In this ProductTank Abuja talk, Karen Adie, Director of Merchant Services at TradeDepot, responds to questions and shares some thoughts from her experience as a product manager on driving customer adoption and increasing customer retention.
Watch the video to see the talk in full, or read on for an overview of the key points:
- What are customer adoption and retention?
- How should someone just starting a role do things?
- Factors that impede product managers from getting customer adoption
- How to make sure the customer is happy
What are customer adoption and retention?
Customer adoption isn’t just about acquiring customers; it’s about getting people to buy into a product. After people have bought into the product, the goal becomes retaining users who become customers. Customer adoption is essential because if there is no adoption, then the product is of no use.
Read A product manager’s guide to customer development.
How should someone just starting a role do things?
For a product manager just starting, what they should do will vary based on different products and industries. First of all, the key is to understand the problem you’re trying to solve and who it is being solved for. If you know this, you have the foundation for building a product and have the answer to why you’re doing certain things.
The answers to these questions can help to inform your market research, product potential, pricing and provide a deeper understanding of the competition.
Just started but need to scale and grow the product?
For those product managers getting started and being asked to scale a product, the first start is by speaking to users and then speaking to the existing team. Then you can see who is responsible for the current growth and what the competition is doing.
Karie recaps how when she had joined a fintech company, whose growth had stagnated, she found that they had done nothing wrong but still needed to increase their user base. The first place to start in that situation is to understand the product team, the product, and the existing customer base. Then you can drill down into data to find ways to reduce customer acquisition costs. Karie also found refuge by adding a referral system to entice customers.
Watch this #mtpcon session on The 3 stages of product development at a high growth tech company.
Factors that impede product managers from getting customer adoption
Product managers may find that their product reaches a point that impedes customer adoption, known as the critical failure point. This is usually caused by a lack of faith in the product, product-market-fit, or pricing issues.
What can product managers use to get feedback?
Products need to stay top of mind to drive customer retention and prevent customer dropoff. One way to do this is for product managers to gather feedback. This can be done using qualitative and quantitative methods. It might mean focusing on an NPS score in some instances or tying an incentive to the feedback to entice customers.
How to make sure the customer is happy
The user experience is a crucial way to make sure that the customer is happy and retained. Product managers should use design thinking to ensure that any upgrades they plan to their products don’t harm the user experience, which Karie found frequently happens in fintech.
Also, product managers may run into situations where overbearing customers want them to add specific features. In this case, the key is to manage relationships with customers, manage their emotions, and use prioritization to solve the problems that matter.
The key takeaway from this talk is that getting new customers can be a very challenging process. There may be mismatches in the product purpose, misalignment on price, or another issue that needs to be addressed. As you address these challenges, you might lose customers along the way, but you will be much closer to retaining those customers who find value in your product.
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