Product Management | 24 November, 2020

How to Encourage the Shared Understanding of the Customer Expectations in your Team.

Hellonext, Inc.

Malarvizhi V

Customers are the main source of what we build and why we build. We’re moving every day by developing the products that offer seemingly amazing services, but if your audience isn’t buying and using them, all your efforts become a pain.

Internal stakeholders majorly focus on customers all the time, but sometimes beyond the anecdotal priorities we have. Mostly “I heard somewhere” or, “I think this is the customer’s needs” will take the power of building some features in the assumption without immense analysis. Ultimately, to provide a solution that is valued, enjoyed, and appreciated, organizations need a far deeper understanding of what customers want and care about. This insight is the main thing the companies should focus on, instead of, relying on a single “customer expert.”

Customer-centric companies promote customer empathy across the whole business, educating every employee on what’s driving customer behavior and ensuring them that customers are all that counts. This article will help you to know why a shared understanding of customers’ needs is crucial among the entire organization. Let’s see!

Why companies must have a shared understanding of customer expectations

Every employee will have someone different in mind when they think about the theoretical customer. It might be based on a customer persona, or an interaction they’ve had with a particular user in any other resources.

But we know that users are various batches of individuals and companies. Each one will have their backstories, motivations, and expectations. The only way to ensure employees are in the track of varied customers top of mind is to develop a collective sense of empathy for them.

Customer-centric companies strive to make sure customers are always the priority when any decision is made, but that’s often simpler said than done. To hold customers ever-present, companies need to develop a culture where they’re always in the spotlight.

All customers will have similar problems and expect a similar solution, their needs depend on the opinions, and experiences they have. That’s why that culture must add the frequent open exchange of customer feedback.

Development side employees don’t need to be used to hearing these tales, they should also be one among those who make decisions. They should also feel comfortable sharing their perspectives when initiating something. As stakeholders and customer-support personnel communicate with customers, they should be free to discuss the customer expectations with the rest of the company so everyone is aware of what and why something is happening and share both the joys and frustrations their solutions bring.

Majorly, this “shared understanding” not only supports building alignment around what’s crucial, but it will also promote employee engagement and satisfaction eventually.

The survey says, “while building a customer experience, employee satisfaction tends to rise as well because a more direct collaboration with customers brings success to employees’ work and promotes customer satisfaction.”

And energize companies to be more financially successful as well. Providing customers what they need would lead to improved performance, is not a surprise! The most empathetic companies far outperform their less customer-centric competitors.

Customers will not raise their voices randomly. Logic and reason behind their voice matters. To analyze their needs, companies must dig the complexity and use-cases of the features requested. To do this shared understanding is much needed to make wise decisions rather than just assigning teams to do their work alone.

How to improve a shared understanding of customer expectations among your team members.

A strong wish for a customer-centric culture doesn’t mean it will randomly luckily just happen. Companies must have to set up mechanisms and employ best practices to create a recurring flow of feedback importance.

Here are some ways you can develop ambient awareness of customer expectations across your Companies and help internal stakeholders better understand and strong relationship with users.

Requirements are not only the solution

Most product development teams, hand engineers, and designers will sketch up a bunch of product requirements and tell them to get to work without discussing the complexity. While this might result in a functional product, but fail to empower those implementation teams to understand how it would affect/promote customer experience and how the product or feature they’re working on fits into the big picture.

Product managers must give their product team a chance to empathize with customers by humanizing them. When those employees feel more connected to customers and analyze the details of their experiences and expectations, they can look beyond the text in the feature documents, requirements and comprehend the purpose and intent behind them.

To give these teams more exposure to customer emotions, try these tips out:

  • Call them to listen in on customer calls or share their perspectives
  • Share customer quotes and use real-life examples in specific feature requirements to get the clear and whole picture
  • Empower implementation team members to communicate directly to customers if they’re looking for clarification on something.

Give an actual-time customer feedback feed

Customer feedback flows into the company through many resources. But frequently it never goes beyond the person who communicates directly and the customer support or product management teams.

Instead of packing and sharing those feedback to just the relevant teams or sit idle until it’s periodically packaged up for public consumption, let it revolve across the company instantly.

One better way to stream those feedback across the entire company is to share all the customer notes straight into a dedicated Slack channel. If you’re a Hellonext customer we brought you now simpler than ever with our Slack integration. No matter how that feedback is received, the whole team gets to keep tabs on what’s happening in real-time.

You can also keep a steady flow of other marketing sides, such as Net Promoter Score, online reviews, and social media mentions. All these insights help take the pulse of users and customers and feed everyone with a necessary form of feedback.

Share recorded customer meetings

There’s nothing that builds customer empathy like paying attention to their thoughts, complaints, and frustrations of using your products Since some parts of the companies are rarely sharing their knowledge to these sessions, providing a broader platform for them is a better way to bring the voice of the users to life.

Creating a history of calls allows every employee to pay attention to and better understand real-world user experiences. Not every employee will have the time or patience to listen to all of them, so you can also share summaries of the meeting and highlight the crucial points from these interactions on a routine basis.

Listening to what real customers are saying can be an eye-opening experience for you and your team as well. Unfiltered customer feedback promotes and shines a spotlight on shortcomings and opportunities for growth.

Take the customer queries to the team

While salespeople are frequently focused on the real world and product managers are constantly pushed to “check around the whole thing,” that may not be a realistic goal for other employees. That’s why getting customers in for an in-person Q&A session can do wonders for breaking the gap between employees and users.

Getting insights directly from customers and having the chance to ask them questions can be very useful and transform the abstract idea of customers into real people with true problems they’re trying to solve. If you’ve got an elaborate team or multiple locations, hosting customer Q&A web chats or conference calls can also be effective, but eye to eye convos are the best.

Don’t forget to share customer success stories

A lot of customer feedback socialization tactics concentrate only on the negatives. That’s pretty much good for waking up employees who may not know the actual value of their product and not confident about the idea and think it is not quite awesome, it’s not exactly inspiring either.

Balance out their lack of feedback with a healthy helping of success stories. Listening to how the product is helping people with the solution, work more efficiently, or save money can add a little extra motivational boost. And, knowing the gory details of accurately how things are working in a specific case gets customers out of thinking in terms of generalities and ideal personas, transforming the conversation to real narratives and specifics.

Everyone specifically customer-support teams should be encouraged to do a document and share these success stories when they know them. Some might even turn into golden coins for marketing fodder.

Maintain the continuous feedback flow

Companies will benefit from seeing and hearing what customers are experiencing and concerned about more frequently. It’s a smart reminder of their primary constituents and the mission to deliver better solutions to them.

Teams will build a general vision of what features could make their products better and what could use some growth. This will make prioritization easier and fuel enthusiasm for projects that improve the customer experience.

Increased collaboration with customers and customer feedback will also decrease the number of questions that product teams face when requesting specific features and functionality. When the whole organization has a good vision of what customers expect, the demand for such requests becomes obvious!

Hellonext will help you improve the shared understanding among teams you can collaborate in the platform with the teams and make decisions you may not need to overlap with the public comments from the users you can raise internal comments on feedback boards discuss the specific feature which is visible only to your teammates.

Not only this you have a bunch of features that help in improving your productivity and making better decisions.

Ready to infuse your company with a steady flow of customer feedback? Sign up for free now!

Last updated: December 6th, 2022 at 10:08:37 AM GMT+0

Hellonext Blogpost Author Profile

Malarvizhi V

Malar handles product co-ordination at Hellonext, and she writes articles about managing SaaS products, prioritizing customer feedback, and centralizing user feedback in one place to build an effective roadmap.

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