Written by John Cullinane | Feb 27, 2017
The ultimate goal of any commerce platform is to facilitate the easiest, most engaging buyer experience possible. To keep these customers returning to your site, you must design and build it with their needs in mind.
This seems simple, but too often software companies do not have the necessary mechanisms in place to understand customer needs and pain points when implementing or updating commerce platforms. From a commerce standpoint, failure to address unique ordering, invoicing and payment needs, for example, can leave buyers frustrated with your software and ultimately your brand. This can lead to a reduction in customer loyalty and increase in customer attrition overtime if you don’t put a plan in place to address this.
Customer pain points are constantly evolving, and it is impossible to develop software to suit all needs on the first try. The key to keeping customers loyal is by offering them an avenue to provide feedback and quickly implementing new features to address their needs. This can easily be done through a flexible, cloud-based system.
Collect Customer Feedback
The easiest way to determine your customer’s biggest needs is to ask them. Software companies can solicit feedback from customers both digitally and in person in the following ways:
- Customer feedback portals: Provide a direct line to their engineering team through a customer feedback portal. It’s a simple and easy way to uncover common pain points.
- Roadmap ratings: Ask users to rate upcoming features by providing access to a roadmap with a ratings options next to each feature. While the customer feedback portals allow users to submit suggestions about anything, the roadmap ratings gives businesses a way to narrow down the feedback to specific features.
- Customer advisory boards: Meet with customers in a focus-group-like setting to discuss feedback. Face-to-face conversations can lead to more beneficial conclusions than one-way digital feedback options. This may seem obvious, but many businesses fail to have candid conversations with customers about what they like or dislike about their browsing, purchasing and support experience.
Customer feedback is useless if you don’t have an action plan in place. But with the power of an agile, cloud-based system, software companies can consume the feedback and turn this into product improvements, thus enabling them act on customer feedback immediately and effectively.
On-premise systems, by contrast, can take years to implement. Their rigid, inflexible nature means that one small update can take months to complete, making customer feedback nearly irrelevant. By the time one change is made, markets have changed and customers have new demands.
Making customers the driving force of your business is the key to long-term success. Demonstrating that you are listening to the needs of consumers by consistently acting on feedback will help drive greater loyalty and lifetime value.