May 9, 2019

#fyi: How I Know Exactly Where a New Customer Came From

Ryan Frahm @rlfrahm

I just wanted to follow-up my post from yesterday with a really applicable component I added to one of my products recently that has made it crystal clear where the heck a customer came from... A huge question to have answered for any business!

Yesterday's post talked about how valuable it has been for me to focus on reducing the length of my feedback loops to my customers in order to be able to learn as fast as possible when and where you are lacking value. I've put several changes in place within the last 6 months to do just that.

One major, and pretty simple way I've done that is by immediately presenting users with a two question form when they register that asks them where they heard from us. Storing these answers in a place that is both accessible to marketing people (non-techies), and having the form integrate nicely with our UI has always been a struggle.

I recently jumped on the AirTable bandwaggon and realized that it could be a really nice solution for this problem! I've also recently used it for an in-app contextual help documentation widget which is super cool too 🤓. AirTable is great because nearly everyone has grown up with some sort of spreadsheet training through their schooling, so non-technical people can approach it pretty easily. You can also create custom views to format your data in ways that show value immediately to key players.

So I hooked up the AirTable JS SDK to the first step of our on-boarding process, here's what it looks like to an end-user:

(see first image at bottom, I couldn't figure out how to embed the image here)

And the responses, although not perfect, have immediately shown me where my most effective work has been in regards to promoting the product. Instead of guessing where I should create content next, I now have actionable data to make and informed choice with based on real customer feedback.

(see second image at bottom)

It's a crazy comfortable feeling when you have a clear and concise picture to show you where to put your cards next. I now know exactly what outreach methods are working most effectively to grow our customer base.

#fyi #growth

  1. 4

    Nice ryan!

    Small suggestion...

    For some of those channels, you should be able to figure it out by manipulating the URL/UTM tags.

    In that case, asking this question of users is a waste of time. You could use that opportunity to ask them something more valuable instead.

    In the case of word of mouth etc where you don't know the source, I agree this is an awesome trick (and the Airtable API is nice to use too)

    1. 3

      Yeah we use UTM tags too, but I'm also interested in getting in their mind and understanding where they might have heard from us. Because even though they might have clicking on a button on our FB page with the tag, they might have first seen us through an ad yesterday but not clicked, for example.

  2. 3

    Hey @rlfrahm - cool to hear how you're using Airtable. If ever interested in joining our podcast and sharing how e-commerce can benefit from Airtable we'd love to have you on the BuiltOnAir podcast. Https://BuiltOnAir.com

    1. 1

      I'll look into your podcast!

  3. -4

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