General Assembly CPO on Product Management (Part 3)

Working with your product management team, there are a number of ways to solve for friction. In my experience, the best method is to analyze your customer experience loop. In other words, your team needs to look at the entire user journey to identify opportunities for improvement. I will take you through five steps that allow your team to create an optimal solution for resolving friction:

1. Find Gaps In Your Customer Loop.

Bring your whole team together to identify pain points for your customers. These can be duration issues for solving user issues or getting in touch with the right person. It’s important for every customer-facing department to be involved in this process. For example, the marketing and customer services teams should connect with the product team to ensure that every gap is identified.

2. Start Capturing Data.

Start by looking at all of your data sources and figure out the method for analyzing results. For example, most companies have specific software or email templates that collect user feedback. The challenge is combining all of your data for various sources into a single platform. At General Assembly, we used a service called Snowplow to catalog all of our data. As a result, we were able to get a full picture of all our data across various systems.

3. Track Shift Triggers.

Using the data that you’ve collected, you can identify patterns and common themes for your team to address. For example, your customer service team finds five specific questions that come up in the call center. In addition, you want to look for behavior patterns that cause a user to ask for help. As a result, you can start to anticipate pain points and build solutions for them to reduce customer service inquiries.

4. Start Fixing The Friction.

Once you have priorities set for resolving friction, start to create teams who can fix the issues you’ve identified. Much like the first step in the process, it’s critical to have all customer-facing teams involved at this stage. In addition, your goal should be to address issues that provide value to customers and have a positive impact on business performance.

5. Close The Loop.

After going through the first four steps a few times, start to link experiences with every part of the user journey. In other words, you want to provide context for every member of your product management team about how users interact with the product. Plus, it’s critical to keep the conversation going amongst teams to flag new gaps that emerge over time.


Ultimately, this process can be summed up by a quote from Maya Angelou. To paraphrase, “people will never forget how you made them feel.” This process brings your team closer to your customers and ultimately brings them greater joy in using your products.c


Click here for Part 1

Click here for Part 2

About the speaker
Shiren Vijiasingam General Assembly, Chief Product Officer Member

Shiren Vijiasingam has spent the last two decades building product experiences that use technology to amplify the human impact. As Chief Product Officer General Assembly, he leads the product, design, learning, and engineering teams in blending live instruction with personalized, augmented digital learning. Before GA, as SVP of product at Weight Watchers, he led a major digital transformation to engage and motivate a global community of members toward lasting behavior change.

About the host
Andrea Chesleigh Boxed, VP of Product and Engineering

Andrea is the VP of Product and Engineering at One Kings Lane, a digital-first resource for making your home an expression of your personal style. She has spent over fifteen years in Product and Tech, and has led teams at startups and Fortune 500 companies, including Rent the Runway, Zappos, Time Warner, and Verizon. Andrea is passionate about solving hard (seemingly impossible) challenges, developing simple yet delightful products, building teams of entrepreneurial critical thinkers, and creating strategic outcomes with impact. She is a hands-on leader with a player/coach style, diving into the details with her team to partner, advise, and guide them to success.

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