Today marks my one year anniversary at UserVoice as a Sales Development Representative. This means that for the past year, I have spoken to loads of product managers every single business day. Having conversed with that many PMs...I have learned a thing or two about the product world and how product decisions are made.When I ask product managers about how they decide which new features to build, I typically hear that they rely on customer interviews, or that management makes the decisions for them, or my personal favorite, ‘PM gut feeling.’ Don’t get me wrong, those things are definitely important and absolutely can be effective ways to make product decisions...but it is when I speak to the PMs who tell me how they automate parts of their process to be more time efficient and who have tools in place to ensure they are making the decisions that best benefit their business, that I really gain insight into how a successful PM operates. So what do the most successful product managers do differently, you ask?
Talk with your customers regularly. Instead of relying on a one way street for user feedback. successful PMs are closing the feedback loop by connecting with their customers with real conversations at multiple touch points in the customer lifecycle. Learning to iterate and re evaluate based on your conversations with customers is essential in building successful products.
Data can take the emotion out of roadmap decisions! While data alone won’t tell you flat out which decisions you should make, it will definitely help aid in making those decisions and will certainly help you back up your choices to management and stakeholders. By using a combination of both quantitative data and qualitative user feedback, the best PMs are able to make more well-rounded product roadmaps.
Try implementing a Product Management platform. Time savvy PMs are aware that ‘there must be a more efficient way to deal with all of this feedback’. Enter a PM platform that aggregates feedback from thousands and thousands of users at once and turns it into data for you to use. Having a platform like this in place is a huge step in figuring out how to scale your customer feedback process. Want to learn more about how to become a more efficient Product Manager? Shoot me an email or check out Uservoice.com. UserVoice integrates easy-to-use feedback, helpdesk, and knowledgebase management tools in one platform that empowers users to speak and companies to understand.