If there’s one thing top product-led growth (PLG) companies excel at, it’s collecting user feedback at every touchpoint and then implementing the input to enhance the product experience.
Better, customers get to use the product for free at first. So, this primes them to become valuable product-qualified leads (PQLs). When you offer PQLs an improved product based on customer feedback, you give them exactly what they need. That’s why they convert to paying customers 25% of the time.
It’s best to score your PQLs using a scoring tool like Breadcrumbs. This way, you can rank them based on their intent to purchase or other criteria. It allows you to tailor your interactions and offerings to maximize your conversion rates.
That said, you might not reach billions in valuations initially. But with PLG and customer feedback, you can be sure of organic business growth. This guide will teach you how.
Let’s start from the top.
What is product-led growth?
Product-led growth (PLG) is a business strategy where the product itself is at the forefront of driving business growth. So, it attracts, converts, and retains customers.
Companies using a product-led strategy focus on creating a product that is so valuable that it sells itself. Because of how good the product is, the customer base is also encouraged to spread the word and attract others.
PLG is different from traditional sales-led growth (SLG). In SLG, the sales reps must engage in different sales activities to sell the product. For example, they’ll need to find email addresses of prospects and conduct several cold outreaches before closing deals. But in PLG, the product guides the customer journey from awareness to loyalty.
This is a game-changer for B2B. That’s because enterprise clients won’t have to get involved in long sales cycles involving demos, presentations, and series of sales meetings. They can easily click a “try for free” button to onboard themselves and experience the product’s value first-hand. If your product is valuable enough, upgrading to a paid version becomes a no-brainer for the leads.
PLG is particularly important for B2B SaaS companies. Today, people build SaaS products with $0 using APIs and several free tools. So, the industry has become even more competitive. No doubt, the best SaaS marketing strategies will help you stand out in this case. But it’s best to pair these strategies with product-led growth. That way, you can enjoy over 50% higher growth rate than those using traditional sales strategies.
Read more: Zero-Party Data: How 3 Brilliant B2B Brands Approached it
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Fostering Product-Led Growth Using Customer Feedback
If you want to attract new users and eventually make them pay for your product, you must deliver meaningful value from the get-go. One of the ways to do this is by collecting customer feedback and using it to improve your product.
Follow these steps to drive PLG using customer feedback.
1. Implement a frictionless customer onboarding system
Customers must first engage with your product before you can have the chance to get their feedback.
Thankfully, 88% of customers are more likely to use a product over time if it offers a smooth onboarding experience. These customers will also be more receptive to providing inputs about their pain points, preferences, and suggestions. These are goldmines for enhancing your product experience.
Suppose you have a product with multiple use cases or target audiences. Personalizing your onboarding process based on the Jobs-To-Be-Done (JTBD) is best.
For instance, say you have an email marketing product that supports both email list creation and transfers. Trying to onboard those who want to create new lists with existing list transfer features can prove complicated.So, begin by welcoming your audience with a mini survey to know what they want to use your product for, like Loom below. Then, tailor the user onboarding flow accordingly.
In addition, use onboarding elements like videos, product tours, checklists, tooltips, and interactive walkthroughs to help your users settle in nicely.
For example, Loom combines checklists with video guides to help customers get started without stress.
Miro, on the other hand, uses interactive walkthroughs:
The golden rule of onboarding is to keep things short and impactful. End users prefer tours with three or four steps, for example—these guarantee up to 40% and 60% completion rates, respectively. Anything above five steps will only leave you with less than 20% completion, which you don’t want.
The same idea applies to other onboarding elements like videos – don’t overwhelm your users.
What’s more, keep the sign-up process short. For example, you can implement single sign-ons like Loom did. This allows users to quickly sign up with their existing credentials from other platforms like Google:
Immediately after successful sign-up, send the users a welcome email. Use this opportunity to reiterate the benefits of your product and highlight key features they should check:
Remember to keep the onboarding simple, intuitive, and user-centric. You want your users to keep engaging with your product so you can later gather reviews and get the most out of your PLG and customer feedback strategy.
2. Collect feedback using surveys
Once the onboarded user has engaged with your product for a while, contact them to collect feedback. Collect various forms of feedback (quantitative and qualitative) to address different aspects of your product.
Let’s begin with the qualitative.
The first is feature request feedback. This will help you understand what additional features your users would like to see. It will also guide your product roadmap (we’ll get to this later).
Further, bug-reporting feedback can encourage users to report any issues they encounter while using your product. Swiftly addressing these problems ensures a smooth user experience.
After implementing new features, gather user reactions to assess their usefulness and impact on the overall customer experience.
In addition, when users decide to unsubscribe, inquire about the reasons behind their decision. This unsubscription feedback can help you understand how to retain others and prevent churn:
As for the quantitative feedback, focus on customer effort surveys (CES), customer satisfaction surveys (CSAT), and net promoter score (NPS) surveys.
CES helps you measure the ease of user’s experience with your product:
CSAT surveys, on the other hand, help you evaluate user satisfaction levels by asking specific questions related to their experience. See this one from Jira, for example.
In NPS surveys, you ask a simple question: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our product to a friend or colleague?”
Categorize your survey respondents into three groups based on their responses:
- Promoters (score 9-10): these customers are highly satisfied with your product and are most likely to recommend it to others.
- Passives (score 7-8): these are users who are modestly satisfied but less likely to recommend your product.
- Detractors (score 0-6): detractors are dissatisfied with your product and may, in fact, spread negative feedback.
The NPS score is then calculated using this formula:
If you’re requesting feedback via email, you want to be sure it is personalized. Personalized emails are more likely to be opened, read, and acted on. You can leverage generative AI tools like Ask Writer to craft compelling and personalized feedback request emails within seconds.
You just have to insert the right prompts. The more specific, the better. See our sample prompt above.
3. Engage with customers to generate more feedback
We’ve seen how you can generate feedback by going straight to the customer and sending them a survey. But there are other ways you can generate feedback as well.
Active customer engagement and communication create a powerful bond between you and your users. This connection doesn’t just encourage customer retention. It also makes them comfortable enough to give you valuable customer insights that drive product-led growth.
Social media is an excellent opportunity to communicate and engage with customers. Regularly share updates about your product, provide helpful tips, and curate social media content your audience will love:
Moreover, like Slack below, respond to customers’ comments and answer their questions:
This strategy builds rapport, making customers feel even more comfortable to share their thoughts with you.
You can use social listening tools to gather all the feedback you get on social media. You’ll receive a notification instantly if someone mentions your brand.
4. Analyze your survey feedback data and act on it
Feedback is useless until you analyze it so you can act on it.
For the quantitative data you generate, compare the figures you obtain to the industry benchmark.
Compare your NPS scores to the benchmark below to see how you’re faring.
If you have a low NPS score, that means you have more detractors than promoters.
A customer satisfaction score of 75% to 85%, meanwhile, is generally considered good. Anything below shows your user experience needs improvement. Similarly, a customer effort score with over 70% agreement is excellent. Scores lower than this suggest customers find it difficult to use certain features.
Also, check the numerical data trends over time. This shows you changes in user sentiments and satisfaction levels within that period.
For the qualitative data, pay attention to recurring themes. This could be a concern about a particular feature or bug affecting UX. You’ll need to prioritize issues based on their impact on the overall user experience and the number of users affected. So, categorize the feedback in this order:
- High-impact and high frequency
- Low-impact and high frequency
- High-impact and low frequency
- Low impact and low frequency.
Conducting feedback analysis manually can be pretty difficult. So, consider automating the process using feedback analysis tools like Qualaroo and MonkeyLearn.
It’s not enough, of course, for you to just analyze your feedback data. You need to act on it as soon as you receive it.
So, after you’ve analyzed your NPS data, for instance, you’ll want to contact the detractors to know their concerns and how you can improve their experience. Addressing their concerns will help enhance your product, boost user retention, and gain more positive word of mouth.
You’ll want to address the specific issues raised by your CSAT and CES survey respondents and social media users, too.
As for your qualitative feedback, as we mentioned earlier, address it based on the order of priority you determined.
NPS can be super useful to understand which of your customers are ready for an upsell or cross-sell pitch. You can use Breadcrumbs to create your upsell and cross-sell scoring model. How? 1. Connect your data sources with Breadcrumbs 2. Choose what makes a customer ready for upsell using the Fit model (e.g., 40% for last NPS score, 60% for opening support tickets) 3. Choose what makes a customer ready for upsell using the Activity model (e.g., 40% attended a customer webinar, 30% viewed a support or resource article) 4. Decide your lead score threshold (e.g., 70) 5. Activate your scoring model Learn how to create your upsell scoring model with Breadcrumbs today.
5. Incorporate customer requests into product roadmap
Don’t just give customers short-term solutions to their product problems. Incorporate valid feedback into your product roadmap, too. Your goal, after all, is to have an improved product that can drive business growth.
A product roadmap is a strategic plan showing the vision and timeline for future product updates. This helps stakeholders determine upcoming features and milestones. You can make the roadmap public, like GitHub does, so users will know you value their feedback.
Based on your feedback, group similar feature requests and categorize them into:
- Critical Requests: These are must-have features that address significant user pain points.
- High-Priority Requests: Features that add value and are important for users.
- Low-Priority Requests: Less urgent enhancements that can improve the product over time.
Make sure the requests align with your product vision and long-term goals. Then set realistic timelines for when you plan to have these incorporated and communicate this to stakeholders, including product users.
Bonus Tip: Foster Collaboration between Product and Customer Support Teams
Based on what we’ve seen, the customer support team must be in sync with the product team to drive product-led growth.
The support team directly contacts customers, receiving all their feedback, pain points, and product experience insights firsthand. However, the product team needs to be involved in turning these valuable insights into actionable improvements.
Communication is crucial for this collaboration. So, create direct communication channels between the support and product teams. Implement internal chat systems like Slack, for example. This informs both teams about ongoing challenges, upcoming features, and customer feedback.
It’s also important to have a clear communication path. Everyone should know whom to contact for specific queries or needs on either team.
PLG and customer feedback work together to achieve business growth. As a product-led company, you always want to deliver the best value to your user base. The best way is to implement their feedback and give them what they want.
So, to drive PLG with customer feedback, begin by ensuring a smooth onboarding experience for users. Then, collect feedback, and analyze and act on it. Use it to make an effective product roadmap.
Using PLG and customer feedback combined, you’ll not only build a better product. You’ll also boost customer acquisition, retention, and expansion!
Using active feedback like NPS and a tool like Breadcrumbs can help you maximize your upsell and cross-sell opportunities. By creating a customized scoring model, you can identify the customers most likely to respond positively to your pitches, increasing revenue opportunities.
So why wait? Start creating your upsell scoring model with Breadcrumbs today!