As human beings, we all want to feel like we’re being heard. As consumers, we demand it. Or we take our business elsewhere. In this interview, ID Plans CRO Seth Garber and Director of Client Success Pam Landry tackle the topic of customer feedback. How do you get it? Why is it important? And how has it helped influence the trajectory of ID Plans? Seth and Pam are both huge advocates of strong customer service so they definitely had a lot to say.
How important is it to get customer feedback?
SG: Customer feedback is the most critical aspect of product development. First, it helps you develop a product that’s more focused on the actual needs of the customer versus the needs you think they have. Second, it helps improve the talk tracks for your sales and your customer service teams. Third, it allows you to build a deeper and more meaningful relationship with your customers. They see you as a partner instead of just someone they’re paying to do a service.
PL: It’s critical to be customer centric. The top reason is because, as a company, we could be going down a path that’s not meeting our customers’ needs and we could be wasting time doing the wrong things. Without feedback, we’re going blind.
How should you go about getting feedback? What methods are most effective?
SG: Historically, your customers would send you an email and ask you to build something and you’d create a ticket and at some point, the task would get deployed. What’s happened now is that engagement can happen in many ways. Through social media, through online forums, through NPS scoring. Feedback collection methods can even be built right into your application. Now the customer can choose the journey and the direction they want to take – it’s a lot different.
PL: When I talk to customers, I’m always seeking feedback. I’ll ask them what their favorite thing is about our software and I ask them what’s on their wish list – what would they like to see us provide? I get a lot of information that way. I look at it like this – if you don’t ask, people often won’t share. One of my goals is to have everyone in the company ask questions every time they interact with a customer – what can we do better? We just have to start the conversation and then they’ll open up.
SG: I’ve heard Pam ask customers to walk her through how they use our products, and that’s a great thing to do. By asking that, you’re able to understand their workflow and sometimes you find out that our perception of how our products are being used is different than the reality. Or it gives us the opportunity to teach our customers more efficient ways to use the software because they may be missing a step or not understanding how a certain feature works. Just be real and talk to people – it can solve a lot of issues you didn’t even know existed.
How do you create a feedback loop and know when to implement new ideas?
SG: What’s happened for us is we’ve developed an instant feedback loop. When there’s something new proposed, we think, “will this idea help some of our customers, all of our customers, or just a segment of them?” and then we’ll prioritize based on that.
PL: in a perfect world, I always share a best practice someone told me about. During trainings, I’ll say, “many of our customers do this or use this page that way, or you may want to consider this” and I’ll give them a case and example. It’s a great way to not only educate customers but also to get feedback and ideas from them that I can bring back to our development team.
How has customer feedback shaped ID Plans as a company?
SG: We’ve been very fortunate over the years that every aspect of our products has been influenced and developed with input from our customers. For example, if you’re a property manager, our software was built for you by your peers. And with ID 360, we developed it for a specific customer who had a need for it and it was such a great idea that we decided to expand it. Not many companies can truly say their product was built by the market they serve. At the end of the day, our customers have really driven it, and we can show them how using our products will give them a competitive edge over those who aren’t.
PL: We are where we are as a result of our customers and their feedback, and we’re continuing to evolve every day. We have to, and we want to. We’ll never be finished, and I think that’s a very good thing.
Want to know more about our innovative software solutions for commercial real estate professionals? Contact us today
to schedule a demo.