Your Customers Have Problems, Not Solutions

Ever received a feature request from a customer? Maybe they were kind enough to include a solution or how they think the feature should work?

Here’s the thing. People are great at explaining what pains them. In excruciating detail they can tell you how bad a workflow is or the hoops of fire they have to jump through to get that one thing done.

What they suck at is describing a solution to that problem or pain point. You’re seriously better off deleting the email from your customer than implementing their ‘solution’.

Here’s why.

  1. Tunnel Vision - when we’re plagued with a very specific problem we envision a very specific solution. Great for this particular customer, not for everyone else. If you can solve 80% of their problem, the’ll still love you. I promise.
  2. They Don’t Know Your Roadmap - advanced data export options? .CSV, .XLS? Maybe customers may want to manipulate their data to derive basic insights. Those new improvements to analytics your shipping next week should do the trick. If not, maybe you can include something that will while you also add value for other customers.
  3. Lack Of Technical Knowledge - probably the simplest reason you’ll hear solutions that seem just as convoluted as the original problem. Many of your customers simply don’t know what’s even possible.But you know what? They shouldn’t have to. That’s on you. It’s not rocket science. The next time you get a burning request to solve a pain point for your customer listen closely to the problem they’re experiencing. Really understand what they are trying to accomplish and why the current workflow (if there is one) is so horrible.

Once you truly understand the problem and intent, it’s up to you to craft a thoughtful solution.