Chapter 12. Validate Customer Lifecycle

Now that you have some early customers signed up, work closely with them to ensure that they make it through your conversion funnel completely.

Make Feedback Easy

The fastest way to learn from customers is to talk to them.

Much like I favor interviewing customers over conducting surveys, I prefer getting feedback from customers in person or over the phone than through other means like email, forums, or discussion boards.

Here’s why:

It shows you care.

A toll-free number sends a signal to your customers that you care and that you went the extra mile to make it easy for them to call you.

You don’t have a scaling problem yet.

Contrary to popular belief, you won’t be bombarded with phone calls. A lot of my calls are typically from prospects with questions about the service, not about support issues. It is fairly easy to set calling hours during the day and reroute the calls if and when you run into a scaling problem (which is a great problem to have).

Tech support is a continual learning feedback loop.

After each call, I review the reason for the call and see if I can change something on the site—messaging, help, tips, pricing clarifications, and so on—to continually improve the product.

Tech support is customer development.

Not only does talking to a customer help you better understand customer problems, but it provides you an opportunity to ask your customers a question or two.

Tech support is marketing.

The opportunity to learn from customers in this way ...

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