform your development priorities.
- You spend a significant amount of time and resources supporting products or features with low utilization.
- Your organization has a pattern of deploying features that end up with low adoption rates.
How to use Pendo to plan and build products more efficiently
- Use both quantitative data (product analytics) and qualitative data (user feedback) to inform your roadmap. Pay close attention to behavioral trends, recurring points of friction, or common users requests to identify high-value opportunities for improvement.
- Keep your roadmap updated, and make sure it’s accessible to the necessary parties. For example, Pendo Roadmaps’ drag and drop functionality makes it easy to pivot your plans as needed, without additional development help.
Download the inefficiency report to explore even more inefficiency areas the right product experience solution could help you solve.
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