Onboarding a new product manager? Let them dive into structured customer feedback

Viable Team
Viable Team, December 07, 2021

Onboarding a new product management colleague is a source of both excitement and anxiety. You’re excited they’ll be able to help with the workload and share new ideas but anxious about helping them get up to speed quickly. Immersion into qualitative customer feedback is an effective way to onboard new product managers. With access to what customers are saying in their own words, your new product co-workers can start to build empathy immediately.

Be methodical when immersing new product managers in your customer feedback

Product managers need to truly understand their customers’ pain points so they can build the right solution. Your newly hired teammate will need to dive into customer research and get in front of customers for the context they need to be effective.

While customer meetings or user research sessions get arranged, new product managers can start getting familiar with customers’ feedback. But we’re not talking about reading notes or summaries of prior meetings or research. There’s no good substitute for hearing from customers in their own words. This can include:

  • Meeting audio or video recordings
  • Call transcripts
  • In-app feedback
  • Customer surveys
  • Helpdesk tickets
  • App store reviews
  • NPS open ended feedback
  • CSAT free form responses

Before handing over all your customer feedback to a new colleague, find a way to make the qualitative feedback analysis-ready. It’ll save time and provide a methodical approach to learning what matters most to customers. It’ll also make it easier for new hires to refer back to the data later. (This is Viable’s superpower: aggregating and analyzing qualitative customer feedback, and then summarizing it into digestible insights).

Organize customer feedback by their complaints, compliments, requests, and questions

Help new product managers get at the root of what’s most frustrating about your product by sharing your top customer complaints and requests. Show them proof of what makes your product valuable by showing them the most common compliments from users. Ensure they understand what’s most confusing about your offerings by acquainting them with your customers’ top questions.

We have found these four categories—complaints, compliments, requests, and questions—cover the majority of customer feedback. They’re also more insightful than looking at feedback by sentiment analysis; that is, negative, positive, or neutral. Your new product teammates will appreciate the greater context.

Find the hidden insights that go beyond the known issues

Customer feedback organized by both issue and feedback type (like complaints) is measurable. New product managers are already used to measuring quantitative data. You’ll be helping them to get up to speed faster with qualitative data that’s also measurable.

There will always be anecdotal evidence that customer support counterparts can share or that you can glean yourself from various tools. To go beyond anecdotes, confirm what the top themes in your customer feedback are with hard numbers—it’ll make your feedback loops more rigorous. The more rigorous your feedback loops, the stickier they’ll be and the more normalized it’ll feel to any new product manager you hire in the future.

By organizing qualitative feedback in a measurable way, you’ll be able to surface non-obvious insights. Among thousands of feedback data points there will inevitably be the top three or so themes. But the long tail of insights matter too. Make sure your new product managers learn about those as well. With automated qualitative analysis from Viable, you can easily get the full range of themes from customer feedback in an easy-to-read natural language format so everyone can be on the same page quickly.

Make qualitative feedback analysis part of your product management workflow

You’re probably already good at analyzing metrics from your quantitative data. Let Viable show you how to do this for your qualitative data so you can better understand what your customers are telling you.

Ask for a demo or trial

Viable Team
Viable Team, December 07, 2021
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