Discover the power of customer feedback in shaping interactive product demos. Learn how to create engaging and tailored demos that captivate your audience and drive sales
Remember the ‘The Three Little Pigs’?
Each pig builds a different house to protect themselves from the big, bad wolf. While the first two pigs opt for quick and easy solutions with their houses made of straw and sticks, the third pig invests time and effort into constructing a robust brick house.
When I look at this story from the POV of Lean Startup Methodology, our third pig created what's known as a Minimum Viable Product, or MVP. An MVP is a product or service that meets the minimum expectations (i.e. doesn't get blown away and keeps them safe from the wolf) and provides a firm foundation on which to iterate and improve.
Now, let's be clear, the MVP isn't the sort of product that endears itself to hordes of customers. It is, after all, basic. It gets the job done, but little else. The real magic happens when we actively seek and embrace customer feedback. Just as the big, bad wolf tested the resilience of each pig's house, users challenge our assumptions and reveal areas for improvement. By gathering valuable insights from customers, we gain a clearer understanding of what works and what needs enhancement. This iterative approach fosters a continuous improvement mindset (incredibly valuable for startups) and allows us to build products that create customer delight and keep customers stuck to us, through thick and thin.
Customer-Driven Demos: Why Feedback Matters in Shaping Interactive Product Experiences
Customer feedback is, in many ways, our link to the outside world. It tells us what our customers like and dislike, why they do so, and what they expect instead. It helps fill up our product and service roadmaps with features, bells and whistles that customers actually want as opposed to what we product managers think they want.
However, not all customer feedback is equal. Who gives us feedback is a very important consideration - there are those who've never used our product or service; those who've used it a while ago, and their memory has done what it always does; those who use it every day; and those who use it now and then, but they really, really like us.
And then there are those people we're trying to sell it to. Those, to whom we send our interactive self-service product demos. People who look at our demos, understand the utility (or lack of it), and can see themselves putting their hands into their wallets in response. This is the group that we miss, in the universe of feedback.
If we look at the interactive self-service demo as an MVP, as marketing and sales do, shouldn't we be working to make it as engaging and interesting and effective as it can be? Because, let's face it, creating effective interactive product demos is no simple task. Several factors must be considered, including the target audience, goals and objectives, content and design, delivery and distribution channels, as well as metrics and evaluation methods. Furthermore, it is crucial to ensure that your interactive product demos align with the needs, expectations, and preferences of your customers.
This is where customer feedback proves invaluable. By collecting and analyzing feedback from your customers, you can gain valuable insights into how they perceive, experience, and evaluate your interactive self-service product demos, which is critical, because these demos perform alone, without an assist from a sales rep. The more effective these demos are, the more multipliers it unlocks for your sales and marketing teams.
Customer feedback can help you enhance your interactive self-service product demos in several ways:
Tailoring or Personalization: By customizing your interactive product demos to cater to your customers' specific needs, problems, goals, and interests, you can enhance their relevance and usefulness. Feedback lets you know to which extent you've got it right.
Interactivity: Increasing the level of interactivity, immersion, and personalization in your demos can boost customer engagement and retention. Feedback helps you identify points where interest drops off - allowing you to play with pacing and screen guidance to make the demo more engaging.
Credibility: Do these prospects trust you? If not, then incorporating testimonials, google reviews, ratings, or social proof from your existing or potential customers can enhance the credibility and trustworthiness of your interactive product demos.
Usability: Feedback tells you where users get stuck, and which parts of it feel distracting. Since these demos showcase your product, you want to eliminate all distractions, and keep users glued to the message you want them to walk away with.
By actively seeking and acting upon customer feedback, you can enhance your interactive product demos and deliver a more tailored, engaging, and valuable experience to your customers.
To use an example we're all familiar with, look at how Netflix, Spotify and Amazon tailor their recommendations to each of us. I don't know about you, but sometimes, I find myself thinking of Ed Sheeran, and he shows up on my 'For You' playlist on Spotify. Amazon, of course, freaks me out on a regular basis by sending me recommendations for exactly what I was thinking about (and I can understand why most of us suspect these apps of 'listenting'), and Netflix just knows me. By tailoring the way they do, these three can dip into my wallet whenever they want. Really.
And it all started with feedback. And data. Lots and lots of data.
Collecting Customer Feedback: Traditional Methods and Modern Approaches
Traditional Methods: Surveys, Focus Groups, and Interviews
Surveys, focus groups, and interviews are some of the most widely used methods of collecting customer feedback for any type of product or service. They can also be applied to interactive product demos, either during, or after the presentation.
Surveys are questionnaires that ask customers to rate or comment on various aspects of your product demo, such as the content, delivery, design, usability, functionality, satisfaction, etc. You can use online tools like SurveyMonkey or Typeform to create and distribute surveys to your customers via email, social media, or your website.
Focus groups are small groups of customers that are invited to participate in a moderated discussion about your product demo. You can use online meetings to conduct focus groups yourself, or hire a professional agency to organize them for you. Focus groups can provide you with rich and detailed feedback from different perspectives and experiences.
Interviews are one-on-one conversations with customers that allow you to ask more specific and in-depth questions about your product demo. You can use phone calls, video calls, or face-to-face meetings to conduct interviews with your customers. Interviews can give you a deeper understanding of your customers' needs, preferences, motivations, and challenges.
Pros of surveys, focus groups and interviews:
They can provide you with quantitative and qualitative data that helps you drive improved product demo performance.
They can help you establish a rapport and trust with your customers and show them that you value their opinions and feedback.
They can help you uncover insights and ideas that you may not have thought of yourself or that may not be obvious from other sources.
Cons of surveys, focus groups and interviews:
They can be time-consuming and costly to design, administer, and analyze.
They may suffer from low response rates or biased responses due to social desirability or self-selection effects.
They may not reflect the actual behavior or actions of customers in real-life situations.
Social media listening
One of the easiest and most popular methods of collecting customer feedback for interactive product demos is to use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. You can monitor the comments, shares, likes, and direct messages that your product demos generate on social media, and use them as a source of feedback.
Social media is widely used by many people, so you can listen to a large and diverse group of customers and prospects.
Social media allows you to get instant and honest feedback from your customers, as well as create spaces for you to interact with them directly.
Social media feedback can be biased, as people tend to share more positive or negative opinions than neutral ones. Basically, something has to be really bad, or really outstanding for someone to make the effort to put out an opinion.
Social media feedback can be noisy, as you may have to filter out irrelevant or spam comments from genuine ones.
Social media feedback can be hard to measure and analyze, as it often lacks context, and you may need to use specialized tools or metrics to quantify and compare the results.
Another common method of collecting customer feedback for interactive product demos is to conduct user testing sessions, where you invite a group of customers or potential customers to try out your product demo and observe how they interact with it. You can also ask them questions or give them surveys to gather their feedback.
User testing allows you to get direct and detailed feedback from your customers, as well as to observe their behavior and emotions.
User testing allows you to test your product demo in a realistic and controlled environment, where you can identify any issues or bugs that may affect the user experience.
User testing allows you to get qualitative and quantitative data that helps you improve demo performance.
User testing can be costly and time-consuming, as you may need to recruit participants, prepare materials, conduct sessions, and analyze data.
User testing can be limited by the sample size and diversity of your participants, as they may not represent the entire population of your target market.
User testing can be influenced by external factors, such as the location, time, mood, or expectations of your participants, which may affect their feedback.
A more advanced method of collecting customer feedback for interactive product demos is to use analytics tools to track and measure user behavior and actions on your product demo. You can use these tools to collect data such as page views, bounce rate, time on page, conversions, referrals, etc.
Analytics allow you to get objective and accurate feedback from your customers: it measures actions taken, which can often be much more reliable than self-reported opinions.
Analytics tools allow you to get comprehensive and granular feedback from your customers, as they can capture various aspects and dimensions of user behavior and interaction.
Analytics tools allow you to get actionable and scalable feedback from your customers, as they can help you identify patterns, trends, opportunities, and challenges that can inform your product demo strategy.
Analytics involves zero effort from your customers and prospects, and is inexpensive by comparison.
Analytics tools can be complex and technical, as you may need to set up goals, filters, segments, reports, etc. to collect and interpret the data.
Analytics tools can be overwhelming and confusing, as you may have too much data or too many metrics to analyze and understand.
Analytics dashboards can sometimes miss the woods for the trees as they may not capture the full context or meaning behind user behavior and actions.
Other Innovative methods
Innovative methods include AI chatbots, feedback widgets, or interactive polls on social media to collect customer feedback for interactive product demos. You can use AI chatbots to interact with customers during or after the product demo, answer their questions, provide suggestions, and ask for their feedback. Feedback widgets are small pop-ups or buttons that appear on your website or app and allow customers to rate or comment on your product demo. You can use feedback widgets to ask customers specific questions about your product demo or let them share their opinions freely. Interactive polls are questions that you can post on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram and let customers vote or comment on them. You can use interactive polls to ask customers about their preferences, expectations, satisfaction levels, or suggestions regarding your product demo.
Innovative methods allow you to get more engaging and fun feedback from your customers, as they can make your product demo more interactive and enjoyable.
Innovative methods allow you to get more personalized and relevant feedback from your customers, as they can tailor your product demo and questions to each user's needs and interests, and their particular situation.
Innovative methods allow you to get more responsive and timely feedback from your customers, as they can collect and deliver feedback in real-time.
Innovative methods can be challenging and risky, as they may require more technical skills and resources to implement and maintain.
Innovative methods can be unpredictable and unreliable, as they may depend on the quality and accuracy of the technology and data.
Innovative methods can be intrusive and annoying, as they may disrupt or distract the user experience or privacy.
Data, as they say, is the new oil. The quantity and quality of it matters just as much as the tools used to refine it. But once you have your feedback and usage data collection engine setup and humming along, you've set up your secret sauce factory for not just your interactive self-service product demos, but the products and services themselves.
In SaaS, as in life, there is no 'staying in place'. You're either moving forwards or backsliding, and if you're reading this blog, I can take a pretty good guess which direction you want to go in. :)
As with anything worth doing, setting up your secret sauce factory takes work and experimentation and frustration and setbacks and facing off with many, many wolves. But it's worth it. It's what sets your MVP on the path to customer delight, and that, as far as SaaS goes, is no less than finding the holy grail.