Successful companies are constantly trying to help customers get more value from their product. This requires both adding new features to a product and helping customer discover and understand the features that already exist.
Prioritize feature development
When launching new features it is important to actually introduce ones that matter to your customers. Most of us recognize the importance of engaging customers to develop the right features. The mistake we often make is just asking people if they’d like to have feature X added to the product. When there is no cost for the user, the answer is almost always yes. The reason is that some day that feature might be useful.
A better way to get user feedback about a planned feature is to give them a choice of two features. That way the cost of one feature is foregoing the other feature (at least for a while).
The Nudge on the right (or above if printing) is one that you may have seen recently on your Qualaroo dashboard. The results have been very helpful for prioritizing our development pipeline. Currently requests for a mobile version are slightly edging out requests for lead gen forms. While the overall results don’t strongly point toward one or the other, we are able to determine that many of our high volume professional plan customers have a preference for mobile. But we were also able to determine an easier way to do forms so that we could actually stagger the projects and quickly help both groups.
Understand true reason that a feature is wanted or needed
Knowing your customer’s relative preference between two features is helpful, but knowing exactly why they prefer a feature is pure gold. When you know why they want it, you can be sure to develop it in a way that truly meets their needs.
Continuing with the example above, people who selected “ability to add a lead gen form to a question branch” were given this follow up question “Why is the ability to add a lead gen form important for you?”
Here are some examples of typical answers that we received:
- “This would be amazing if it could create a lead in Salesforce or at a minimum send an email to another address if specific answers are filled in (ie contact details)”
- “Allows us to better monetize our traffic and provide tailored messaging to our audience to convert more people”
- “To get more leads and make more money”
Not only do these types of answers help ensure that we develop the feature in the right way, they also start to give us some guidance around how to position the feature when it becomes available.
Create anticipation for features that are in the pipeline
The question itself starts to signal to your customers which features are in the pipeline. While only about 12% of our viewers answered the question, many more saw the question and became informed that we were considering these features. Anyone who is particularly passionate about one of the features is very likely to respond.
Regardless of response, we let all customers know that both features are in our near-term plans. We did this with a success screen that informs them that both are on the roadmap (and thanks them for helping us prioritize).
Create a launch marketing list for the new feature
Finally, if you pass the identity of your users to our API, this is a great opportunity to build a marketing list for when you eventually do launch the feature. Alternatively you could just present an email box and ask them if they’d like to be notified when the feature becomes available.
For actually marketing the feature, you can either create an emailing list or upload a white list into Qualaroo to target promotional Nudges. The messaging would be something like “Earlier you expressed interest in being able to do X with our product. Great news, this functionality is now available…”
Understanding customers so that you build and promote the right features ultimately leads to more loyal customers that keep buying and spreading the word about your product.
I’ll write soon about using Qualaroo to help customers discover the features that you’ve already got.