Any product person knows that a customer’s problem isn’t really the customer’s problem—it’s a product problem. Across product teams, assessing customer challenges is the key to improvement and retention. The value of making customer-driven adjustments to your product is often undersold and can yield enormous payoff if done strategically.
As a company that collects highly personal health information (like blood nutrient levels), it’s important that our customers are the backbone of every decision we make. Here’s how their feedback is fueling the personalized nutrition industry.
Creating effective product marketing content
When advertising your product, it’s important to consider who your prime prospect is. By determining who’s buying your product and for what reason, you’ll be able to gauge success in advertising campaigns prior to launch. Additional understanding of what questions potential customers have helps refine your product marketing strategy to be as effective as possible.
For example, we noticed that a large portion of inquiries coming into our customer care team’s inbox was asking about what our product actually does. Referring to our blood testing device, more specifically they wanted to know what it tests for. In some cases, these questions were coming from people who have already purchased our product, meaning that we were not providing sufficient detail to our customers. To resolve this, we chose to make adjustments to our website, as well as to our onboarding CRM campaign to be more clear about what we test. Now, we rarely see this question asked when looking at our customer care reports.
It’s important to note here that when making changes to content to solve a problem like this, it’s critical to involve your design team. Oftentimes, the answer to the customer’s question is already available to them somewhere on the website. The issue may not be the content itself, but the way that it’s presented.
Establishing a connection
In the case of a personalized nutrition business, it’s important to make lasting connections with customers due to the intimate nature of the product.
At Baze, we incorporated a personal touchpoint in an open-response field at the end of our lifestyle questionnaire, asking the customer to share anything that they feel is important to their nutrition. Initially, we weren’t fully capitalizing on this touchpoint though—despite calling ourselves a personalized nutrition company, a customer could go through months of supplementation without having a personal interaction with us.
To fully leverage this touchpoint and elevate the customer relationship, we worked with our engineering team to create a solution. Now, each response goes directly to our helpdesk inbox, and we respond to every single one with thought and consideration. Not only does this help us make an immediate connection with our customers, but we also gain valuable insights as to why they purchased our product in the first place. This amounts to a plethora of information, ranging from us learning about their health issues to suggestions about how to improve their experience. Personally, I’ve felt more connected to our customers since beginning this process.
Refining the org structure
One of the most overlooked opportunities from a product perspective is building out a customer care team that consists of the people who research, develop, and manage your product. At Baze, our dietitians initially served as customer care associates—creating supplement recommendations, answering any customer questions, and providing credibility for our service.
While they were doing a stellar job, we realized we could better serve our customers simply by merging our product and customer care teams. By intertwining these teams, Customer Care was able to get a better insight into forthcoming product features and Product had a direct pipeline into customer feedback to help prioritize features and bugs.
Now, the dietitians who actually make customers’ personalized recommendations directly address their health concerns, and the product-ops manager handles operations-related inquiries. This merger has sped up our product development lifecycle and ensured our teams were fully operating on the same wavelength while enabling a more wholesome experience for the customer.
Educating and engaging post-purchase
Just as educating customers about what they’re buying before they actually buy it is important, so too is post-purchase education, especially when you have a complex product. Because we report information on a technical level (blood nutrient levels, personalized supplement dosages, etc.), it’s critical that we provide information about what it actually means.
Although we certainly welcome any and all questions from customers, we’ve found that they’re more satisfied when their questions have been answered on the report itself. This poses a particularly difficult problem to solve because many individuals’ questions are just that—specific and personal to the person asking.
We’ve found that a combination of methods helps to prepare customers for the nutrition-related information they’ll receive, including education in our CRM campaigns, revamping our FAQ’s, and linking blog articles to common sources of confusion. Most recently, we’ve been working to redesign the report itself so it can be more easily digested by customers. This will come with information that’s more specific to the customers’ measurements and goals. Finally, our team of registered dietitians serves as experts to each individual who has questions or concerns about their report.
Maintaining an open line of communication
When you have limited product offerings, it’s especially important to make sure that your customers are continually satisfied with the product and its value. When it came to UX issues, we initially relied on identifying and solutionizing them ourselves. Of course, this is useful in some regards, but it becomes increasingly difficult as employees become familiar with the product and how to use it.
In order to capture customer feedback and opinions throughout the design process (including pre- and post-launch), we decided to establish a Customer Advisory Panel. While many versions of this exist, this is essentially a panel of individuals who are willing to provide their opinion on our product and new releases. This panel plays a critical role in driving our product development because it provides us the opportunity to have a collaborative conversation about our application and report without feeling pressure typically present in a B2C relationship.
This also opens a mutually beneficial dialogue between your team and your customers—the customer gets the solution they want, and you get a fairly unbiased and unfiltered perspective on your product.