Getting to know you

During my junior year of college, I caught a glimpse of a beautiful girl living downstairs from my apartment. Other than having a sweet smile and a friendly demeanor, I knew nothing about her. The only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to meet this “mystery” person. I had to follow my intuition and find out more. A few days had past since the first time I saw her. Then I saw her again, and I introduced myself to her. We became fast friends. Later that year we started dating, and yada yada yada, I’m happy to say that we recently celebrated our 15 year wedding anniversary.

Many of us have been taught to go with our instincts when making decisions in life. While trusting our gut may be the right thing to do in many situations, cue meeting my wife, we shouldn’t rely on it when building software.

At Zumba, we’ve always been really close to our customers. In fact, many of the employees at the home office are also licensed Zumba instructors.

Because we have so many instructors in-house, we thought we could rely on their opinions to guide our development plans. However, during this recent year, we realized that we were receiving feedback from just a very small portion of our instructor network, and we could not be confident this feedback was representative of the entire ZIN community.

Recently, we’ve made a big push to truly capture the voice of our members by getting feedback from a larger, more diverse group of our instructor network.

Be sure to listen to your customers every step of the way.

What we’ve done to capture the voice of our customers

Surveys, Interviews and Testing:

We sent out a variety of Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys to find out which areas of the site we could improve on. The NPS survey results gave us a clear indication on which areas of the site needed to be addressed.

Once we identified which areas of the site could be improved on, we prioritized the projects that would address these areas.

First off, we did several rounds of in-person interviews. The face to face interviews helped validate our assumptions.

Next, we ran another round of surveys on the website. These surveys asked the same questions that were used during the live interviews, but with a much wider audience. The results indicated something slightly different than the in-person interviews, but the combination of both surveys gave us a complete picture of what the users needs were.

After our surveys and initial interviews were complete, our focus turned to prototyping. Once we had a working prototype, we shared it with our users and did a round of in-house usability testing. We took what we learned from the usability sessions and made the necessary tweaks to the product.

When we entered the Alpha and Beta testing stages, we made sure to include real users from the community. We then took the feedback we received during the testing stages and incorporate back into the product.

Soon after our product launched, we ran surveys to see if the product was meeting the needs of our users.

Every step of the way, from research to production, we are listening to our users and making products for them.

We’ve found that there is truly no substitute for getting real user feedback. Even if you are an avid user of the product, it’s a must to hear from a wide variety of other users.

Going with your gut is great when you’re looking for love, but if you love your products be sure to listen to your customers.