Why Support Should Have a Voice in Product Development

Why Support Should Have a Voice in Product Development

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The place do you start once you develop a brand new product or function? Product improvement can appear overwhelming.

There are such a lot of shifting elements that making an attempt to create one thing invaluable from nothing can appear inconceivable. And with so many stakeholders to please, whose opinion do you have to search?

All too typically a product improvement cycle begins with market analysis, will get accepted by the board, developed and bought by a gross sales workforce earlier than help is ever concerned.

Virtually each division will contact a brand new function earlier than help is concerned. Does this sound acquainted to you?

In UserVoice’s survey of Product Managers, it was discovered that buyer help is concerned in product improvement solely 58% of the time.

Customer Support is involved in product development 58% of the time.

Kayako consists of our help staff early within the product improvement course of. This has pushed function adoption and meant fewer help points.

Our expertise involving help

When you work in product improvement, you in all probability want you would spend all day speaking to clients, as a result of you understand how invaluable that suggestions is. Sadly, you’ve obtained one million different duties in your plate and it’s onerous to get as a lot buyer face time as you need.

The excellent news is that speaking to clients is strictly what help does… for 40 hours every week.

Involving help from the start of the product improvement cycle delivers extra perception from a buyer’s perspective.

Embrace help’s buyer connection

Help supplies qualitative and quantitative suggestions on consumer wants.

Help understand how clients use your present product, and the questions they ask about methods to prolong it. Help can pull out anecdotal quotes from actual clients and prospects asking about new options. Plus, they supply metrics that present the impression of annoyed clients on contact fee and customer satisfaction.

Scale back friction and help contacts

Help has a super-powered potential to identify friction in consumer journeys. Friction is that uncomfortable feeling you get when a product is tough to make use of. In addition to driving help tickets, friction and energy drives churn. Of consumers who've a high-effort expertise 96% say they are unlikely to use the same service in the future.

Improve product possession

Help, when concerned from the start, positive aspects a way of possession over a brand new product.

As an alternative of supporting a product they aren’t invested in, they're now more likely to put it up for sale authentically (which can impress and make gross sales groups very pleased!). This will get clients enthusiastic about releases and drives function adoption.

Gary McGrath, Buyer Success Advisor at Kayako agrees that involving help earlier has helped our product staff tackle root causes of ache factors, as an alternative of simply fixing the ensuing signs.

Gary McGrath sharing how support can be used to aid product development“Quite a few occasions we’ve offered suggestions on the little elements of larger options which led to a lot much less friction once we roll out our updates to clients. We additionally present suggestions on which issues we're actually battling and these are sometimes the identical points we hear from our personal clients too.”

Involving help from the beginning has helped us to realize a quicker market fit for the product, scale back potential help tickets, and improve adoption.

Why help is usually unnoticed

If together with help brings so many advantages to a completed product, why are they not included in each launch?

Many help groups aren’t outfitted with the suitable instruments to ship significant insights to product improvement. Even when the product workforce requested the help workforce what number of clients requested a selected function within the final quarter, pulling that info out of a assist desk is unattainable.

Working with the product staff requires help to talk the identical language because the product supervisor. No, we’re not speaking Spanish, Hindi or Icelandic. 

It means giving suggestions in a selected format that’s helpful to product improvement.

That is troublesome for help groups as a result of they concentrate on seeing issues from their buyer’s perspective. They concentrate on the frustrations of the client, fairly than the roles to be achieved by a brand new product.

At Kayako, we purpose to shut the hole and assist help and product groups meet within the center.

Bringing help into product improvement

“In God we belief, all others should convey knowledge”

Product managers want help members to return armed with knowledge and powerful proof earlier than they make modifications to a brand new function design.

This knowledge doesn’t come out of skinny air although. To organize, help and product have to create a course of for reporting that works for each groups. Ask one another:

  • What metrics are necessary?
  • What new options are you beginning to analysis?
  • What format works greatest for suggestions?

Being on the identical web page ensures that no suggestions goes unheard. Speaking to one another extra successfully helps forestall misunderstandings — or the sensation that help doesn’t have priceless knowledge!

This template will help support teams communicate more easily with Product. Dowload the free product feedback template!

However bringing product groups nearer to clients is useful too. Seeing actual individuals speak about their frustrations with the product helps develop empathy.

Our staff makes use of a mixture of Collaborators and FullStory to point out (not inform) our product workforce how clients use Kayako.

How collaborators can help communicate what's in Product Development to your customers

By including our product group as Collaborators, they will view conversations, add notes and develop nearer to clients.

We additionally rely heavily on FullStory for reviewing consumer journeys that spotlight excessive friction journeys. Help is often the perfect workforce to uncover these sad customers as a result of they’ve written into them at Kayako concerning the issues they've.

Conor Pendergrast, Success Coach at Expensify, says that they’ve concerned buyer dealing with groups in product improvement from day one:

conor-pendergrast-product-development“We took a special strategy with enhancing the product: we anticipate everybody to talk to clients each day, and use this to tell how our product wants to enhance. Our success coaches then do deeper buyer analysis to know the pains they face, and the issues that have to be addressed.”

He mentions that customer-focused analysis permits each division to make higher selections.

“[It] opens up the method to everybody within the firm, and permits higher selections earlier within the cycle, as engineers may give concepts about complexity, and higher technical options, and our advertising workforce can assume extra about how we’re describe the advantages. It additionally permits everybody to know what we can work on, and provides us a greater understanding of our priorities general.”

If you wish to hear extra about how Expensify and different corporations convey help nearer into the fold, I like to recommend Help Breakfast’s podcast episode on Support Meets Product, which Conor hosts.

A Ultimate Caveat

For those who’re in Help and really feel like your voice isn’t being heard, hopefully this text will help you start to construct an efficient dialog with Product. Nevertheless, a warning: buyer help ought to affect product improvement, not drive it.

Even with help’s greatest efforts, product may decide we don’t absolutely perceive. And that’s okay.

The duty of a product supervisor is to see the forest for the timber. Product managers acquire info from each stakeholder (together with help). Making a last product determination includes combining everybody’s perspective into the absolute best end result.

Help groups are exceptionally nice at their job, and the perfect groups will assist product administration succeed at theirs. This implies talking up, advocating for our clients and getting concerned in product improvement. However it additionally means trusting last selections — even when they may not repair each particular person consumer drawback proper now.

Involving help in product improvement provides one other layer of empathy and buyer targeted suggestions to the method. Get working collectively and see how a extra full view of the client creates a greater remaining product.

Free Product Feedback Template