Customer feedback

Customer centricity is the ability of people in an organization to understand customers’ situations, perceptions, and expectations.

Software being deployed without understanding how it’s used is a familiar tragedy in today’s business. Brilliant teams can release innovative products, but without leveraging insights from the world outside, these products often fail to resonate with their target audience.

  • Increased customer satisfaction: By focusing on the needs and feedback of customers, companies can create products that accurately meet user expectations, leading to higher satisfaction rates. Satisfied customers are more likely to become repeat customers and brand advocates.
  • Faster feedback loops: Developers armed with real-time feedback can quickly iterate on their solutions, reducing the time between product releases and improvements, and speeding up time-to-market.
  • Increased revenue and market share: According to research carried out by Deloitte1, customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than those not focused on the customer.
  • Reduced risk of product failure: By involving customers in the development process, companies can validate their concepts and assumptions before investing heavily in production. This iterative approach can significantly reduce the risk of product failure.

What it feels like

Best case

  • The team makes it a priority to understand and meet users needs.
  • Weekly interactions with users take place through interviews, workshops, and testing sessions.
  • Communication between the team and customer-facing roles like sales and support is strong.
  • Product analytics are available and used by everyone on the team to understand the impact of their work.

Worst case

  • The team doesn’t even know who their users are.
  • The team is disconnected from users and their experiences.
  • Interactions with users are rare. Engineers have never seen an user.
  • Product analytics are not used.
  • Usability testing never takes place.


Start talking to customers

At the very least, product teams should talk to customers once a week.

The Mom Test is the best short book on how to talk to customers to find opportunities and learn if your ideas are good.

Use product analytics

All teams should build analytics into the product.

Integrate with a product analytics platform like MixPanel, Amplitude, or PostHog to enable your team to continuously analyze user behaviors.

Do usability testing

Observe users as they interact with your product.

Nowadays, tools like Sentry and Hotjar also allow you to record and view video-like reproductions of real users’ sessions.

Use A/B testing to compare multiple solutions to see which one performs better.

Talk to people who talk to customers

Schedule regular meetings with sales, support, and account management teams to discuss customer feedback, concerns, and suggestions they’ve encountered. Conduct quarterly reviews to analyze the feedback collected from customer-facing teams, identify trends, and make strategic decisions.

Ensure that these dialogues include participants beyond just the upper management to avoid the “telephone game” effect, where the original feedback could become distorted.

Make Customer Feedback available to all team members

Customer-centrism should not be limited to product managers and designers. All product team members including developers must be exposed to the consequences of their creations - both the good and the bad.

Customer feedback not being available to all team members slows down iteration speed, because it increases the communication overhead of each change.

Further reading

[Where Great Product Roadmap Ideas Come From] by Lenny Rachitsky (3-minute read).