Key Customer Outcomes: A Roadmap to Product Success
Sep 27, 2023
The Importance of Customer Success in Product Roadmapping
Traditionally, product roadmapping was the sole responsibility of the product management team. However, in the modern business environment, where customer experience and engagement are paramount, involving customer success teams in the roadmap planning process has become essential. Customer success teams spend significant time and resources engaging with customers and understanding their needs, making them a valuable source of insights for the product roadmap.
According to Emily Garza, AVP of Customer Success at Fastly, involving customer success in the product roadmap creation workflow allows companies to gain a better understanding of customer needs and enables product teams to focus on developing and enhancing products. Customer success teams have a pulse on customer requirements and can provide valuable input to ensure the roadmap addresses key customer outcomes.
Defining Success for Your Product Roadmap
Before creating or updating a product roadmap, it is crucial to define clear objectives. These objectives should align with your product strategy and vision and address the main problems or opportunities your product aims to solve. To ensure objectives are well-defined, they should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). By setting clear objectives, companies can track their progress and measure the success of their roadmap.
Choosing Relevant Metrics for Your Roadmap
Once objectives are established, it is important to choose relevant metrics to measure progress and success. These metrics should align with the defined objectives and be meaningful to stakeholders. Examples of metrics include active users, retention rate, session duration, feature adoption, Net Promoter Score (NPS), customer feedback, and churn rate. By selecting the right metrics, companies can effectively track their progress and evaluate the impact of their roadmap on key customer outcomes.
Tracking and Reviewing Roadmap Data
Tracking and reviewing roadmap data is essential to monitor performance, identify gaps or risks, and validate assumptions. Companies should utilize dashboards or tools that allow them to visualize and compare data over time and across different segments or cohorts. By regularly reviewing roadmap data, companies can make informed decisions, adjust their strategies if necessary, and ensure they are on track to achieve their defined objectives.
Communicating Roadmap Results
Effective communication of roadmap results is crucial to keeping stakeholders informed and engaged. Companies should tailor their communication methods and frequency to suit their audience's needs. Presentations, reports, newsletters, and blog posts can be used to share roadmap results. It is important to highlight key achievements, challenges, and learnings using stories, examples, and visuals. By effectively communicating roadmap results, companies can showcase their value, build trust, and solicit feedback and support.
The 3-Phase Customer Success Product Roadmap Strategy
Fastly, a leading technology company, adopts a three-phase strategy to ensure close collaboration between customer success and product teams. The strategy focuses on delivering customer satisfaction, reducing churn, and increasing retention.
Phase 1: Customer-Feature Impact Analysis
In this phase, companies should create workbooks to assess customer needs, document those needs, assess their impact, and assign priority. By tracking customer details, including revenue tiers and a list of requests, companies can determine if customers would be willing to pay for enhancements. Customer success managers can also collaborate with industry-focused managers to identify trends and use cases.
Phase 2: Inter-Department Collaboration
This phase involves meeting with product managers, connecting customer success and product teams, gathering inter-department feedback, stack ranking feedback, and validating with customers. Regular meetings with product managers allow for insights from customers and team meetings to be discussed and consolidated. This collaborative environment not only addresses current customer requirements but also creates opportunities for new services and features.
Phase 3: Scaling Feedback Loop
The final phase focuses on migration, product team assessment, and prioritizing tasks to avoid churn and risks. Having reliable product management software, such as ProductBoard, can automate and streamline this phase, enabling efficient collaboration between customer success and product teams.
Strengthening the Customer Success and Product Team Relationship
To achieve product success, it is crucial to strengthen the relationship between customer success and product teams. Customer success teams have a deep understanding of customer needs and can provide valuable insights to enhance the customer experience. Building a collaborative environment and investing in this relationship will result in a customer-centric product roadmap and a stellar customer experience.
Incorporating customer success input into the product roadmap is essential for achieving product success. By involving customer success teams in the planning process, companies can gain valuable insights and align their roadmap with key customer outcomes. Defining clear objectives, choosing relevant metrics, tracking and reviewing roadmap data, and effectively communicating results are crucial steps in creating a successful product roadmap. By following a strategic approach and strengthening the relationship between customer success and product teams, companies can enhance the customer experience and drive product success. Why not check out our Product Strategy and Leadership course?
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