Possibly one of the most misleading phrases in business, Product/Market Fit is intended to describe the moment of synchrony, of blissful nirvana, of heavenly conjunction, when your product or service solves a customer’s need so beautifully that your customers become your salespeople.
In short, Product/Market Fit means you get it so right that customers start telling everyone.
Sometimes Product/Market Fit will be a phase or fad (remember the Atkins diet?), sometimes it’s transient (Vine?), and sometimes long-lasting (Facebook... now Meta). The key, however, is adapting to change; Facebook in 2004 and Meta in 2021 are very different.
In a perfect world, your customers’ sales efforts will sustain your growth. But at some point, either a competitor will dent your shiny ambitions, or a product misstep (Windows ME, anyone?) will derail your progress.
If you believe in the value of Product/Market Fit, then it is worth figuring out how you can achieve it, and how you can sustain it.
Achieving Product/Market Fit
Of course, achieving Product/Market Fit is much easier said than done—but simply asking customers for feedback makes sense. A typical workflow to capture this information might look something like:
- Listen: Interact with your customers through direct and indirect channels of feedback
- Learn: Analyze your customer interactions for topic, intent, tone, and sentiment to gain insight into customer pains and desires
- Act: Get insights in front of the people who make decisions, and collaborate to enhance the customer experience
- Improve: Use real-time metrics to measure the impact of your changes on customer sentiment and satisfaction
Which, of course, is all very fine if you have a few hundred customers, know them personally, and have the time to review their feedback.
But what if your Product/Market Fit is drifting off course and you have tens of thousands of customers? Zoom reached 400,000 users by the end of its first month. The Listen, Learn, Act, Improve sequence now presents a significant challenge: At scale, can you find the precious jewels that show you how to change and adapt to keep Product/Market Fit in the sweet spot?
Put another way, one of the signs of excellent Product/Market Fit will be sales growth, spurred by customer advocacy, which is in turn generated by an outstanding product or service experience. If your Product/Market Fit is decreasing, how can you see into the heart of the customer experience—of tens of thousands of experiences—to figure out how to improve?
Listen to the voice of your customer, at scale
To listen and learn at scale, the latest Voice of Customer technologies use AI—unstoppable, sleep-free, and bias-free engines that detect and surface actionable insights from thousands of data streams and millions of posts, clicks, shares, replies, and reposts. AI makes it possible to capture and understand customer sentiment and market opportunities in real time, and analyze the trends that could influence product strategy, development, and—ultimately—growth.
Importantly, by establishing a repeatable process, AI-powered technology offers the ability to create Programmatic VoC that can bring your Voice of Customer program into the digital age, at an industrial scale. Programmatic VoC becomes part of your business process—measured and managed for success, and one of the key tools to drive business growth.
Caravel offers AI-powered technology that generates consistent results, learns from user feedback, and, as data volumes rise, becomes more accurate and continually improves its performance. Armed with detailed, accurate data, you can act and improve, tuning your Product/Market Fit to stay dead center in the sweet spot.
For companies setting a product-led growth strategy, Programmatic Voice of Customer is vital to success, and AI is leading the way.
If you’d like to learn more, reach out here and we'd be delighted to help.