How can Product Managers gauge their effectiveness? Look to your company’s internal measures of success for answers. Be sure to consider both quantitative and qualitative success metrics. To evaluate how you rate in your customers’ eyes, rely on the external success metrics.
Quantitative External Success Metrics
You can count on your customers to evaluate your success against what you promised to deliver in your customer-facing roadmap. There are two aspects to your customer commitment:
- What capabilities you’ve chosen to include on the customer-facing roadmap
- Whether or not you released the product or capabilities when you said you would
Remember, your customers see your roadmap as a commitment you’ve made to them. If you don’t live up to it, you can lose customers’ trust and support.
Generating a Positive Product Manager Evaluation
It boils down to this: If you have selected products and capabilities to deliver wisely and delivered on schedule, your customers will view you favorably. The opposite is also true. If products you release don’t meet customer needs, are of inferior quality or arrive late, customers react negatively. If you continue to deliver unsatisfactory results, count on eroding customer trust and ultimately losing customers.
The Silent Majority and the Customer Satisfaction Survey
Even if customers are dissatisfied, many never let you know. Most customers roll along silently, keeping their feelings about you and your products to themselves. Often the dissatisfied are actively looking for other options and biding their time. You need to get a grip on customer perceptions before your customers start drifting away. The Customer Satisfaction Survey can help.
The Customer Satisfaction Survey helps you uncover what your silent customers aren’t telling you face to face. It’s a way to judge the health of your customer base. It also gives you a clear idea of how customers feel about your company as a whole.
The Customer Satisfaction Survey also reveals how your sales and customer service teams are relating to customers and meeting their needs. Once armed with the knowledge gained through the Customer Satisfaction Survey, you can begin to make needed adjustments.
In my next post, I’ll discuss the importance of moving from a reactive product management style to a proactive one – and how to do it.