Why experiencing a product is better than explaining it

See this presentation – 5 Ways to Help Your Customers – on @haikudeck

You know the feeling – trying to explain something to someone who is not picking up what you’re putting down. So what should you do?

Explain, or Listen?

As a product marketer, you might often feel this emotion when you are trying to explain a new feature or functionality in your product, or generally when you’re trying to explain to someone how to follow a process or complete a procedure. When you feel this way, it might be a sign that we’re doing this wrong.

“Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment.” -Dale Carnegie

It’s much easier to learn how to do something by trying it yourself, rather than having it exained to you.

5 Things You Can Do To Listen Better to Customers

Here are five things you can do to help your customer experience a product rather than explaining it to them. It’s by no means an exhaustive list, and a great place to get started.

  1. Ask them how they feel when they are using your product or trying to solve their problem
  2. Have them record a video and walk you through what they’re trying to do
  3. Use join.me, goto meeting, or skype to have a live conversation and let them drive
  4. Ask them to tell you in their own words
  5. Get in their shoes and try to do the thing they’re trying to do (experience it yourself as a 1st time user)

What’s Next?

Once you have this feedback, what will you do? How about focusing on the biggest small thing you can do – meaning the smallest amount of improvement you can make that will benefit the largest number of customers. This might not be a permanent fix, and should be something you can measure easily.


One thought on “Why experiencing a product is better than explaining it

Add yours

  1. Greg,

    My mother always used to tell me to “keep your ears open and your mouth shut”.

    It wasn’t terribly novel advice, but as she also added “you will appear more intelligent that way”

    It has a certain 2 for 1 appeal


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