How Sharegate aligns Customer teams with Product to drive customer-centric product innovation

  • Company Size

    120 Employees

  • Headquarters

    Montreal, Quebec

  • Industry

    IT Management

Sharegate is a B2B software company based in Montreal, Canada that helps thousands of organizations from across the globe move their business to the cloud, gain visibility and keep control of their SharePoint and Office 365 environments. With over 10,000 customers, including Tesla, Bank of America, and NASA, the Sharegate team is committed to creating simple, user-centric, and innovative solutions to bring modern technology to the workplace.

Nathalie Jard is a Customer Success Strategist at Sharegate: a former Product Manager at the company, who is now responsible for ensuring the customer’s voice is heard in long- term product vision and roadmap development. The initiatives that make up the roadmap, Jard explains, come from user and prospect feedback, market research, responses to changes in the Microsoft products they support, and the overall company vision. As they serve customers from a wide variety of industries, it is critical Sharegate has rigorous data around their customers to understand what they are asking for from their product, who is asking it, when, and each requesting customer’s impact to the bottom line.

UserVoice is a clear voice of customer truth when putting together our roadmap. It helps us stay on the right track.”

Nathalie Jard Customer Success Strategist

UserVoice offers Sharegate the ability to gather user feedback wherever the customer is accustomed to giving it, even over the phone. The data is organized in one place and can be segmented and analyzed on multiple customer dimensions. Through UserVoice, Sharegate can attribute customer feedback as support for existing product backlog ideas or even discover new insights into customer needs. Customer-facing teams are better able to communicate ideas from the front lines, and as UserVoice scales easily, Sharegate no longer has to worry about good ideas getting lost in an email chain or in someone’s notes.

Aligning communication between customer-facing teams and product

One of the reasons Sharegate sought out UserVoice was to bridge a serious gap between customer-facing teams like support, sales, and the product team.

As customer-facing teams have the most daily contact with regular and prospective users, they have access to the highest volume of outside product ideas and challenges. But their current method of gathering these ideas into one spreadsheet with conversation tagging was, as Jard put it, “just a mess”. Both sides struggled to find and organize feedback, and product felt that while customer teams may have excellent suggestions, they weren’t getting the data they needed to assess them in light of all the other priorities in consideration. The customer teams in turn felt they were getting sidelined.

With UserVoice features like Contributor Sidebar and integrations with common tools like Zendesk and Salesforce, anyone at Sharegate can capture feedback on behalf of customers and have it saved directly in UserVoice. Contributor Sidebar works in any browser or SaaS application, so customer-facing team members can capture customer feedback from an email, sales call, or support ticket, and link it to ideas in UserVoice.

This allows Sharegate to have massively improved feedback collection without having to significantly change the processes they and their users were used to. This has led to improved communication and better organization-wide buy-in on product priorities.

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Actionable feedback collection, wherever users are giving it

Most of Sharegate’s customer interactions took place over phone or via email. It was difficult for their customer-facing teams to both accurately capture feedback and to route it to the product team. The information was organized by conversation, and it proved a challenge to pull out key insights and compare them across customers, particularly as not all customers have the same impact to the bottom line.

UserVoice gives customer teams a powerful method of organizing and analyzing product information- Sharegate relies on the Contributor Sidebar, and the support team in particular appreciates the Zendesk integration, keeping them in their ticketing system of choice.

Of their experience so far, Jard said:

The alignment between customer teams and Product has never been so strong. When Product, Sales, and Support talk with customers, it’s easy to capture their feedback. Just collect it, and it’s done - all the customer data is right there along with the suggestion. This allows the product team to focus on analysis and decision-making”

Customer-driven prioritization and backlog grooming

Jard drives the product team to be customer-centric by first working with the success team to determine what customers are saying, and then identifying specific features based on what best aligns with the business’s goals for the near and long term. The customer success team presents the top ten UserVoice-backed ideas to the product team every month. The product team can reach out to customers who supported an idea with the goal of building a product design group, incorporating customers in as many steps of the product development process as they can.

UserVoice provides data beyond simply which ideas are most popular- the customer success and product teams at Sharegate have the capability to easily segment their customers to identify which feature ideas are most important to them, group them by accounts (not just individuals), determine the recency of an idea, and even append a revenue value to each idea. This data-driven approach to backlog grooming allows Sharegate to find the signal in the noise of customer feedback and ensures no idea is confirmed or rejected based purely on intuition.

Conclusion

In the first year with UserVoice, Sharegate has added around 40 user-supported product ideas to their roadmap. With this new alignment between Product and customer-facing teams, and data driving every aspect of the product development process, Nathalie Jard envisions creating a wealth of intuitive and well-designed features: truly making every customer’s work life better.