Building customer-centric products with privacy at the core
The best way to build customer-centric products is to collect information directly from customers on what problems they experience, ensuring that you have a customer feedback pipeline. However, when collecting information from customers, privacy can so easily be breached. Here are a few principles we firmly believe here at Anonyome Labs that help us become customer-centric, without breaching our customers’ privacy.
Customer-centricity is a culture
Becoming customer-centric starts first with our employees. At Anonyome Labs, we know that we don’t have all the answers. In our product design meetings and roadmapping sessions, we defer key decisions until we can better understand our customers’ problems. The more we focus on understanding our customers’ real problems, the more we can innovate to meet their needs. Customer-centricity is a common principle shared amongst marketing, design, product, support, and development. No one organization owns all customer research. We all work together to collaborate and share information gathered in various ways. Our fabulous support team is one of our greatest assets. Our product design team works closely with the support team to determine what is causing customers to come to us in the first place; this gives us valuable insight into what parts of our product are broken and need improvement.
Opt-in must be required
We strive to make all tracking mechanisms opt-in for our customers, meaning we cannot collect information on users until they have purposefully allowed us to collect it. When we survey our customers, we select a discrete subset of our customers, and we don’t collect IP address, geo-location data, or even demographic information. Because we are solely focused on improving our products to meet customer needs, we see no need in gathering unnecessary personally identifiable information. Unlike most tech companies, our customers are not the product. We talk to our customers to understand their needs, and do so in purposeful, creative ways.
Be purposeful in your search for data
We know next-to-nothing about our customers, and that’s okay. We don’t know where our customers are located, and we cannot correlate multiple data sources. We aren’t in the business of mining personal information. Our customer data is stored encrypted in our platform, and the only decryption key is stored on our customers’ mobile device. We literally couldn’t access our customer data if we wanted to access it. This is part of our company’s core mission, and why we built the Sudo Platform, which introduces privacy solutions for global brands.
Unlike most tech companies, our customers are not the product.
Collecting every live data point is not the solution. Companies often find themselves sitting on piles and piles of customer data. To build a customer-centric product, what you need to know is simple: What parts of your product bring value to your customers, what parts are stumbling blocks, and what parts need to be improved. Use the principle of samples: A sample is meant to represent the population. Too often, however, companies make the mistake that the sample should be equal to the entire population—and in a data-hungry world, it is more possible than ever to have your “sample” encompass every data point in your system. You do not need all of this data. You just need enough to understand the problems. When we set out to improve certain features, we sample the data, analyze the results, and then stop collecting it. We even go to the extent of deleting the data from the experiment, retaining only aggregate analysis.
Retain a feedback pipeline
Several months ago, we set out to improve the quality of one of our flagship products. To better understand the problem, we started a beta test program. With Apple’s new anonymous TestFlight capabilities, we solicited customers to join beta test groups without knowing anything about them. Literally. We’ve posted anonymous TestFlight links on forums where we know our customers are active. We’ve also shared it with customers that contact us through our support team. Our anonymous beta testers have helped us surface critical issues before our app hit the App Store. By doing this, we improved our App Store rating dramatically, reduced support requests, and improved our crash rate.
At Anonyome Labs, we get creative in reaching our customers.
Some of our customers have voluntarily made themselves known to us and are willing to jump on a conference call to discuss upcoming features, designs, and issues they experience with our products. If you are in the app business like Anonyome Labs, you can implement surveys that pop-up in a customer’s app, without requiring any personal information from them.
Tech companies have increasingly grown irresponsible and unchecked. At Anonyome Labs, we have set the pattern for customer-centric product development with privacy at our core.
If you are interested in leveraging the Sudo Platform and giving your customers complete control of their online presence, check out our website, Anonyome.com