Customer Experience : Who cares ?

As a product manager, you are always stuck with the discussion around customer acquisition, retention and revenue. It’s always a battle between a new feature release or to spend time in fixing the current customer experience. Customer Experience always comes first for a product manager. But a product manager deals with many different departments in a company to make sure that the product is successful and the customer is happy.

But when things go wrong and he wants to fix things, he calls for a meeting with CEO (Chief Executive Officer), CTO (Chief Technology Officer), COO (Chief Operations Officer), CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) and he himself tries to steer the meeting so that the customer experience is improved and all the figures and graphs look great..

But then, Destiny is never on the side of the product manager.. and this is what happens in that meeting.

Product Manager : Actually, I am thinking of not introducing any new feature but fix issues in the current product to improve our product’s customer experience so that it will help in the discovery of our products online and also, help in customer retention. By these small changes in the product , we can ….. (interrupted by CEO)

CEO : our customer retention is going low. compared to last month , it is down by 10%. why ???

Product Manager : As per my knowledge and interaction with customer support, they miss a lot of customer complaints and … (interrupted by COO)

COO : Retention does not have an issue… our average ticket size has gone up by 30%. Yes, we lost a few customers because our customer support and retention team is busy in fooling around to make sure we extract every single penny out of customer pocket even if he does not like the product experience. But it’s the technology which has bugs that the payment does not go through many times and the user is not able to access the website on many occasions. even the mobile app crashes a lot and all the catalogue items does not show up in mobile app. It’s the product manager who is not taking care of all the product issues and getting it resolved with technology teams.

Product Manager : I have informed the technology teams including the CTO many times and even told that, the customers are getting hurt. but they are busy in scaling the system and some of the tech guys are not able to fix the payment workflow. I want to tell ….. ( interrupted by CTO)

CTO : you know what, We have the best technology team who knows all the latest tech and uses it in our tech stack even before the LTS versions are out. we have highly scaled system and it can handle more than 100 million customers in a day. we also have a very highly concurrent system.

CEO : but then, why the hell daily visitor count is only 10,000 ??

CMO : We have invested $100,000 last week in google ad words and the result is positive and we have seen the increase in traffic to our website.

CEO : There are just 10,000 daily visitors with 70% of them coming through organic traffic. Why is the CPL so high ? what the hell is happening with marketing.

CMO : It’s not marketing. it’s tech which has screwed up the website on SEO and our website does not appear even in the first 10 search results in google. We told the product manager to get it fixed.

Product Manager: Yeah.. I spoke to tech but ….. ( interrupted by CTO again)

CTO : Don’t blame the tech, it’s the product manager who did not give us the spec how the home page should be done. He did not tell us what products should be given on home page, We wrote the best algorithm to find the most searched products and the frequent purchases to be shown on home page. We even wrote a very complex recommendation engine which can make recommendations based on consumer purchase history , his friends’ purchase history, his viewing history, his calendar schedules, his driving habits, his sleeping time, his machine’s operating system and if he gives his pet dog’s name, we even recommend the organic food for his dog.

CEO : Mr. Product Manager, what the hell are you doing ? We are losing business because you have not been doing your job ? can you update us right now ?

Product Manager : that’s what I was trying to tell in the beginning…. (interrupted again by CEO)

CEO : Forget it. You don’t know how to build a product. Let me tell you how to do it. Do NOT release any new feature but fix issues in the current product to improve our product’s customer experience so that it will help in the discovery of our products online and also, help in customer retention. By these small changes in the product , we can turn around the situation.

And they all lived happily ever after until the next meeting.


Originally published at patterbuzz.com on January 30, 2016.