"You're In Charge" with Glenn Pasch
"You're In Charge" with Glenn Pasch

Episode 127 · 8 months ago

Adrienne Barnes: Fearing Customer Feedback


Companies spend thousands of dollars developing and marketing their products. While having internal strategy conversations is key, many companies fear customer feedback.

In this power episode, Adrienne Barnes, founder of Buyer Personas, discusses how companies have to move beyone just getting a review, (which many don't read) and really have thoughtful discussusions with their customers to improve.

Tactical and right to the point. Enjoy Please remember to subscribe and share this out!!

About Adrienne Barnes

Adrienne is a B2B SaaS Content Strategist and the founder of Best Buyer Persona. She’s on a mission to change the way marketers create and use buyers personas. Admittedly nosey, she’s usually asking questions or trying to learn something new. Catch here on Twitter, so you can easily connect with her there- @adriennenakohl.

About Glenn Pasch:

"Everyone finds themselves in charge at some point in their lives. Yet many of us lack the skills to generate consistent results. My goal is to help you learn the skills to adapt and grow in your personal and business life.”

Glenn Pasch is CEO of PCG Digital, a full service digital marketing agency that specializes in helping businesses create and deliver customers raving, recommending & returning for more. He is author of 2 books including "The Power of Connected Marketing" and has spoken and educated audiences throughout the US and internationally.

Let’s Connect:

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/glennpasch/

Personal Website http://glennpasch.com/

Company website: https://pcgdigital.com/

Support for this episode comes from PCG digital. It is anywhere from difficult to impossible to manage every aspect of the changing digital landscape. Rather than trying to do it yourself, why not leave it to an award winning team of Digital Marketing Specialists who have mastered at all? Connect your message with more potential customers with PCG digital. Go to PCG digitalcom for more information. They understand their product or their solution, but they may not really understand who the audiences and that's what you're trying to help them do because once you target to say oh well, this would be for this type of a person, all of a sudden it's easier for them to talk about the solution in their product because now they have that. Is that their struggle really is who the real audience is,...

...and that's what you yes, yeah, that a lot of that is the real struggles they obviously I'm working with technical founders, vcs, people who are highly intelligent and know their product inside and out right, like they've developed if they've they've written the code for it and so but then they kind of are like they can't see the forest through the trees, right there's so entrenched in it that they believe that their audience is them or their audience is the person they intended the product to be for. Right, like, well, I developed it, this is what it does, this is who it's for. And sometimes that's not the case. There are times where it is, but most often the audience becomes something outside of yourself, someone outside of your own needs. And so what they really struggle with this understanding who these people are. Why are they buying? A lot of them don't know why they're...

...using their product, what they like about the product, and then what they don't, and then how is the best way to engage this audience. And and through the oneone conversations and insides like that we do for understanding the best buyer persona, we really are able to understand all of those things much clear and I say like in my process it becomes very obvious to me that this is who they are or this is an overall theme that they struggle with or a very common pain point, to where I think, oh, well, they, the founder, must know, because it's so obvious, right, like I've done twenty conversations now and very apparent. But I know that that's when I'm on the right track right so that the founder hasn't had all the conversations or the Como hasn't been able to have all of these conversations, and when the insights become really obvious to me, that's when I know, okay, we're on the right track and like we're really creating a high value product for them as far as the buy our persona goes. So why do?...

You touched on it earlier, but it's still astounds me. Why do companies not embrace these conversations? You know, the default is will just send out a survey and see what happens. Is it just time consuming or they don't really want to hear what they're saying? I think a little of both. It's definitely time consuming, but I've tried to preach that really you can create a buy our persona or do this customer research customer development in one hour a week. It'll take you a while, but I want to help and encourage founders that it's not as consuming and overwhelming as you think it may be. So some of it is that. Some of it is they just don't want to bother their customers. They feel like they're paying they're happy, or we think they're happy right, just leave them alone, don't disturb them, like, let them be, let them keep paying their subscription. Like in Sass...

...there's kind of a fear that if we show up at the wrong time or in the wrong way, they're going to cancel their subscription and and then we're going to have a high increase. Recent turn and I haven't found that to be true. When I reach out to customers to interview really what I just say, Hey, we're trying to do this, like, we're trying to create this experience, we're trying to learn these things. I want to hear about you. I want to hear about your experience. Would you mind sharing? And usually people want to they want to talk, they want to share about their own experience and how they feel or how something went for them. So the conversations are important and they're good to have. But yeah, it's definitely a challenge to convince some of those CMOS and founders that this is the first step, like in my process, and I've kind of gotten to a point now to where if you reach out to me, you know that's the first step, so you don't argue anymore. But at the very beginning there was a lot of coaching and a lot of education where I was like, no, we really have to get on the phone. A survey we will...

...do. I do do surveys as well. I think there's a place at a time and a benefit, but you got to get on the phone in some aspect with your customers. No, I think that's really important. I agree with you and I I as a business owner, understand that fear of if I'm calling up and saying how we doing, it could be, in my mind, perceived as I'm worried. Hmm Right, and then someone goes, why are they calling me up? Maybe something's wrong. It makes them versus. Just deal with the churn you have. But the problem is that if you're not reaching out in some way to have a touch point, then all of a sudden you get the yeah, everything's great, and then all of a sudden the cancelation notice comes, you know, and you're going, I thought you were happy. Oh yeah, well, and off they go. So I I understand that fear, but I think what you're bringing to your clients, I think, is so key one, because someone else is doing it for you. So it's off of my plate as a founder to...

...seemoh, or the flip side, I'm also getting a third party, maybe, you know, unbiased viewpoint. Like you're not. You're not trying to manipulate the customers response, or you're not trying to. If I'm the CMO, I want to make sure it's all good feedback versus you're just hey, here's the feedback, now what are we going to do with it? So I think that that, to me, is more value. Well, not more value, it's an important value of your company because you are unbiased and you are just that third party giving them the feedback and here's, here's what we're hearing from your customers. Yeah, that's an important point too. That even one of my most recent clients I've been working with, I was working with their project manager, so she was also on the product side and she was on the marketing side, and she said, you know, I listened to your interviews and you did it so differently than we had in product when...

...we were doing them before, we were really just trying like make sure they knew this thing was here, or we really wanted to make sure we got specific insights or we would try to convince them. I've been I take every customer discovery interview that I can because I'm super curious as how other people do this as well. So, as a customer, if you ask me, Hey, do you have any feedback, I'm like yes, come, let's interview, let's talk about this. And every single one I've done has been with the founder of the company and any time I say well, I didn't like the way this went, their natural response is to educate me on how I'm wrong, tell me how what their product is doing is right and basically defend their product. And I said, if you as when I'm teaching people how to do these interviews, if you get yourself in defense mode, if you find yourself defending the product, you have stopped making that conversation about your customer and you've started making it about you. So you have just stopped learning, you have stopped gathering insights and now you are on the defense and you're...

...trying to explain your product. And that's as a customer it's frustrating to be like this is how I felt, and that was a little frustrating. I didn't like this thing about it, to then be told well, know, you got that wrong. That's not exactly how it is. It's supposed to be like this. And I mean how the way those conversations finished was just me like okay, well then you don't really care to hear what I have to say, and that's fine, and you know, we I quickly kind of end the conversation and move on from there. So, being a third party who has no buy in and the product, you know, I try to do a certain level of understanding of what it is and what what it solves and things like that, but I can't go back and and fix a customer complaint or I can't actually adjust or do anything like that. When they complain in such a way, I'm like wow, that sounds really frustrating. Will you tell me more about that? Like that becomes the opportunity to learn more, to gather more insights, and it's easy for me to say as a third party like well, I you know, I'm sorry, that sounds really frustrating. I don't have any power to fix it. I'll make sure.

So and so here's about this, but tell me more. So it really does take any pressure off of like solving an issue or turning the call into a customer success or, you know, a sales level chat it's completely off the board. They know it's we're just here just to talk about their experience or even, as you said, is getting defensive, because if it is my product or my service, even you know I want you to have a great experience, but if you're not having it, I'm going to try and convince you. As you said, no, you missed how this is supposed to happen. Yeah, this is the way I design this. And then the person's going, will you stop up listening to me now, you're just talking. Okay, thank you. And I think the danger of that also is it can allow the customer to start thinking, well, what if I really have a problem? Right, you pulled me up for customer support or advice and you're not listening to me. What's going to happen when I...

...have a problem and I call your support line? Is this what I'm going to get as well? So I think having that third party who has no skin in the game other than gathering data, gathering information and communicating it back, gives you a much cleaner sense of what what's going on so that you can make adjustments if, and this is why someone would reach out to your come if you really are concerned or care about truly what experience your customers are having once they are done with what you've set up, be it they came into your store and dealt with it and left, or they bought it online and they dealt with it on and they left, or whatever the however, they had got that product and now they're using it. Are they thinking this is really good? Where are they going? Huh, not really helpful right. So I think it's really good.

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