Hey, this is Morgan, the founder of Gemoo. Every founder clearly knows the importance of knowing your customer, whether you are a retail founder or a SaaS founder. Best founders maintain a direct connection with users, and your users can always provide valuable insights into their needs, preferences, and pain points.
I’ve been trying this for months and got my lessons, so I’d like to share my experience here. I know part of it could sound like a plain mistake that many founders will never make, but sometimes you can’t see the problem because you are in this problem, so I wanna share my story here completely, especially with some new founders like me.
After Gemoo was released in Beta and got some users, I was not satisfied with the amount of feedback I received, I wanted more. My first step was to send emails with a survey attached to all users who signed up for Gemoo to ask for feedback. At that moment I truly believed that if I sent more, I’ll get more feedback. Around 1600 emails were sent but only got 15 replies. Several of them were asking to unsubscribe, and 11 of them filled in the survey. Apparently, it was a fail and drove me to a dead end, I couldn’t get valid and accurate data from only 11 surveys.
Soon I realized that the problem is not about how many you send, but who you send. An accurate target is vital all the time. In my case, not all of those 1600 are active users, most of them might only use it once or twice after sign-up and didn’t use it anymore afterward. So it’s obvious that I can hardly get responses from those silent users, maybe they don’t even remember they’ve used my product before.
Therefore, I redirected my method from the quantitative survey to qualitative research, focusing on the depth of feedback instead of the amount of feedback. I decided to identify those users who really use my product and already reported some problems to us, asking them to have a 1-1 user interview with me and trying to get more in-depth feedback. I checked all the emails in our customer service email and all tickets requested by users, trying to find out my target users. Eventually, 6 users were identified, then I sent emails to invite them to the 1-1 session, 4 of them said yes, which was a huge improvement compared to the previous. Later on, I arranged the 1-1 conversation with each of them and luckily got some valuable and in-depth feedback.
Before we jump into the lessons I got from my user’s talking, it’s better to briefly introduce my product first in order to understand the context clearly. It’s called Gemoo, where you can record screens, take screenshots, write docs with our inbuilt tools, and visually organize or manage your content by different topics using different views.
Some features are hidden too deep to find.
If you want your users to see the value of a certain feature, make sure they can easily know where it is at least, and let them experience the Ah-ha moment ASAP.
The mindmap, calendar, and slide view are seen as our differentiation feature, but users didn’t have much experience with them. One of the interviewed users told me it’s not easy to find out, and after I told him where it is, he said the Slide view will be the killer.
Sometimes the idea you wanna deliver is not exactly what users need and accept.
Gemoo is initially made for online communication, so the download option is not on our list in the beginning. But from the users’ feedback, offering a download option is way more important than I expected, it even will decide whether the users keep using Gemoo or not, and how often they will use it. What I learned is: sometimes you just need to give users an option, whether they really have a download need or not.
Never say you know them well before you talk with your users.
All of the interviewed users regarded Gemoo as a tool for screen recording, instead of a place to manage and organize online content, which is what I want them to be felt. This could mean:
Feedback from users cannot solve the problem of the product directly but will give us some insights and directions to figure out what the problem could be, and solve it later. Now I’m working with my team to see what we can adjust from both marketing and product design perspectives to make things right, based on the feedback from my users. I’ll post it later to keep updated, and I’m open to discussion if you have any suggestions about how to keep a connection with users and how you get valuable insights after talking with them. DM me via Twitter: @MorganKung7. I’d much like to hear and learn from your experience!