In a recent podcast episode hosted by Adil Saleh and Taylor Kenerson, John Henwood from Writer.ai delves deep into the intricacies of collecting and understanding of feedback for product development. The episode sheds light on the challenges faced by product managers in assimilating feedback from various stakeholders and how customer success teams can play a pivotal role in this process. For Go-To-Market (GTM) teams, understanding the little details of feedback collection and its subsequent implementation is paramount. Henwood’s insights provide a roadmap for GTM teams to streamline their feedback processes, ensuring that the voice of the customer is not just heard but acted upon.
John Henwood emphasizes the importance of structured feedback collection, training teams on providing quality feedback, and the role of customer success teams in product development. He also highlights the potential of quick experiments to inform product decisions.
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How can teams centralize feedback collection
John points out the utility of tools like product board, which aggregates feedback from various sources. For GTM teams, having a centralized repository for feedback can significantly streamline the decision-making process.
Yeah, well firstly, you know, shameless plug, we use product board, where all of our feedback from across the go-to-market organization, comes into product board. So I guess we’ll also be using product boards somewhere else? How do you make it really easy for the product team to get feedback from one place?”
Why is quality feedback essential, and how can teams achieve it
The emphasis is on training teams to provide problem-focused feedback rather than solution-focused. By understanding the ‘why’ behind customer problems, feedback becomes more actionable for product teams. GTM teams should prioritize training sessions that teach members how to provide constructive feedback.
So seldom do teams actually train the individuals on what good feedback looks like, right? How to be problem-focused, not solution-focused, we don’t want the team to be order takers, and how do they dig into the customer problems to really understand the why behind it, and what pain they’re trying to solve for.”
What role does the customer success team play in product development
The customer success team is not just a post-sales entity. They play a crucial role in product development by being part of cross-functional growth teams. Their proximity to customers allows them to gather real-time feedback and insights, which can be invaluable for product iterations.
We have a growth team at the product board, and that’s a cross-functional team. And customer success is part of that. So at growth, we are really thinking about ways in which they can productize and create better activation, and retention in the product. And we play a really key role in being parts of discussions, and customers, etc.
How can quick experiments benefit product development
John emphasizes the potential of quick experiments, whether it’s through messaging, webinars, or educational templates. These experiments, often spearheaded by customer success teams, can provide immediate feedback. If successful, these learnings can be taken back to the product team for broader implementation.
I think can be really valuable to the product and growth team is we can probably iterate and experiment faster. And they can because we have humans to do it. So we will often run quick experiments with maybe some messaging, maybe we’ll try a webinar for a particular use case. Maybe we’ll create an education template in a document that we share with customers. And if we get traction from those things, then we take those learnings back to the product.
- Centralize feedback collection for streamlined decision-making.
- Train teams to provide problem-focused feedback.
- Leverage the customer success team’s insights for product development.
- Conduct quick experiments to gather immediate feedback and inform product decisions.
Feedback is the lifeblood of product development. As John Henwood from Writer.ai elucidates, it’s not just about collecting feedback but making sense of it. GTM teams can benefit immensely from structured feedback processes, ensuring that products are continuously refined based on genuine customer needs. By centralizing feedback, focusing on quality, and leveraging the insights of customer success teams, companies can create products that resonate with their target audience. It’s time for GTM teams to take the lead in championing feedback-driven product development.