Keeping customers updated and informed on the latest progress has always been an essential part of maintaining a positive business-client relationship. But, with so many growing concerns and distractions, customers can quickly lose interest, leading to distrust and dissatisfaction. For this reason, it's crucial to know how to share progress with customers.
Today, we'll dive deep into understanding how to be really good at keeping your customers updated and in the loop, the right way.
Understanding the importance of sharing progress with customers
1. Builds trust and transparency
Regularly updating customers on the progress of a project is what builds trust and brings transparency. But, it's not just about keeping your clients informed; it's about making them feel like they are part of the project.
When you share updates with them, you are inviting them to be part of the process that can help build a stronger sense of trust and transparency. This open communication also provides a clear picture of what’s happening behind the scenes, making customers feel like valued partners and not outsiders in the building process.
2. Enhances customer satisfaction
Trust and transparency also lead to higher customer satisfaction levels. Keeping your customers informed builds that trust in the eyes of your customers ultimately driving their satisfaction levels. When you keep them informed, show your progress, and indicate how close you are to achieving a milestone, it gives your customers a sense of hope and expectation.
But, it's important to note that the updates should be relevant and meaningful. If you're just providing generic updates via newsletters and spammy emails that don't really say anything, it could have the opposite effect leading them to frustration and dissatisfaction.
3. Encourages customer loyalty
Showing your customers timely updates that you are concerned about their feedback and experience will make it easy for them to stay loyal to you in the future.
It's important to understand that customer loyalty is not just about a single deal. You must give equal importance to the post-purchase phase in the customer journey. Build a long-term relationship that extends beyond the current engagement.
Choosing the right communication channels
When it comes to communicating with your customers, it's essential to choose the right communication channels. This can make all the difference in how your customers perceive your project progress. Let’s discuss the key communication channels and which ones are best for sharing project progress.
1. Email updates
Email is a tried and tested method of communication that has been around for decades. It's simple, inexpensive, and provides all the details in one document. Regular email updates can be sent weekly, bi-weekly, or as needed, keeping the project on top of your customer's minds. Additionally, customers can always refer back to the email if they need to remember anything, making it a reliable communication channel.
However, it's important to note that email updates can sometimes be overwhelming, especially if there is a lot of information to convey. Therefore, it's crucial to keep the emails brief and to the point.
2. Project management tools
Project management tools like Asana, Trello, and Basecamp are excellent options for sharing project progress. These tools keep all project information in one place, including deadlines and milestones. They also make exchanging messages on updates and progress more organized and more straightforward than emailing back and forth.
One of the most significant advantages of project management tools is that they allow customers to track projects in real-time. Customers can see how their project is progressing, what tasks have been completed, and what tasks are still outstanding. This level of transparency can help build trust with your customers, as they can see that progress is being made.
3. Social media platforms
Social media has revolutionized the way people communicate in a short time. Tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram are excellent platforms for keeping customers engaged and updated on project progress, as well as upcoming milestones. Social media platforms are particularly useful for businesses that have a large following or for projects that are of public interest.
However, it's important to note that not all customers may be active on social media platforms. Therefore, it's crucial to have alternative communication channels available for those who prefer other methods of communication.
4. Video conferences and calls
Video conferencing is the most engaging way to communicate with customers. They allow for visuals, voice, and real-time demonstrations of project progress. They are particularly useful if you work with remote customers or need to hold project meetings that require conversations and updated project visuals.
Video conferences and calls provide a more personal touch to communication, which can help build stronger relationships with your customers. They also allow for real-time feedback and discussion, which can be beneficial for both parties.
5. Changelog and release management tools
There are obvious limitations to all the channels we discussed earlier. But, to keep things really organized and to provide a timeline of what you’ve been releasing so far, changelog and release management tools are getting popular.
A healthy customer communication cycle usually starts with feedback and ideas that customers share with you. This feedback and ideas, after passing through several phases when materialized are communicated with customers using changelogs and release notes. This completes the feedback loop and is a proven way of keeping customers engaged with your product.
FeedBear is one of a kind tool that comes with a very simple changelog tool to announce any product changes. It's also equipped with an idea board and a product roadmap. Once an idea gets submitted, voted upon, discussed, and developed, you can simply use the changelog tool to publish it as the latest release and everyone who ever interacted with the idea will get notified about it.
Struggling to manage feedback coming from all places? Consolidate customer and team ideas, feedback, and feature requests using FeedBear. Try it out for 14 days, no credit card required. Centralize and prioritize feedback, ideas, and feature requests with ease. Centralize and prioritize feedback, ideas, and feature requests with ease. Sign up now for a 14-day free trial! Sign up now for a 14-day free trial!
Establishing a consistent communication schedule
Effective communication is critical to the success of any product or offering. Once you have your communication channels set up, it's essential to establish a consistent schedule of updates. This ensures that everyone involved in the project is on the same page and that progress is being made according to the plan.
1. Decide the frequency of updates
One of the first things you need to determine is how often you want to update your customers. This will depend on the nature of your building process and the pace at which it moves. Weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly updates are common, but what’s important is to balance the frequency of your updates and under a threshold where you’re not spamming them. You don't want to overwhelm them with too much information too frequently, as it’s frustrating and in the end, harmful.
2. Create a communication calendar
Creating a communication calendar is a very practical way to organize when you’ll update your customers. This way you provide timely updates without any hiccups and your customers don't feel neglected.
A communication calendar also informs or sometimes gives a hint to your customers when they can expect news or updates, which can help manage their expectations and in certain cases, reduce anxiety.
When creating a communication calendar, be sure to include the following information:
- The date and time of the update.
- The type of update (e.g., progress report, milestone achieved, etc.).
- The communication channel (e.g., email, phone call, video conference, etc.).
By planning out this information in advance, your updates remain consistent, informative, and relevant.
3. Adapt to customer preferences
Customers have varying tastes and preferences when it comes to the kind of communication channels. Some may prefer email, while others may prefer phone calls or video conferences. And if you’re dealing with customers with extremely busy schedules where they like to keep the noise minimum, then a changelog makes the most sense. What’s important is to be flexible and adapt to what your customers prefer so that the message gets conveyed.
If you notice that you are not making any headway with one communication channel, be swift to re-evaluate, modify or even replace the channel. But make sure that you’re connected with your customers through one channel or a mix of channels.
Crafting effective release notes and updates
The content of your updates should be
- and engaging.
However, it's not always easy to strike the right balance between providing too much information and not enough. Here are some tips to help you craft effective content for your updates that keep your customers informed and engaged.
1. Highlighting key milestones and achievements
Make sure that vital components of the latest developments are highlighted in the update. This will aid in keeping the customers aware of what's going on and alleviate any concerns they may have.
2. Providing visuals and data to support updates
Provide customers with images like screenshots, charts, graphs, and other visuals as these are great ways to illustrate how much progress has been made and give customers a more tangible look at how your product is evolving for their use rather than just telling them.
3. Setting expectations for the next phase
Communicate the next phase's expectations: It's crucial to give customers visibility into what comes next. Keeping customers updated on the progress of a project is a critical aspect of any successful project, no matter its scale. As discussed earlier, the importance of sharing progress with customers cannot be overemphasized.
There are diverse channels through which customers can be updated and setting up a consistent and effective communication schedule with the customer's preferences in mind will help build a stronger business relationship between you and the customer. Crafting an announcements update should be kept clear, concise, and engaging, with visuals and screenshots.
By implementing these strategies and having a robust communication plan with regular updates, you can successfully keep your customers engaged throughout the project’s development process.
Transform Your Feedback Management for Success
FeedBear is an indispensable solution for startups seeking valuable feedback insights. Its user-friendly design, centralized idea board, customizable roadmap, built-in changelog, seamless integrations, and affordable pricing plans make it the ideal choice for amplifying innovation capabilities.
By harnessing the power of FeedBear, you can unlock the full potential of feedback, foster collaboration, and align your product development efforts with customer needs and desires. Take the next step in transforming your startup's approach to feedback management. Sign up for FeedBear today and unlock a world of possibilities for your business.
FeedBear seamlessly integrates with popular tools like Trello, Jira, Intercom, Slack, and Zapier. Connect your existing workflow with FeedBear to streamline prioritization and stay on top of valuable customer feedback.
FeedBear: A Feedback tool with an Intuitive and Minimal Changelog
FeedBear's idea board is the ultimate tool for startups to effortlessly collect and manage employee ideas. Discover the exceptional features that set it apart:
Create Unlimited Idea Boards for Centrallized Feedback
With FeedBear, you can effortlessly create as many idea boards as you need, consolidating feedback from both your team and customers. This enables a comprehensive view of ideas, empowering you to make informed decisions.
- Comments and Voting for Idea Validation: FeedBear's idea board allows users to leave comments and vote on ideas, giving you valuable insights into the most popular requests. By prioritizing ideas with significant impact, you can fuel your startup's growth and success.
- Organize and Prioritize for Laser-Focused Attention: Easily organize feature requests based on votes, popularity, or current status. This ensures that you focus on the ideas that truly matter, making the most of your limited resources.
- Prevent Duplication with Intelligent Suggestions: FeedBear's intelligent system surfaces similar ideas and suggests them to users, reducing duplication. This smart feature saves time and effort, allowing your team to explore fresh concepts and avoid redundant submissions.
- Merge and Reorganize with Team Empowerment: With FeedBear, merging and reorganizing ideas is a breeze, giving your team complete control. This fosters collaboration, empowers your members, and enhances overall productivity.
- Internal or Public Collaboration for Seamless Alignment: Choose whether to keep your idea board internal or make it public, enabling collaboration across teams. By fostering a cross-functional environment, you can promote innovation and knowledge sharing within your startup.
Create a Customizable Roadmap for Agile Planning
FeedBear's customizable roadmap empowers startups to create and manage a visual product roadmap that aligns with team goals and customer needs.
- Track Progress with Ease: Utilize FeedBear's Kanban-styled board to effortlessly track planned, in-progress, and completed tasks. This visual representation ensures that everyone on your team is aligned and working toward shared objectives.
- Effective Communication for Crystal-Clear Priorities: Customize columns and statuses in the product roadmap to effectively communicate your needs. This clarity helps your team understand priorities and progress, streamlining collaboration and workflow.
Keep Customers in the Loop with Feature Announcements
FeedBear's built-in changelog allows you to keep your customers updated on progress and changes. Seamlessly inform them about the exciting improvements you're making, fostering engagement and excitement.
- The Startup plan starts at just $49 per month, accommodating up to 3 team members. It provides all the essential features you need to effectively manage feedback and drive innovation.
- The Business plan starts at $99 per month and is tailored for larger teams, with unlimited team members. It offers advanced features and additional customization options to support the evolving needs of your growing startup.
Despite its remarkably affordable price point, FeedBear doesn't compromise on features or integrations. You'll have access to all the tools necessary to fuel innovation and create a customer-centric product development process.
Build products and features your customers want using FeedBear. Give it a try for 14 days, free of charge, and see the impact of customer-driven development! Get customer and team feedback easily with FeedBear. Centralize and prioritize feedback, ideas and feature requests. Sign up now for a 14-day free trial and see how it improves your product development!