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  • Writer's pictureOfer Zeevy

How a product enablement platform helps product teams to get ahead of the competition

Updated: Jul 7, 2022

For large enterprises, product development, revision, and improvement is a never-ending process. New features are constantly being rolled out, bugs are being identified and eliminated, and tweaks are applied to make each product as easy to use and valuable as possible.

Preparation for a track race.

But it can be challenging to bridge the gaps between the product team, who are ideating and innovating; customer-facing teams like the sales team and marketing teams; and the end-users themselves, who inevitably encounter friction as they use the products and can spot room for improvement.

This is where product enablement can come in.

What is product enablement?

Typically, the product team works with internal stakeholders like sales enablement, the sales team, and product marketing teams to help everybody to fully understand the benefits, purpose, and value of the product, its advantages over the competition, and the relevant user personae.

But first, the product team itself needs this kind of insight and understanding, both so that product managers can share it with their colleagues, and so that the product and engineering teams can design and develop a product that truly meets customer needs.

This is where product enablement comes in; to channel customer insights and feedback to product managers so they can refine their design and dev processes, correct bugs and errors quickly, and create products that better meet customer needs.

What are the challenges of product enablement?

There are a number of challenges that can hold a product enablement manager back from tapping into valuable customer product feedback.

Valuable product feedback can be hard to access

Today’s users aren’t just sending their feedback on a postcard to the product manager(s). Their reactions to your latest version or newest update are scattered across numerous platforms, including social media channels, review sites, your own customer forum, and online communities.

Even if you can cover all these channels, often the most valuable product feedback is buried in an indirect mention that doesn’t tag your company or your product.

Different teams need access to insights

Once you dig out customer responses, you still need a way to quickly share them with all your internal stakeholders. Departmental silos and corporate protocol can make it hard enough to share ideas between different teams; if it takes too long to convert user responses into usable insights, it can drag down the entire company.

Customer feedback insights can take too long

User reactions to new products can be close to instantaneous, and dislike for a new release or frustration over a bug can travel the world faster than the speed of light. Without an effective product enablement strategy, your customer support team could be facing a tangled web of anger and distress before you get the first hint that anything is wrong.

Alarm clock.

By the time your product team isolates the specific issue and works to resolve it, it may be impossible to put the genie back in the bottle and soothe all the ruffled feathers.

What is a product enablement platform?

A product enablement platform comes to address all these challenges to the product enablement function. It gathers customer reactions from across the open web into a single location, providing a single source of truth for product management teams and removing confusion and chaos.

With the help of a product enablement platform, you can filter out the most significant, oft-repeated, and time-sensitive comments from the rest of the noise, making it quick and easy to identify crucial customer insights.

Because these platforms are automated, they can work far faster and more accurately than any manual system. A product enablement platform can gather and deliver customer product feedback in real-time, removing delays in addressing live issues.

Additionally, automated platforms cover the entire web, and can often even integrate internal systems as well. They can harvest valuable opinions from corners that may otherwise go overlooked, like community forums, to bring together useful insights that can be missed by randomized surveys or targeted focus groups.

How does a product enablement platform help product teams?

With the help of a product enablement platform, product teams can gain insights into what all their real users think about their product, without getting distracted by loud voices that aren’t actually engaged with the product.

Product teams can also be only as effective as the information they receive. With a product enablement platform, they can be more accurate in spotting bugs and making tweaks. Focus groups and surveys pick and choose who to consult, creating a group that may not be as “representative” as you thought it was. In contrast, a product enablement platform brings responses from all users, revealing passionate voices that you might have missed and shoring up confidence that you’re addressing genuine user concerns.

A product enablement platform helps link user reactions with specific features, releases, and/or bugs; directs them to the more pressing requests for additional features and can provide updates about changes directly to the users who led the request; and dig deeper into understanding what customers really want from them in the future.

How can product teams benefit from product enablement and customer intelligence tools?

Track engagement on new launches

Releasing an update, or a totally new version, product, or service, can be nerve-wracking. Product enablement platforms can follow user reactions to reveal which features attract the most engagement, which have a “slow burn,” and which go mostly unappreciated.

Create a better product roadmap

With more reliable information about user concerns, product management can create a better product roadmap that prioritizes the most impactful issues first and knows where to start when rolling out fixes.

Respond faster to user feedback

Tracking responses in real-time allows product teams to spot and remove friction immediately before it affects product ratings. Focus groups and surveys may provide detailed insights, but they are slow and not always representative.

Get ahead of the competition

A product enablement platform assists product teams to stay on top of changes to the competition, the industry, and the market as a whole. With this insight, they can spot and track emerging trends to innovate more successfully and retain a competitive edge.

Improve product messaging

In addition to developing the right product, insights from a product enablement platform also help the product marketing team to position the product and/or services advantageously, in order to improve customer experience (CX), customer satisfaction, and customer retention.

How Affogata can help product teams be more efficient

Affogata’s AI-based product enablement platform offers a number of ways to help product teams troubleshoot and innovate successfully.

  • Gather feedback from across the entire web and internal sources such as customer support, including channels that other platforms miss.

  • Access real-time, immediate feedback that ensures you are always up to speed.

  • Analyze real conversations for deeper insights.

  • Set alerts for specific keywords to resolve issues before they snowball into a crisis.

  • Scale-up focus groups to thousands of users to track customer voice, needs, and wants related to products and services at a huge scale.

  • Open up visibility around new features, competitors, bugs, the industry, and wider emerging trends.

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