Are your customers jettisoning you by the hordes? Or are they leaving you in a trickle? Is your product revenue becoming a sinking ship or a leaky bucket?
Customers will soon turn too busy for your product only when your product manager becomes too busy for the customer.”
A product manager is responsible not just for building a product that works, but more importantly, one that sells and sticks.
1. Building the nuts and bolts of a product that works is probably the easier part (oops! engineers, no offence). That is engineering.
2. To make sure a product indeed meets the needs and aspirations of customers is challenging.
3. Creating an ecosystem of product+experience (support and service) is where the magic is created. That is where the rubber hits the road.
And this activity cannot be 100% outsourced to Marketing, Sales, Support or Service functions.
When customers decide to swear by your product, it is crucial to understand the why
When those customers decided that your product is not worth their wallet, it is vital to understand the why.
When those key prospects are still undecided, to test your product, it is still essential to understand their why too.
Listening to customers and users is a vital part of product management. Much to the chagrin of many organisations, l product managers tend to be internally focused on product engineering only. Product engineering is a ‘part role’ of a product manager. What is core is to listen, to meet and to interact with the product’s long time users, customers and, (more importantly), the ones that dumped the product after the first few uses.
This is what good product managers do. Understanding the customer, listening to them, and bringing in the right features functionalities in the product they are building is the key. And these cannot be done by being internally focused.
Meeting customers is a part of the day job of a product manager. It is just as important or more than looking at the spreadsheets for sales and profitability or those slides for marketing or the PRD for engineering. I would add first-hand interaction and information collection with the customer gives life and purpose to the product.
And product manager who becomes too busy for a customer will soon see customers who become too busy for the product. #LawOfKarma or #CommonSense
Thoughts? What is your experience?