4 Benefits When Product Managers Dogfood Their Product

Hi, I’m Matt Bilotti. Product Manager at Drift

As a product manager, staying close to your customers helps you build the most useful products.

The more you understand their wants, needs, desires, the better you can anticipate and translate that into product decisions that positively impact their lives and their workflows.

To do my job as a product manager, there’s a collection of tools that I use everyday, including Drift. I use it to talk to our customers as we build, well, Drift.

Get more honest customer feedback. Start with Free Live Chat today.

Capture The “Why” With Live Chat

It’s important to challenge the customer to get to the “why” of what they’re trying to accomplish. At Drift, since we’re a small startup, I wear the hat of support lead. When somebody writes in via live chat, my rule is that I need to answer within one minute.

There are a few main reasons somebody would write into support:

  1. To report a bug
  2. To request a feature
  3. To ask for help doing something

The real time conversation means I have the best possible chance to fully understand the pain the customer is experiencing in any of these cases. If somebody were to write an email to support, by the time we go back and forth over email it could be days.

By then, I’ve lost an incredibly valuable moment to ask questions as things were being experienced. Asking the same questions later will yield different responses because the customer is no longer focused on the task they were trying to accomplish. Using Drift’s Live Chat, I have the greatest opportunity to understand the customer’s “why” in the moment they reached out.

Onboarding Made Easier With In-App Messaging

All Drift customers on the paid and free plans have direct access to talk to me and the rest of the team at any moment of friction. Now that many customers prefer live chat to support methods like a phone line, they’re more likely to initiate conversation when it’s so easy to click on a chat button within the application.

Drift’s live chat allows us to give white-glove service to all of our customers and improve the product with their feedback: we catch bugs quicker, onboard customers more efficiently, and understand every point of friction which would otherwise go unreported for days, weeks, or months.

Request Feedback With Targeted Messages

When we roll out new features or redesigns, I use Drift to announce those updates in-application to specific groups of users by plan, start date, product usage, and more. We call this “Drifting on Drift.”

I can also choose to only display messages on a specific URL to deliver a relevant message for the right audience. It’s more timely than an email announcement or blast in-app message that can distract a customer when they’re trying to complete a separate, unrelated task.

Live The Customer’s Experience

The benefit of using Drift to build Drift means I’m the customer of my own product and experience the pain points myself. In my humble opinion, Product Managers should use their own product daily. You’ll be the first line of defense for poor product experiences before your customers see them. Doubling as product manager and customer gives you a better perspective to build for your fellow users.

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