Launching your product or service into the world is a fantastic feeling. Your team has worked incredibly hard to strategize, design, build, test, and tweak. Congrats! Time to sit back and watch the conversions roll in, right?
Not quite. Before you launched, you debated the details, slashed features, and tested what you could. All that to say, your product isn’t perfect. Not yet. It’s important to remember that good digital products are never complete; they are living things that need constant work and adjustments.
After your initial launch is when the best work happens; it’s when you have a rich mountain of opportunity. Your service is in the hands of real customers in their messy, real-life world. You have much to learn to evolve your product to fit their messy, real-world needs. With the right strategy in place, you can evolve and mold your product to meet the changing needs of your customers. Now is the prime time to cultivate your UX and grow your product garden.
Measuring the Success of Your Product: Look Beyond the Metrics
Your site’s metrics are the heartbeat of your product. Your stats tell you a lot about your product’s performance, from site traffic to your conversion rate. And while those metrics are essential to keep tabs on, they can’t give you the complete picture of how your customers feel about your new product.
The numbers can only tell so much. Your metrics can’t communicate how your customers feel, their frustrations, or what they love about your product. You need customer insights to effectively tailor your user experience to meet your customer’s expectations, motivations, and needs. To do that, you’ll need to dig deeper into the ‘whys‘ of your customers’ actions (or inactions).
To grow your product to meet your customers’ needs, first, you need to know where to start. Inspiration can come from many places, but we recommend starting with your Customer Experience team, session recordings, and a VIP panel. These three channels will help you inspire your next feature, identify areas to fix, and keep you close to your customers’ ongoing needs as you hone your product experience.
Straight From the Source: Stay Close to the Customer Experience Team
When you don’t have the benefit of an in-house UX resource to provide consistent customer insights, you need to turn to the next great thing: Your customer service (CS) team. After all, you can’t thoughtfully evolve your UX without hearing what your customers think about your product.
Your CS team is your boots on the ground, fielding every complaint, question, and kudos from your customers. It’s a lot of effort to contact customer support which means that behind each customer’s outreach, several others are experiencing something similar but never speak up.
When you have ongoing conversations with your customer experience team, you develop empathy for your customers and stay close to what your users are experiencing. With your CS team close, you can learn the following:
- Highlight missing information or hiccups in the customer experience that numbers alone can’t tell you. For example, customers may call customer service because they aren’t sure of one of the ingredients listed in your current UI. An observation like this will help you prioritize an easy change to include the complete ingredient list, which will build your customer’s confidence.
- Illuminate opportunities for improvement. For example, customers who invested in your product’s subscription reported feeling disappointed with the value of being a subscriber. An observation like this could prompt you to consider how to make each membership level feel special.
- Refine the UI. For example, customers are calling in because they can’t figure out where in your product to find search functionality. Comments like these are critical because the customer assumes that that feature should exist and that they are overlooking it. Functionality requests like these are your opportunity to refine the UX flow or UI and prioritize features that matter to your customers.
Spot Bugs and Find Friction With Session Recording Analysis
If you launch a new product or service without any bugs, you’re one of the lucky few. But if you’re like the majority, there will always be a bug or two that sneaks through QA testing.
And remember those silent customers who experience a problem but never report it to customer service?
There is a way to identify bugs and customer friction points that can lead to deeper customer insights: Session recording analysis.
With session recording analysis, you watch recordings of actual customers as they explore your site. These sessions help you spot where customers stumble. If there are any poor metrics you can’t explain (like drop-off), sit down to observe your session recording, and you might be able to tell why.
And though it’s never fun to watch customers struggle, the sessions can give you a better understanding of where the UI is going wrong and how your customers would like to use your site. For example, you watch a few sessions where your customers tediously select each product instead of using the “select all ” functionality. This is your cue to think through why – are they overlooking the feature? In what ways can you make it easier to select multiple products?
Whether it’s a technical bug that wasn’t caught in QA or more considerable functionality that wasn’t quite right, session recordings can open the door to a customer’s unfiltered experience and help you refine your product to meet their needs.
Learn From Online Feedback Channels with VIP Customer Panels
This last tactic takes a little time since your product likely isn’t launched with brand loyalists. After a few months of building up your brand and a roster of satisfied customers, you can reap a lot of invaluable information with VIP panels.
Your brand loyalists are dedicated customers who feel most invested in your product. They’ve enjoyed using it and have built a strong relationship with your brand. Because of this, they’re more willing to provide candid feedback to you that is otherwise difficult to collect.
To create a VIP panel with your brand loyalists, create a private group on a platform like Facebook and invite your loyalists to join. Not only can this build community (something they might value), but it’s also a great way to ask questions and start conversations that lead to deeper insights.
You can ask your VIP panels open-ended questions like:
- In what ways do you use our product?
- Would you like to use our product in a way that we don’t already support?
- What other related products like ours do you enjoy using and why?
- What do you value most about our product?
- What would you like us to build next?
In a community setting, you’ll get a response to your targeted questions and unexpected unsolicited feedback, which is equally valuable. Whether solicited or not, their frank feedback means they trust you’re listening. What better way to build your customer relationships and improve your UX at the same time?
You’ve been ambitious enough to design and build a product or service that will make your customers’ lives easier. Now, channel that energy into growing your UX to the next level.