About Octane AI 🤖
Octane AI enables Shopify merchants to increase revenue with a Facebook Messenger bot that customers love.
- Founded in 2016
- Funding: $3mm
- Employees: 12
- Location: 100% remote with team members around the world!
- 2017 Gartner cool vendor
- 4.8 ⭐️ in the Shopify app store
- In the news: Techcrunch
You can learn more about Octane AI and its features here.
Octane AI's feedback problems 🤔
1. Feedback managed by memory
At fast growing startups, process tends to be a second thought. People are wearing so many hats and everything is moving 100 mph. At Octane AI their process for gathering feedback consisted of internal folks sending Slack messages to the product team. They might write it down, but they would would mostly save it in their head. From there, the product team would try to remember what request seemed to be coming up a lot. This worked okay when they were smaller, but started to become a significant problem as they scaled their user base. I mean, their product folks are super smart, but the human brain can only hold so much ;)
2. Prioritization process wasn’t data driven
Octane AI has always been focused on gathering product feedback and staying close to the customer. Yet, they weren't documenting that feedback, so they didn't know how often certain things were requested. Additionally, they often didn't record who was giving the feedback, because that info got lost in the hand-off to the product team.
"This made it tough to make decisions based on data. We wanted to know how often something was being requested, who was requesting it, and information about the people that were requesting it (eg. Revenue). It was super manual to discover that important info, and that forced us to make decisions on an ad-hoc basis instead of being data-driven." - Megan Berry, VP of Product
3. Closing the loop with users was difficult
There are two sides to product feedback. On one hand, your team gathers valuable feedback to help drive what you build and when you build it. On the other, your user gets the opportunity to explain their challenges in hopes that it will influence the evolution of the product. For the latter, the most important thing you can do is keep your users informed. If you don’t, you may miss out on revenue opportunities and you’ll discourage future feedback. For most teams, this is a challenge because the people talking to the customer are different than the ones building product.
"Closing the loop with users is something I always wanted to do a great job of. It's so empowering to the user to keep them informed on their feedback. It seems like it would be easy, but it's actually super hard to do." - Megan Berry, VP of Product
In the past they tried tagging users in a spreadsheet or their customer support software (Zendesk in the past, now Intercom). This would inform them that those users had requested something (eg. tag = feature request), but they still had to dig through the conversations to see what those users requested. Then once they formed a list of users to update, they had to use another tool to reach out to them. This was a pain.
How Userfeed solved those challenges 🤝
Megan and the product team tested a bunch of products to solve this problem including Uservoice and Trello. When they tried out Userfeed, they knew it was exactly what they needed (especially after they moved to Intercom to engage with users).
Userfeed made it easy to document feedback
Building process is hard, but doable if you have tools that play nice with your core systems. Userfeed made it super easy for them to push feedback from Intercom into a simple management layer. With Userfeed's Intercom conversation app, their teams could submit new feedback on behalf of a user. Additionally, they could link a conversation (and the user) to current feedback being managed. Gone were the days of trying to remember this kind of stuff. Userfeed enabled Octane AI to gather:
- What was requested
- The conversation in which it was requested (context)
- Who requested it
- Data about those who requested it
"Our feedback is cleaner, and more organized, making our jobs so much easier." - Megan Berry, VP of Product
Data now powering product decisions
Now that the product team has all the feedback data documented, Userfeed makes it easy to see what our customers are asking for most. Userfeed has also helped them prioritize product decisions based on who those customers are. Each feature request creates a segment in Intercom giving them a view of all the users (and their data) that requested that specific thing. Now they can look at a feature request and see things like the user’s plan/tier, product usage, etc.
Gathering problem statements
Octane AI wanted to focus on feedback coming through support conversations. They felt that this type of feedback was better because it started with a problem statement or question. Do you do X? How do I X? I'm having an issue with X? Built on Intercom, Userfeed hones in on this exact type of feedback. Now they're confident in the quality of the feedback and can revert back to the original support convo for more context if necessary.
Informing users has never been easier
With Userfeed, Octane AI can inform users on the progress of a request in two ways:
- Linked conversation notifications: Changing the status of a Userfeed post triggers a notification to every linked Intercom conversation, giving the support rep the ability to reach out within the convo
- Message the custom segment Userfeed creates: When they complete a feature, they can click a link that takes them to a custom segment in Intercom. From here they can send a personalized message to those users with the messaging tool they already use: Intercom
Not only is this a better experience for their direct users, but also their agency partners:
"Closing the loop with agency partners helps to win more opportunities faster since they refer so many potential customers to us." - Megan Berry, VP of Product
Userfeed has helped Octane AI transform their customer feedback process which has led to more feedback than they've ever received. They know who needs what, the context around when and why they need it, and business data about who those customers are. This info is more transparent within the entire company. When it comes time to build, they're more confident about their decisions and can ship faster.
"Feedback activity notifications help everyone in the org stay informed on the voice of the customer. We can then use this information in every decision we make as a business. We're more responsive to users as a result of that, which is leading to reduced churn."
Userfeed is a critical part of a system that helps them build a product that yields these kinds of incredible customer reactions: