“Start with the customer and work backwards” is an expression that has always resonated with me as I think about how best to craft company strategy, create “critical few” corporate priorities, and craft a product roadmap. I began appreciating this approach to product management and product development after reading The Lean Startup by Eric Reiss, who cited the software development lifecycle used at a company I admire, Intuit. The idea of taking a Minimally Viable Product (MVP) and improving it by obsessively listening to user feedback and by observing the manner in which end users engage with the product fascinated me, in particular because one need not be a visionary, an innovator, or a disrupter to do this. A CAB, standing for Customer Advisory Board (CAB), is a mechanism for bringing stakeholders representing your customers together to dialogue around ways to provide additional benefits to their stakeholders. For a company, a CAB is a time to listen to your customers carefully for feedback around benefits (the “so what”) versus feedback around product features (the “what”). JRNI held its Annual 2023 CAB Event this week.
JRNI offers its Intelligent Customer Engagement Platform to large, enterprise brands operating primarily in the financial services and retail verticals. JRNI customers have staff and operations that typically span across multiple service lines, locations, time zones, languages, and shifts. This week, JRNI’s Management Team facilitated conversations with Executives from 13 US and EMEA-based enterprises and 10 APAC-based enterprises covering topics around the current capabilities of JRNI’s event management, appointment scheduling, queue management, and analytics solutions. We covered topics such as:
The ROI of having series of centrally managed retail trunk shows, tastings, fittings, and services including the halo effect of related sales opportunities that occur via appointments integrated with such events
The benefits of having centrally managed financial services webinars to drive volume of appointments for wealth managers and advisors
The need for integrated queue management and appointment scheduling to manage wait times and staffing levels
The importance of user experience for not only those using JRNI as consumers but also the user experience of staff using JRNI to properly prepare for their daily interactions
We came away with validation that in some cases we understood our customers’ needs and feature requests, while in other cases we did not understand the ‘so what’ and hence had to re-calibrate our thinking. One Executive told us that we are the first impression, the “front door to their customer experience", so our user experience has to be as perfect as anything they do as an organization. Awesome feedback!
JRNI’s 2023 Customer Advisory Board was an experience of intensive listening, great learning, and most importantly, positive alignment with our customers. We showed our appreciation for our customers by listening, asking questions, collecting feedback, and re-calibrating our software development lifecycle and customer success strategies as a result. We continue to start with our customers and work backwards and our annual CAB has successfully launched JRNI’s 2024 planning process!