Creating product resilience
Interview with Ashley Rodan, Quality and Delivery Manager at Homepass — An EnjoyHQ Case Study.
In this Interview, Ashley Rodan talks about how understanding your customer feedback can help to build better ‘Product Resilience’, and why exposing your entire team to feedback can lead to better solutions to your customer’s needs.
Hi Ashley, can you tell us a little bit about Homepass?
Ashley: Homepass is an app for real estate agents to better manage their home inspections. We offer a suite of tools to manage potential buyers and new contacts, and any micro transactions that are involved with a new visitor coming to either purchase or rent a property.
And what do you do there?
Ashley: I’m in charge of supporting our customer service team with technical expertise. On top of that, I head up our business insights and business reporting — I mostly do data reporting on our customers. I’m also involved in the quality assurance and some of the development, so a bit of everything! But I’d say my main role is definitely supporting our customer service team, by ensuring that our application is working to the best of its ability for our customers.
You’ve been building internal processes for managing feedback for a while now , how have you been making sense of customer feedback at Homepass?
Ashley: We had a clear message from our CEO, to understand how to build better resilience with our Product, and deliver better value to our customers. I’d be the person, that the team would turn to in order to get a better insight into what to build next, and how to make our app more resilient.
We didn’t have strong enough data or numbers to really back up what we believed would deliver best value to our customers, and make our app more resilient. We were getting a lot of pressure to answer things like; what was our top support tech issue? What was our top feature request? What was our most common reoccurring issue that was happening on a weekly basis? We just couldn’t see the trends in our data to really back our opinions up, to be able to drive business insights, and to create the right development effort.
From here, we turned to a very manual system where we needed to get our customer support people to double-handle a bit of data so that we could record it in Excel, in order to deliver some basic sort of stats and charts. It was tedious, messy, and it was also taking away a bit of time from our Customer Success Manager — so it wasn’t the best mechanism!
We needed a tool that could easily integrate with Intercom, and all of our other feedback channels, it’s meant that EnjoyHQ was a perfect fit for us.
You talked about the importance of having “Product Resilience”, what do you mean by this?
Ashley: It’s pretty much how reliable the product is. Homepass is a super valuable tool for Real Estate Agents to have on their tool belt. It’s often used in quite high-pressure environments, like at the time of meeting new visitors and potential buyers, then capturing them as leads. Making sure our app is of high quality and that it can be relied upon by our users is really, really important to us. That sort of information can really subtly come through our customer feedback.
What are the benefits of now having a less manual process around managing your feedback?
Ashley: We definitely have a lot more visibility into what our customers are saying. That’s providing us a lot more guidance on what to actually build and how to direct our development team based on Customer Feedback.
We’re getting more from what we already have, with very little effort. It no longer requires someone reviewing or changing formulas in a Spreadsheet. Now that we have a tool we can trust, we know we can always go there, and get the data we need. It’s definitely a reference point that we’ve been using to help drive our development.
With a developer who’s more informed about customer feedback, you get a better outcome when you’re developing a solution that can actually meet the needs of the customers — Ashley Rodan, @Ashrodan
Does collaboration happen in your team around your Customer Feedback?
Ashley: In the past, when we’ve just used our opinions on what we think should happen, it’s been harder to agree on the best approach. We have a lot of great Product Developers and Product Designers, and everyone has strong ideas of where the product should go.
In terms of our collaboration — with more data and more stats now available around our customer feedback, it’s helping everyone to resonate with what our customers are really saying. That’s what EnjoyHQ is helping to expose to everyone in our team.
What’s your advice to people in technical teams like yourself, that want to start a process for managing customer feedback in their own companies?
Ashley: My advice would be not to over complicate, or derive too many details from your feedback. It should be as simple as listening to the feedback, and then creating a few simple categories from it.
Then, you need to work out how exactly your customer feedback translates to your application’s performance. Your customer may classify something in a particular way, but you need to know what that actually means in terms of your product’s technology.
Understanding your customers is absolutely paramount, and it should be exposed to everyone in business. With a developer who’s more informed about customer feedback, you get a better outcome when you’re developing a solution that can actually meet the needs of the customers.
Ashley thanks so much for talking to us, this has been really great!
No problem at all. Thanks a lot.
About Homepass: Homepass is a Real-Estate app helping you deliver a mobile experience that engages your customers and wins more listings!
About Ashley Rodan: Ashley Rodan is the Quality & Delivery Manager at Homepass, you can find more about him here.
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