10 expert tips for handling customer requests that aren't on your product roadmap
As a business owner or product manager, you know that customer satisfaction is key to the success of your company. But what do you do when a customer makes a request for a feature that isn't currently on your product roadmap?
It can be frustrating and disappointing for both you and the customer when this happens, but it's important to handle the situation in a professional and empathetic manner. Here are 10 expert tips for navigating this challenging situation:
Listen to the customer's request and show empathy
First and foremost, it's important to listen to the customer's request and show empathy for their situation. Let them know that you understand their frustration and that you want to help them.
Explain why the requested feature isn't currently on your roadmap
It's important to be transparent with the customer about why their requested feature isn't currently on your product roadmap. This could be because it's not aligned with your company's goals, it's not feasible to implement, or it's not a high enough priority.
Ask for their feedback and input
If the customer's request is something that you think could be beneficial to your product, ask for their feedback and input. This will show them that you value their opinion and that you're open to incorporating their ideas into your product.
Offer alternative solutions
If the requested feature isn't something that can be added to your product, offer alternative solutions. This could be similar features that are already available or other ways that the customer can achieve their desired outcome.
Keep the customer informed about any updates or changes to your product roadmap
If the customer's request is something that you're considering adding to your product roadmap in the future, keep them informed about any updates or changes. This will show them that you value their input and that you're working towards a solution.
Follow up with the customer to see if their needs have been met
After offering alternative solutions or keeping the customer informed about any updates, it's important to follow up with them to see if their needs have been met. This will show that you care about their experience and that you want to ensure they're satisfied with your product.
Be prepared to handle negative feedback
Not every customer will be satisfied with your response to their request, and it's important to be prepared to handle negative feedback. Stay calm and professional, and apologize if necessary. Offer to discuss the situation further and find a solution that works for both parties.
Use the customer's feedback to improve your product
Even if a customer's request can't be added to your product, their feedback can still be valuable. Use their input to improve your product and make it more useful and valuable to your customers.
Create a customer feedback system to track and prioritize requests
To avoid getting overwhelmed by customer requests, it's important to create a system for tracking and prioritizing them. This could be a simple spreadsheet or an online tool like Trello or Asana. This will help you keep track of customer requests and ensure that they're addressed in a timely and effective manner.
Communicate openly and transparently with your customers
Throughout the process of handling a customer's request, it's important to communicate openly and transparently with them. This will show them that you value their feedback and that you're committed to providing them with the best possible product and experience.
By following these expert tips, you can handle a situation where you can't meet a customer's expectations in a professional and empathetic manner.