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Aug 07, 2019 11:44:48

Canny Best Practices: Product Management

by @hum | 1080 words | 🐣 | 215💌

Sarah Hum

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The best product teams are powered by data. Product usage stats, customer research, and customer feedback. By making sure you have a pulse in all aspects, you as a product manager can feel empowered to make the most impactful product decisions. Canny is built to help product managers make better decisions informed by customer feedback.

In this post, we highlight a few ways that Canny improves your life as a product manager.

Life before Canny

Your customer base is growing and, as a result, more people are giving feedback. At first, feedback is quite manageable. You or your customer-facing teammates receive feedback and log it in a basic system, often a spreadsheet. Over time, however, the spreadsheet that was once simple and easy to understand, is now chaotic. 

There is no way that you can put that data to good use. Pulling insights from a messy system is time consuming and painful. You resign to not taking advantage of feedback at all. 


Enter Canny

With Canny, your data is organized. You suddenly feel that you have a good grasp on what people are saying. Partnered with usage data and customer research, you can be confident in what your team decides to work on.


Understanding what to prioritize

Product teams are expensive. Now imagine product teams that work on the wrong things. Working on the wrong things is hugely distracting for your whole organization.

Understanding impact of different projects is challenging but we’re here to help. 

There are two ways you can use Canny to track customer feedback:

1. Publicly: Expose Canny in your product so your customers have a persistent place to give feedback

2. Privately: Empower your customer-facing teammates to track feedback they get in customer conversations

Whichever route your team decides, you’ll get to the same result. 

You’ll have:

Everything in one place

All your feedback in one place, organized under individual posts for each request. Canny helps avoid duplicates with similar post suggestions so you have accurate counts across all requests. You’ll be able to see which requests are the most popular.

Clear customer interest

You’ll be able to see which customers are interested in each request. This enables you to reach out with additional questions.

Better understanding of impact

Not all customers are created equal. Depending on your business goals, your team might be focused on a specific segment of customers.

For example, customers that are paying vs. customers on a free plan. What might be your top voted post overall might be a lot less popular depending on the segment.

User segmentation in Canny enables you to look at feedback through the lens of your important customer groups. Really understanding your customer feedback will help you reach your high-level goals.

Keep stakeholders in the loop

As a product manager, you’re responsible for communicating decisions to important stakeholders. This includes both customers as well as your teammates. 

With Canny, you have simple status updates you can use to communicate progress. Posts that have a status show up in a simple roadmap view. We've written in depth about each status and when to use which.

If you are very confident about your feature release timeline, you can optionally add an ETA. This will help set expectations for both customers and other teammates.

For official releases, publish entries to your Canny Changelog. It's great for ensuring your existing customers are aware of your awesome new feature. You can include an in-product widget so active users don't miss your update. Keeping a changelog is also great for your customer-facing teammates who should know about your product's latest changes.

Canny also supports internal comments. There are a several reason why internal comments are handy:

  1. There might be certain decisions that you only want to expose internally. 
  2. Loop in other functions that could use the context or contribute additional insights.
  3. Report new findings and keep everything in context with the original post. 

Internal comments are great to keep relevant teammates updated. Any admin on Canny can add an internal comment to any post.


Filter through the noise

For teams that have many product areas, feedback gets a lot more complicated. You are responsible for a specific area and only want feedback that is relevant to you. With Canny, you have a few option on how feedback can be organized.

Boards

Boards are the highest level of organization. If your company works on distinct products, boards are a great way to keep the feedback separate. For example, if you’re a marketplace, you can create separate boards for the buyer product and the seller product. In this case, buyers probably don’t care to see feedback about the seller product.

Tags

Tags are per board and are only visible to Canny admins. We recommend using tags if your product areas are not very distinct. The feedback for each area will be mixed together. 

Categories

If your product areas are distinguishable by your customers, categories are a great option. Your customers will have the option to specify the product area that is relevant to their feedback. By using categories, PMs are able to subscribe the categories that they are responsible for.

Post owners

Once your team decides on who should own a post in Canny, you can assign a post owner. Then, you'll be able to filter posts to only show the ones you need to pay attention to.

Setting Canny up to suit your company structure will save you time down the line.

Made for you

At its core, Canny is made for product managers. Understanding customer feedback shouldn't feel like an impossible task. We want you to feel confident about every product decision by empowering you to use customer feedback. 

We truly believe that you need to listen to your customers to build a great product.


Made for your team

While product managers are top of mind for us, other functions can also benefit in major ways.

Customer success managers and other customer-facing roles are a crucial layer between your customers and the product team. They get customer feedback on a daily basis. They should be able to log that information in Canny. They should also be able to relay updates from the product team.

With Canny, we're making this flow of information seamless. This series will go into Canny for each role. Stay tuned!

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