How do you get to know your customers? In short, by talking to users.

This is episode six in the 2022 Product Awards series. Here, Wayfair Product Leader Nacho Andrade speaks with Chief Commercial Officer & Co-Founder Mike Korba. Their conversation covered topics from live chatting with customers to the silver lining of COVID for digital platforms. In the final analysis, Mike says that your value proposition has to be easily understood by users.

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On why you need to talk with users

Mike begins by explaining what made stand out from the crowded field of 3,000 products at the 2022 Product Awards. In the main, he says, it comes down to putting the user first. Then again, that fact shouldn’t be surprising given Mike’s company’s name! However, that still begs the question: what is the best way to get to know your users?

“Talking with customers gives you the unique ability to understand them better. Even if you are low touch… At the beginning, I think you should install the live chat and speak with customers. For many years, at the beginning of our journey, our CEO, me as a founder, we were sitting on the live chat and solving customer issues. Doing one on one demos, but doing also one on one interviews.

“Currently when we are a bigger organization, we have a process for it. Yeah, we have a discovery process. We are setting up some interviews. We give some incentives for understanding them better. But from day one, we’ve talked with our customers. 

“This is what would impact companies and impact, I think, culture. If we don’t know something, let’s grab a Zoom call. Or set up a meeting. And speak with them to better understand their needs. 

“So looking on the Hotjar is a very useful thing. And looking on the Google Analytics is also a thing you have to understand. Heatmaps, clicks, et cetera, et cetera. But speaking with a customer and understanding his needs, that can’t be achievable in any other way.”

On digital adoption since 2020

In addition to talking to users, Mike discusses the speed of digital adoption since 2020. This revolution has had a huge impact on online platform products like 

He says, “It’s obvious that our market, thanks to COVID, has grown. Our customers are mainly ecommerce companies and SaaS applications. Our ideal persona is a smart online business. Because we are a customer data platform for online businesses. And everybody has to go digital, so our market grows, and we grow with them. 

“Thanks to this strange two years, this revolution. Nobody brings the digital revolution in such a way. Who’s responsible for digital transformation? CEO, CTO, CMO? No. C-O-V-I-D.

“And it also helped us to grow at this pace. So speeding up the process. And I think that, especially with enterprise customers, it helps us to close deals and work on custom implementation and enterprise level customers remotely. That was the biggest change. We are able to serve enterprise clients. Before COVID, it was impossible to make it remotely. But right now, it’s standard. We can cooperate with banks, or really big enterprise levels by doing Zoom calls.”

On what makes a great product

To conclude the conversation, and related to talking to users, Nacho asked Mike what makes a great product. In brief, it comes down to how easily your customers can understand the value your product provides.

“I think that great products deliver a simple and understandable value proposition. So if your product has a simple value proposition and delivers it for your customers, you have a great product. But your customers … it’s not like they are able to quote your brand claim or quote your header on your website. But they can clearly, okay, this tool helps us do that. Yeah? Or thanks to this tool, we are able to increase that. 

“And if your customers can simply translate your catchy marketing phrases in simple words, you have a great product. That your customers know what you do. 

“Funny thing is that if you have a very wide product, as we have, different cohorts of our customers or different segments of our customers can understand this value in a totally different way. But if the value you bring for them is really simple for them, you have a great product.”

About the speaker
Mike Korba, Co-Founder Member
About the host
Nacho Andrade Ubiety Technologies, Inc., Chief Product Officer

Big idea product leader specializing in the space between 0 to 1, digital transformation, and innovation.

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