It might not be immediately apparent, but your customers tell you every day what they want from you in the form of online product reviews. Contained in this feedback is the data you need to create compelling product development roadmaps that help you win out over your competitors in the long-run. First and foremost you need to listen to your customers.
Listen To Your Customers and Their Reviews
Using customer reviews to chart a course for product development is anything but easy. Unfortunately, the task is often technically complex and hampered by low review volumes. What’s more, the reviews themselves may be qualitatively unhelpful if customers don’t understand what is actually feasible, and what isn’t.
With that said, firms that make effective use of online reviews stand to put themselves at an advantage. Proper use of review data can give firms comprehensive market insights and help them learn about undiscovered demands. Sometimes customers only want you to make small changes, but you may miss them if you keep the conversation about product development internal. Transparency in communications is key.
Listen To Your Customers But Be Objective
Of course, you shouldn’t listen to everything that customers say in online reviews. Most companies find that around 15 per cent of the content is useful, with the rest being either irrelevant or nothing possible given the current state of resources and technology. Furthermore, modification of product development is costly, so firms need to weigh up the benefits of including new features.
Don’t Forget To Look Outside the Data
Collecting data via reviews and other metrics is, of course, important when it comes to company insights. Don’t make the mistake of forgetting to interact with your customers on a more personal basis. This is simply good marketing. Be authentic, use consistency in your customer communications and don’t be afraid to speak to them in public or online, outside of the review box.
Are you interested in how online reviews can shape product development? If so, then take a look at the following infographic. It charts some of the benefits and pitfalls that you may face.
Infographic by University of Alabama Birmingham