White close button
Blog
>
Customer Service
>
How Customer Support Influences Product Excellence
Hiver demo popup mobile

Why Support Leaders Prefer Hiver

Request a Demo

Table of contents

Why Support Leaders Prefer Hiver

How Customer Support Influences Product Excellence

Feb 28, 2024
    |    
2 min read
    |    
Hiver HQ
Nidhi Lohia

Table of contents

When we think about product improvement, the role of customer support might not be the first thing that pops into our heads. 

Usually, we imagine that new ideas and innovations come from designers, engineers, or the research and development department. These are the folks who are often seen as the brains behind the product, constantly working on the next big thing.

However, what very few people talk about is the role of customer support in driving innovation. Think about it: they are the ones who engage directly with customers, and have first-hand insights into their needs and pain points.

I recently got to chat with Christian Sokolowski, Vice President of Customer Support at Rebuy Engine about this. Christian reveals: 

  • Importance of a strong relationship between customer support and product
  • Actionable ways to channel feedback from support teams to product teams
  • Ways to measure success of the support-product relationship

Q1. Can you describe the relationship between customer support and product teams?

In my experience, building a cohesive relationship between the customer support and product teams is paramount. Despite their distinct objectives, the ultimate goal remains the same: to deliver a product that offers a seamless user experience and minimal friction in daily usage.

Q2. How does customer support contribute to identifying product enhancements and innovations?

Support serves as a linchpin in a product’s success for several reasons. Firstly, we directly engage with customers, comprehending their needs and recognizing recurring suggestions for enhancements. Secondly, we actively utilize the product in assisting customers daily, allowing us to pinpoint any shortcomings and empathize with customer frustrations.

Q3. How do you gather and utilize customer feedback for product enhancement?

My standard approach involves utilizing surveys to discern customer preferences, enabling them to share their usage scenarios and provide detailed demographic information. We conduct surveys organically during conversations and through automated periodic surveys within the application. 

Additionally, we leverage attributes within our ticketing systems to track specific topics discussed, pinpointing areas of difficulty or feature requests.

Q4. Can you elaborate on the tools and processes used to analyze customer feedback?

We employ Intercom for in-app surveys and Typeform for gathering feedback during organic conversations. Subsequently, all collected data is exported to Productboard for thorough review and analysis by the product team. This process ensures comprehensive consideration of customer input in our product development cycle.

Q5. How do you ensure effective collaboration between customer support and product teams?

Effective collaboration necessitates regular meetings to discuss priorities and address feedback. These meetings occur on a weekly and on-demand basis, depending on the urgency of the issue or request at hand. This ensures timely responsiveness and alignment across teams.

Q6. What challenges do you face in building this support-product relationship? How do you overcome them?

Knowing what to prioritize is a significant challenge in the support-product relationship. We utilize a priority calculator that considers factors such as customer size, revenue impact, and the number of customers affected. Furthermore, we establish clear boundaries by involving leaders from both teams to validate and adjust priorities as necessary.

Q7. How do you measure the success of the product-support relationship?

We rely on specific KPIs such as Customer Satisfaction and Net Promoter Score to measure brand loyalty levels. Additionally, we track feature adoption rates and documentation metrics, such as the deflection rate from the AI bot. Moreover, we’re actively developing customer retention metrics to discern the relationship between customer support interactions and churn rates.

Conclusion

Christian Sokolowski’s insights reveal a powerful truth: customer support is not just about solving problems; it’s a goldmine for product innovation. By closely listening to customer feedback and working hand-in-hand with product teams, Rebuy Engine is able to refine and evolve its offerings in ways that truly matter to users.

This approach demystifies the process of turning customer interactions into actionable insights for product development. It’s a reminder that at the heart of every great product is a team that listens, understands, and acts on the needs of its users. 

Christian’s strategies and tools for integrating customer feedback into the product innovation cycle offer a practical guide for any company looking to enhance their products and services based on real user needs.

A passionate content marketer, Nidhi writes value-driven, actionable content for various teams such as customer service, finance, IT and HR. Her expertise lies in helping these teams engage, collaborate, and manage their workload better - by shedding insights on best practices and industry trends. When not working, you'll find her tuning in to marketing and support-related podcasts, while also planning her next vacation.

Deliver stellar customer support right from Gmail

* 7-day free trial | No credit card required
CTA image
Subscribe