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Lessons learned: Talking to customers is the fastest way to grow

Pardeep Kullar
Pardeep Kullar

This lessons learned series is part of our live SaaS resource list we're building while launching a new product.

What one sentence about talking to customers was most important and why?

"Get out of the building"

This is the classic line from Steve Blank's customer development posts.

You can't do this during a global pandemic but you can jump on zoom or google meet to talk to customers at most times.

You'd think most companies talk to their customers often. It turns out that even fortune 2,000 companies rarely do this properly.

Why is it important?

Because in most cases you are not your customer. So you don't really know how they use your product, why they use, what they like about it and what they don't like.

If you don't understand your customers you'll end up building the wrong product for the wrong people.

What dumb assumptions did we make about talking to customers in the early days?

We thought it meant surveys and casual questions during support requests.

We thought it was important but would only result in slight changes within the product but it actually resulted in entire changes of direction in terms of who we marketed and sold the product to and which features we built.

What's one the most worthwhile things we did after this?

We set up a process to reach out to customers. We've got a whole range of different questions to help unlock their thoughts about the product and we've set up a business Amazon account to award them with gift vouchers for talking to us.

What would we advise someone to do if they were starting from scratch?

Compile a list of everything they say. Record every meeting - people don't mind if you record the sessions.

Why?

The way your customers describe your problem and talk about your product will help define your marketing plan, your landing pages, your adverts and more.

They are likely describing it in an entirely different way from what you might expect and some of those descriptions are golden marketing slogans so keep a note of them.

If we had a magic wand how would we use it to improve the way we talk to customers?

We'd love to hear their internal conversations before, during and after their purchase of Upscope.

We'd love to see their internal metrics before and after they use Upscope. Why? Most customers are not measuring the impact of our product. They know roughly, in their heads, how much time it might be saving them but we need concrete statistics so we can measure the value of our product. This is great for our roadmap and our marketing and sales.

Pardeep Kullar

Pardeep overlooks growth at Upscope cobrowsing and loves writing about SaaS companies, customer success and customer experience.