In a previous blog post, I wrote an article on how to talk to your customers when you don't really have any.
Since then, we have gotten much better at talking to our users. We now spend about 15+ hours a week talking to our users. Doing this gives us an amazing understanding of how they are editing videos and most importantly a good idea on how to build a great product for them.
There is a lot of advice online that just says "Talk to your users", but to action this simple task is much harder than it sounds. If you are unsure why you should even bother talking to your users, you should check out this video of Jeff Bezos shot back in 1999 or this post from YC on talking to users
Here are the three things that have helped us unlock over 15 hours of conversations with our users every single week.
Talking to users is like developing a sales pipeline
So what do I mean by a pipeline? Talking to users is not just something you wake up and do one day. You need to develop a strategy that you can repeat again and again. At VEED, every user who edits a video gets an email from us the next day requesting feedback. This has a super low response rate but nets us about 2 calls a day. We also follow up a few days later if we don't get a response. On the 2nd email, we also say if you don't have time, you can fill out a survey instead. Not everyone has time to talk to you, they are just as busy as yourself.
You should reward users for helping you out
Time is one of the most precious things we have. We like to send a $10 Amazon gift card or maybe you can upgrade them to your paid plan for free. When we started doing this we immediately saw an uptake in users willing to chat with us. However, it is a good idea to qualify your calls first before you do that. Some people just want free money..
Make it easy
We use https://calendly.com to help us schedule our calls. Our users can click the provided link and find a time slot that works best for both of us. This takes the hassle out of sending loads of emails and trying to find a good time.
Since we started talking with our users, we have a much better understanding of what is important to them. This means we can better prioritise our backlog and feature development saving us time and money while also making our users happy.
As always, don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.