Our Product Development team is always busy baking donuts, aka creating new products. Many of these products are feature enhancements to our digital publishing platform known as Apple Fritter. With all the effort that goes into creating some of these new features, sometimes customer adoption can be the biggest challenge.

When developing and then marketing a new feature, we often make assumptions about the best way to use a product and how it will best benefit our customers. But after a number of conversations, I learned that simply talking to them— hearing their daily challenges, individual strategies, how blogging fits into their big picture— that alone was one of the most valuable tools for understanding what our customers need next. Seth Godin famously said:

You don’t find customers for your products. You find products for your customers.

Last month, along with the help of our Director of Product, Jared Sulzdorf, we got on the phone and started asking our customers lots of questions. The fact that they took the time to offer their opinion alone was great. But the little nuggets of insight we received was even better. What did we hear consistently from customers?

  • Lawyers who make blogging a daily practice saw consistent, positive results.
  • Larger firms report on blog performance regularly, so having useful reporting tools is critical. Guides on making the most of the reporting tools are also very helpful.
  • There is value in networking among LexBlog authors— new bloggers are looking for mentors and seasoned bloggers are always willing to share their experiences and best practices.
  • Law firms are very busy (surprise!), so offering just 15 minutes to demonstrate a new tool in addition to support documents can go a long way to help out. For some folks, a quick demo is preferred over reading through a document.
  • Blog posts are often leveraged beyond the initial post— finding ways to give your article more legs is a value-add for writing.
  • Blogging shows its success in many ways beyond revenue. Firms reported referral work, media interviews, relationship building with clients, and positioning themselves as practice area experts among colleagues.

Now that we have received all this feedback, we can begin to implement new practices and communication to support the needs of our current customers and help new ones be better set up for success. Most importantly, I learned that this type of flow of communication should never stop.