One of the principles of success of SaaS startups is knowing who your customers are and what they want. Now, Steve Jobs once famously said that customers do not know what they want. Henry Ford even said that if he asked customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse. Most founders cite these two examples to justify why they do not listen to customers. In reality, they are just shooting themselves on the foot.
Customers know what they want. However, they may not be able to tell you in black and white what they need. It’s up to you to determine what they want , not on intuition, but based on feedback.
Listening to customers is the best way to know what they want. Whether you are getting out of the office to meet customers in person or are engaging with them on Facebook, you will get crucial information that can propel your startup forward. The problem (which may not be a problem to your team) with SaaS is that it is fun building products and features than talking to customers. And not paying attention to your customers may be the reason why your traction is unenviable.
Why Focus on Customer Conversations?
They say customer is king. This assertion remains true even in SaaS. When customers talk, you should listen. But you have to listen with a discerning voice. Customers may not know what they want, but they surely know what they don’t want. It’s your job to determine what customers need from what they tell you.
For example, when customers say they would like to pay a lower price for your product, this may not be the case. What they may mean is that they do not derive value from your app to warrant the price that they are paying at the moment.
So, what do you do? Do you reduce your price? Absolutely not.
A savvy founder will find out how to make users customers derive the best value from the app. Perhaps you have all the best features in your app, but how many users actually use the features? If your customers have not discovered the features of your app, perhaps it’s time you updated the “resources” section on your website with information on the rarely used features. Show customers them how they can benefit by using the features of your product.