Don’t Let Your Customer Evaluate Your Product Without You

Who knows your product and it’s values best?

Hopefully you answered yourself.  If not…..there might be bigger problems at hand.

When we first started bringing on customers, we figured we had a great product with a clear value prop.  We were getting some great feedback on it from a few happy first time users and we started researching the yachts we were all going to buy.

One thing I didn’t tell you is our first use was free for customers.  So when we sauntered back to them asking if they were ready to start paying, a LOT of them said no (cancel the yachts!).

When we dug deeper we found that a lot of people were evaluating our product on criteria that they shouldn’t have been.  For example, we are a job posting platform, but some people assumed that we were recruiters who were hand picking applicants for them.  This presented a clear problem due to a mismatch between how we viewed our product and how customers actually perceived it.

It is key to ensure that you guide the customer’s evaluation of your product.  

If you don’t you will have the equivalent of people trying to use a screwdriver to hammer in a nail.

If you don’t, you will have people using your product incorrectly, or not experiencing the full capabilities.  We’ve had customers complain that we lacked features that were ACTUAL FEATURES.  This was not their fault, this was our fault for not guiding their journey and giving them the tools to correctly evaluate us.

Our process for this started in when we created our Ideal Customer Profile.  Once we knew the type of outcomes our ICP was trying to achieve, we figured out how to position our product to solve those needs.  We then made sure sales and marketing were tailoring their pitches to ensure our messaging was aligned between all departments.

Then, when we were closing a new customer, we asked for their Desired Outcomes to make sure that they fit with our ICP.  If not?  We politely pointed them towards products we felt would suit their better needs.  Then we told them what to expect from our product, and how to gauge whether it was making them successful.  Lastly, a few days after they started using the product, we presented them with their ROI and a description of how the product was delivering as promised.

This change not only helped us ensure that people were correctly evaluating our product, but it made it easy for us to spot prospects who were going to be a bad fit, and nip future churn issues in the bud.

The takeaway?  Make sure your customers are using your scorecard to grade your product.

*These Customer Success posts are meant illustrate things we’ve learned at Proven, so they may not translate perfectly to your company / industry.  For context, the majority of our Saas customers are low LTV  “pro-sumers” who are generally SMBs*

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