The founders of a small business called Power Practical have built a big customer base with very few resources, and a lot of strategic smarts. What is their secret ingredient? Customer engagement at the highest level.
Power Practical began with the help of more than 1,000 financial backers as a result of the company’s Kickstarter campaign. Then, when two of the company’s team members, David Toledo and Caleb Light, appeared on Shark Tank, the business took off after it received $250,000 in funding from Mark Cuban, along with valuable business guidance.
They then did something that is fairly unusual—they got customers involved in the development of the business. They sought input on products, asked for suggestions for improvement, and kept supporters informed about key dates related to product development and delivery. They now have 24,000 loyal customers who love what they do.
Companies that are obsessed with their customers—in a good way—use every ounce of feedback available to understand how people are responding to their products and their company. Customers who provide feedback are already interested in the company, and are therefore inclined to become repeat customers. Think of them as stakeholders—part of the process from beginning to end. Stakeholders are along for the ride, so continuing to make them feel valued makes them an important part of your success.
When customer service informs product development businesses also have a competitive edge in that the end product meets or exceeds customer expectations. A product designed with the consumer in mind very often reduces the need for customer care services to begin with, increasing the benefits even more.
So if your product development team doesn’t already have a relationship with your customer care team, it might be time to forge a partnership. Growth as the result of customer feedback is invaluable for future success.
Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.