Getting Useful Customer Input


In general, being able to tweak your product to better suit customer needs is a good thing. The problem is, sometimes it's difficult to get input from customers that is actually useful in that regard, especially when dealing with business to business lines. Do you have any tips for gathering useful data from your customers and especially from other potential enterprise clients?

(One tip per answer please. I'm particularly interested in tips for businesses selling physical products in addition to software.)

Customers Product Management Physical Product

asked Feb 8 '11 at 05:57
Nick Pascucci
108 points

3 Answers


In B2B if your doing an actual sale where you meet the people face to face ask about there problems and document the types of solutions. GE sends an engineer, if applicable, with the salesman so they can better explain the product but also listen to what they would prefer.

answered Feb 8 '11 at 06:27
John Bogrand
2,210 points


Make finding their pain points your #1 goal of the conversation. If they are a current customer, find out if they feel the previous pain point was reduced. If they are not a current customer, pull out your list of assumptions about where they might be feeling frustrated and ask open-ended questions that will lead to them revealing how strongly they feel about each of those frustration points. If they bring it up themselves, thats a great sign. If they don't or they don't respond to you nudging them in that direction, its probably not a problem for them they are looking to solve.

For example, if you think restaurants use inefficient POS machines and you were talking to an already-sold customer, I'd ask questions like

  • Have you noticed your sale time going down?
  • What have you heard from your wait staff about the new system?
  • Where do you think most time is unnecessarily wasted during your day?
answered Feb 8 '11 at 07:38
Derek Dahmer
306 points


Until and unless people are addicted to your site or product people don give feedback and they tend to shift to other site or product which are better than the present one.

So please take some time and talk to them and offer any small gifts to all the people who give valuable feedback to you and this in turn helps you to increase the sales of your product whether online or offline.

answered Feb 8 '11 at 12:33
Bhanu Prasad
209 points

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