Luis Gonçalves Blog

Agile, Scrum, Agile Retrospectives

NPS a great way to help the PO to structure the product backlog – Part II

Hi guys, in my last post I explained what NPS means. I finished the post explaining the benefits of this concept. In this post I will explain how NPS can be used as a great way to collect user feedback in a structured way identifying priorities that should be taking into account for next interactions/releases. I will explain this by giving an example of a company where I used to work.

Several years ago I worked in a company that used NPS on daily basis. They used NPS everywhere, in my opinion it was used too much but that is how they worked. They used NPS to compare product performance between organizations; they used NPS to measure employees´ performance and at last they used NPS to help product owners to prioritize and build product backlogs – this is what I want to talk about in this post.

All customers that used products could answer the question: “How likely is it that you would recommend our product to a friend or a colleague?”. This question could be found under the “feedback” section inside of the product. When the user answered the question he or she would send the score and respective comments justifying his/her answer to a server where all scores with the respective comments were collected.

To analyse all these comments and scores, a team was created. Their responsibility was mainly to collect, analyse and cluster all different feedback. This feedback was sent once a week to all product owners involved in the product development. This feedback was extremely valuable since it would help the Product Owner to create a better product in future based on real wishes from the customers. The product owner could use this either to review his/her previous assumptions of what could be a good product, or to tackle emergent problems that appeared in each release. For example the sign would be if there were dozens of customers complaining about the same issues.The product owner would need to act. These issues should be tackled in next iteration in order to correct customer unhappiness. Clearly these matters had the highest priority in the product backlog because they had a direct impact on the customer.

All this feedback was critically important during the whole development phase but especially before the official release, when the product was in Beta stage. We used this time to collect extremely valuable feedback from customers in order to improve the product for the official release. At this point the PO was looking at feedback on a daily basis. This would allow the team to be able to change the most critical issues before the product was released resulting in a better product with a better customer satisfaction.

NPS is still part of the company´s product development. Even though I do not work there anymore, I truly believe they still use all customer feedback provided by NPS to improve their products.

To conclude this post, imagine this: You together with several other customers detect and report a problem. Two weeks later in the next iteration release you have the problem solved. The company was able to listen to you and correct your problem. In two weeks time!!! What would you think about the company that can listen and attend your wishes in two weeks time? It would be amazing, right? Do not worry, I believe this is the future :)

This was another topic that I wanted to share with you guys. I truly believe NPS can help companies or Product Owner to improve their own products and understand how well they are doing compared to other companies that use NPS as well. What is your opinion after reading this post?

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4 thoughts on “NPS a great way to help the PO to structure the product backlog – Part II”

  1. Willem Vooijs says:

    Hi Luis, is the question ‘Would you recommend our product?” the only way to receive a NPS metric? Or do you also have other ways of measuring? Getting feedback trough for example UserVoice or GetSatisfaction does give you a good idea on what backlog items need priority, but I’m interested on strict NPS statistical measurement.

    1. Hi, Getting feedback trough UserVoice or GetSatisfaction does not have the advantage of NPS… With NPS you can get customer feedback and you can directly compare your product across industries. NPS is already used in several different companies like I did refer on the first post :)and not necessarily in IT companies. Thanks, luis

  2. Michelle says:

    Hi Luis, most companies I’ve worked for have had an NPS or VOC, but they’ve been unhappy with the feedback. Mostly b/c the information regarding what exactly the customer does or does not like isn’t isolated (e.g. performance on what part of the product, using what tool in the software, etc.) My suggestion is, and probably always will be, this information needs to come from a companies technical support team, it is (IMHO) the only way this information can be isolated correctly if the company has anything close to a mid-complex product.

    e.g. I love my iPhone, the phone fits perfectly into my hand and all buttons are in easy reach and easy to read, but inevitably during an important phone call, my chin will accidentally hit “end call” on the pad. Is this an issue w/ my phone size, the OS, the size of my smaller head and pointy chin (joke), something I can tweak on my settings, or a bluetooth additional sales offering.

    From a sales perspective (product owner) the answer is usually E, but from a customer satisfaction/TSE perspective it is A, B, or D.

    How do you balance these? What is the best way to create an effective NPS/VOC?

    1. Hi Michelle, sorry for my late reply :).

      I understand what you mean and I partly agree.

      If I understood you well the problem at your side was that you had problems in the products that had to do with several different parties right? Then it was quite difficult to isolate and tackle the problem. Is this correct?

      If this is correct I understand your problem, indeed is difficult to tackle it, but that´s why cross functional teams are so important. If you have a team that alone is responsible to release the product I believe it will be easier to solve it… They do not need help from anyone else, they have everyone necessary to solve the issue.

      Does it make any sense?


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