Improving your product via customer support

From Customer Support is the Ultimate Learning Experience by Ben Yoskowitz:

I look at customer support as the ultimate learning experience, particularly early on in your company’s existence or with a new product. There’s no better way to understand how customers are doing than by handling customer support. Even if you did a lot of validation before launching (as you should!), the minute you put your product into people’s hands, they’ll do all kinds of interesting (read: crazy) things. You’ll probably be surprised and confused at how they’re using your product. Some features will get a ton of use, others will get very little; and I bet that you would have predicted the opposite.

Most often, you just don’t know what people are going to do when they get their hands on your product. And customer support is the learning engine that can drive the company forward in terms of resolving usability issues, fixing bugs, prioritizing features, increasing virality/word-of-mouth and more.

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