In order to expand you must improve the quality of your product and increase sales. Of course, it’s much easier said than done, and it can also be a risky investment. If it turns out that the resources you invested in product improvement are not appreciated by your buyers, you can lose money and you can lose customers at the same time.
Improving your product takes a lot of strategizing, and it’s not a matter that should be taken lightly. Consumers are now more careful than ever – there are tons of new products now, and consumers have access to online reviews, so you need to go the extra mile in order to impress them. The following article is here to offer a helping hand and serve as a guide for this improvement process. Here are some ways you can improve your product and increase its sales.
Adding new features
Well, one of the most common ways to improve your product is to add new features. These new features have to be relevant to what you are selling and simply improve user experience. Think about how cellphones evolved – they added features like a camera, infrared, bluetooth, games, videos, flashlight functionality and then they evolved into smartphones that are still improving. Smartphones improved so much that they became mini computers rather than simple phones.
However, we still call it a phone, even though it is basically a smart device that has some phone features. Another good example of relevant features is the arm chair that gradually became a massage chair. People love to use them to rest and relax, so with a massage feature added they significantly improved the user experience.
Think along these lines: “What is your product used for and how can new features actually help it achieve its primary purpose?”
Improving existing features and design
Instead of adding new features, you can improve the existing ones and still score some positive points with your users. Again we can use smartphones as example, they constantly work on improving their software or features like the screen and camera.
These may seem only like minor tweaks, but they are just the selling points that help you outperform your competitors. So, focus on your current features, and see where you can improve things.
Use customer feedback
If you are thinking about adding new features or improving current ones, there’s no need to beat around the bush, just listen to the true judges of your product. User feedback is extremely valuable, and you can use it to guide your future decisions. If users, aren’t specific with their feedback you can watch online reviews and comparisons of your product and the product of your competitors.
This will serve as useful input, and you’ll see what you need to add or improve. Also, ask your customer support team what the most common complaints of your customers are, and find a proper way to eliminate those complaints.
Collaborative work on changes
Your business probably has a team of manufacturers or engineers who create the product, a team that is in charge of selling and a team of people who works as a customer support. All of these people need to cooperate in order to create the best product possible. Engineers are best suited to explain to the users how to fix their problems, the customer support team has the best input on where you need to improve, and your sales team knows exactly what your consumers really crave for.
So, you can either organize frequent meetings, or make this collaboration more efficient with the use of knowledge management software. With knowledge management software, you can have a clear overview of all the useful input, and have a productive brainstorming session where everyone can participate. Just find out which knowledge management software solution is the best for your type of business and see if it lives up to its name. You can even see if they offer a free trial period and take it for a test run.
As long as all of your teams collaborate you can discover what you need to prioritize and what you need to do to improve your sales. Also with a bit of a role rearrangement you can have a more satisfying experience, so take one of the engineers to help the customer support team from time to time, if they are unable to solve the technical issues of your users.
Make a more compelling offer
If you do not have enough time to make necessary changes, but need to make profit, then you will have to spice up your offer and make it more compelling. Maybe your users prefer competitor because they offer better quality. Well, you can then trim down the price a bit, in order to nudge them in the right direction.
Additionally, you can keep the same price, but double the warranty. This will make you look more confident in the quality of your product and your users will find your service more secure. Another way to improve your sales is to use customer-based incentives, to give out coupons or gifts for the most devoted consumers, this usually tends to work and buyers love efficiency, so if they get a more budget-friendly or practical offer, they are bound to at least try your product.
One of the reasons why consumers are fully satisfied or attracted to your product may hide in the lack of information. Maybe users aren’t aware of all the existing features or the capacity of your device, so they find it puzzling. It would be good to create video tutorials that display just what your device is capable of.
It is a tactic you can use to impress your current user base, or to even attract new buyers, plus your users will definitely find the device and videos useful, just make sure you state all of the practical uses of your product. Besides, videos are really engaging and if you upload them to your website or online store, you can have a better conversion rate and a more satisfying user experience.
A/B split testing
If you want to make significant changes and then proceed to produce on a massive scale, then you need to be sure your users like what they are getting. It’s a good tactic called A/B split testing and it’s mostly used with web design. Basically, you put two different versions of the same product into circulation, with half the users gaining access to version A and the other half to version B, and then you just follow the metrics. See how the users responded to the first product and then compare the results with the second release. The one that performed better is here to stay and it is produced on a mass scale.
You can test all sorts of things, not just features. You can, for example, test if the way your product packaging is designed can influence the buyer’s decision. After all, our mind is a tricky thing. People tested the same product only packaged in a different box, and the test subjects claimed how one was better than the other. In other words, every detail counts and A/B split testing can provide you with an essential input for your future development and direction.
For a more detailed feedback on what users really want, you need to ask them to fill out surveys and use the information to improve your service. Maybe users really want a more budget-friendly price, maybe they are willing to pay more for improved quality, or maybe they expect a lot more out of your product. You cannot know for sure until you have the survey results.
You can send these surveys via e-mails or you can outsource this job to a company that pays users to complete surveys. It is crucial that you get this information, and you should do this once a year in order to prepare a good business plan for the upcoming year.
Lastly, you need to learn one of the most important lessons in the world of business, and that is: fail faster! In your business ventures you are bound to face failure, and that is alright, since every mistake is a lesson. However, if you know how to fail faster, if you know when to shut down the project that is not heading in the right direction, you can save a lot of time and resources.
If things are not going in the right direction just salvage what you can and move on to the next project. It’s important to know why your strategy backfired and not repeat the same mistakes – sooner or later you will find the right path and triumph.
Hopefully, you are going to use the advice provided here and create a better product that your users are going to truly appreciate. Remember to improve and innovate where you can, and to listen to the complaints and suggestions of your consumers. Once you find the right way and what they really enjoy, the whole road will be far easier to travel.