If you've ever been on a customer-facing team at a software company then you know it can be difficult to get the product/engineering team to pay attention to your requests. This is unfortunate, because no one has more high quality insights than Customer Success and Sales due to the number of conversations they're having with users and leads about the product on a daily basis.
So how can these teams prove that certain product features should be further explored by the product team?
Data, data, and more data
If you want a spot at the table, you need to bring data. Data doesn't lie, and if you're using systems of record, other teams will be forced to at least listen (We use Intercom as our main data source). Make sure you're prepared to share data on things like:
- How many users have given certain feedback
- How many different accounts have given that feedback
- What revenue is associated with this feedback
- Has this feedback increased because of a new feature or change in the product
Data is the key to every executives heart. Start tracking feedback and conversations, and bring it to the table next time you request something. Be the voice of the customer.
Share multiple examples of the problems users are having
You know what goes along nicely with data. A story. Nothing tells a story quite like multiple real-world examples of the problems users are having. When you're collecting feedback make sure you:
- Save or link back to the conversation you had with the user(s)
- Have a process for digging into the why behind the feedback so that when you share internally, you have all the relevant context to really understand the user's problem
Context: users, situations, motivations, and desired outcomes
So, what kind of context is your product team looking for? Well, every team is different, but I think most teams would be ecstatic if customer-facing folks asked questions to gather:
- Who the user is (role/company)
- What situation prompted the feedback
- What were they trying to do
- What was their goal or desired outcome
Start here and ask your product team if there are any other details that would give them more context around user feedback.
Align requests to high level company or product goals
Every team is measured on certain metrics and the product team is no different. Typically, product teams look at user growth, feature usage, churn, etc. If you can, try to show how your suggested feature would improve one or more of these key metrics.
If you can't show how it might improve certain product team goals/metrics, then shoot for company goals. One of the best goals to align to is revenue. Everyone in the company is concerned about growing that number, so if you can show how a feature would increase it or stop the loss of it, you have much better odds of getting the feature discussed in product meetings.
*One of our core features at Userfeed is the ability for customer-facing folks to push feedback from their conversations directly to a place the product team can manage it. If you're looking for a way to put these ideas above into play, give us a try for free.