Why Everyone Working On A Product Needs To Be Aware Of The Voice Of The Customer

April 3rd 2019
Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré B2B SaaS Consultant (right) and Poornima Vijayashanker, Founder of Femgineer (left)

Interview with Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré B2B SaaS Consultant

I am the self-appointed family travel agent. Though if you ask my partner and the rest of my family members they’d agree that I am the best person for the job.

Why?

Because over the years I have become adept at making sure I don’t overlook the details when planning a vacation — you know where the devil hides! And who wants the devil to turn up on their vacation?!

Unless of course, it’s a blue devil ;) #marchmadness #goduke

I take the time to read through ALL the descriptions and fine print, talk to customer support agents to find out if there are any additional fees, and make sure that family members who have accessibility needs like my 10-month-old baby and 82-year-old grandma will be taken care of.

Once I’ve done all this planning, I know I have truly earned my vacation ;)

Despite all my effort, there have been times when things didn’t turn out as planned. Like the time I booked a home in India only to find out that the address was incorrect. The host mixed the street name with the city name. We would have had to drive 3 hours after 24+ hours of travel, but I called customer support and they resolved the issue for us quickly.

It was a positive customer support experience: responsive, seamless, and efficient. As a result, I continued using that service to book my travel, knowing that if something screwy happened I could count on them next time.

But there are other companies whose customer support agents place me on hold — for more than a few minutes. When the agent returns, they tell me that I’ve reached the wrong department. Then they transfer me to the “correct” department. Once the transfer is complete, I have to repeat what I told the first support person to the second support person, all the while hoping that they can help me resolve the issue. They can’t. When I look at how much time I’ve spent, and the exorbitant fee or unreconcilable charge, I am frustrated and vow to never do business with them again!

I know I’m not alone.

No one likes being at the receiving end of a bad customer support experience. It’s easy to place blame on customer support, but it’s not their fault because the problem originated somewhere else — when the product or service’s feature was being created.

Someone designed the experience in a way that wasn’t particularly customer friendly, and then it became a challenge to change the experience because of the silos that formed in the company between teams: sales, marketing, product, engineering, and customer support.

At the start of a company, teams are usually flat and highly collaborative, but over time, silos start to form, slowing things down, making it hard to innovate, and distancing teams from their customers.

Is it even possible to slow or stop them from forming? And to enable everyone across teams a chance to interact with customers?

Well in today’s episode of Build we’re going to answer these questions and more, We’ll show how silos form of overtime, some best practices for keeping silos at bay, and what to do once they have formed to break them down.

To help us out I’ve invited Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré who is a B2B SaaS Consultant with 20+ years of experience in online marketing, and a champion for customer success.

As you tune into today’s episode you’ll learn the following from Nichole Elizabeth:

  • Why everyone on a team including software developers and engineers should have a chance to interact with customers, not just people who are on the customer support, sales, and marketing teams
  • How to empower teams to break down silos, and a framework for evaluating experiments and features that factor in constraints
  • When to automate and when to interact with customers
  • How silos form over time, how to avoid them, and what to do once they’ve formed
  • Why when building B2B products it’s important to focus on making your customers successful not happy
  • Why you need to rethink off-boarding customers and make it easy for them to leave
“When everyone on the team is aware of the voice of the customer, everyone is super excited about what is going on (with the product).
If you really want to stand out right now it isn’t pricing, it’s team alignment and customer experience.” — Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré

Prefer to listen to the episode?

Listen on iTunes here or listen on Stitcher here.

In the episode, Nichole Elizabeth mentions a number of resources, here are links to them:

Build is brought to you by Femgineer an education company dedicated to helping techies build companies, products, and level-up in their careers

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