Quick win: talk to customer support

So you're a new product manager. Where to begin? Perhaps the quickest "win" is to find those minor glitches that annoy your customers the most. How? Go talk to the folks in customer support. Ask to see their phone records (trust me: there's more logging in customer support than in any other department except for finance). Look for long calls. Frequent complaints. Problems on OSOK (other side of keyboard). The ID-10T errors. Sometimes the simple things have huge impact to customer satisfaction, and without too much development effort, we can raise our sat levels quickly. Remember, documentation is the evidence of poor design. Ask the people who deal with customers daily where we can improve. For another take on the importance of ideas from front-line employees, Nancy Porte of Vovici explains:
Sometimes customers just don’t know what they want. Steve Jobs told Inc. Magazine, “You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.” To better understand and serve customers, many businesses are now turning to their front-line employees.
Read more in Voice of the Customer through the Employee on Vovici.
Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.


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