You spend months or even years planning, collaborating, and building your latest and greatest product features. Then comes the launch. It’s usually thrown together half-baked. Maybe you try to hire a PR firm, but they all tell you the same thing: it’s too late, you should have come to us 6 months ago. They say you need customer testimonials and media story hooks that you hadn’t thought of ahead of time.
Great product launches are incredibly hard to pull off well.
Many businesses have trouble promoting their product launches, so they don’t even try anymore. They just send an email to their newsletter and put some posts on Twitter and Facebook and call it a day. Is that you? Have you resigned yourself to pandering to your own crowd?
There’s a better way! And if you are using NPS, you already have everything you need to make a big splash.
Step 1: Involve Your Detractors in Product Decisions
This part is baked into the regular NPS process. The first question in NPS is:
How likely are you to recommend our brand/product to a friend or colleague?
But this is just a camel’s nose. It opens the customer up to answering the follow-up:
What’s the #1 reason for giving us that score?
This is where the gold is found in the NPS process. Many customers will give you specific and actionable feedback about what they love or hate about your product here. Generally speaking, most business look forward to the positive feedback from the NPS process.
But if you are measuring NPS (in part) to support an upcoming product launch, you are going to be focusing on the negative feedback. The goal with your product launch will be to turn as many detractors and passives into promoters as possible.
So reach out and follow-up with your detractors and passives to see if you can involve at least a handful of them very deeply into your planning for the upcoming release. Make them your VIPs and most important beta testers. Also make sure to keep a list of everyone who responded (positive or negative) to your NPS surveys.
Step 2: Learn The Personal Stories Behind Your Detractors
Take an authentic interest in your detractors. Learn as much as possible about their back-story. How? By asking questions:
- How did you get into this business?
- What are your biggest challenges doing business right now?
- What have you tried so far to solve your problem?
- What would your dream solution look like?
- What bugs you the most about solutions so far?
The most important thing: don’t try to sell them on what you already have. People love to vent and complain, and generally hate to be sold to. Instead of selling to them (like every other vendor they have encountered), surprise them by taking an interest in them.
This will accomplish many positive benefits for you:
- If one customer is passionate about solving a particular problem, there are probably many more who are less vocal than this one who also have the same problem.
- You are creating customer relationships that can bear more fruit over your career than you would ever expect.
- You are simultaneously cultivating a customer testimonial that you can use to promote the feature release or product launch and be interviewed by media.
Most companies never get personal with their customers. This is the #1 area you can stand out from your competition. Even if you can’t do this with every single one of your customers, if you do it for a few and publicize those interactions enough, it will seem like you do it for all your customers.
Step 3: Over-Deliver In Your Product Launch
By this point, if you have followed steps 1 and 2, you have everything you need to pull off a high profile product launch:
- You can clearly articulate what problems your product launch solves for real people
- You have glowing testimonials from engaged customers (the best kind of testimonials too, since you have turned them from detractors into promoters ideally)
- You have a great story behind your launch
A great story starts with a big problem. It’s not your problem, though. It’s your customer’s problem. A great story is something people will pay attention to. The overwhelming majority of product launches have no story other than: we added some features. It’s so boring I want to poke my eyes out.
Now’s the time to use the list of everyone who responded to your NPS survey. Reach out to them a couple weeks before the product launch. Tell them the story of the detractors who responded and how you incorporated their feedback to make this the best product launch you have ever had. But ask for their help.
Tell your NPS responders that in a couple weeks you will need them to make a lot of noise about the product launch which their feedback made possible. Because you used their feedback (and you can show them how with your great story), they will feel more personally bought into the process. Even if their specific feedback wasn’t addressed, they will feel like they were in the same group of people whose feedback was acted on.
Many people don’t realize how powerful NPS can be when mixed in with their other business strategies.
Using this simple product launch formula can revolutionize your launches. And you can use it over and over again for future feature releases. The more you use it, the more effective it will become, and the longer your list of customer testimonials will become.
Now when you reach out to media, you will notice a totally different response. You are not giving them Yet-Another-Feature-Release-Self-Promoting story. You are giving them a human interest piece that only happens to simultaneously promote your product with strong social proof.