April 28, 2019

Just shipped last Thursday. Got 4 users this far, and all of them didn't respond to our text.

Vincent Liao @vinliao

Hey guys, this is really baffling me and I honestly don't know what to do. We are building a SaaS tool that lets online marketplace seller calculate their income seamlessly and quickly. This far, we have 4 users and we contacted each and every one of them, asking for their experience and feedback using the web app, and whether it's useful for them (whether we have product/market fit). None of them replied. Their response is one of the most important thing we could have right now and none of them responded.

What would you guys do if you were in my shoes?

  1. 4

    Hi Vincent. First of all, I think you are being too hard on yourself. It's only a couple of days, and you already have 4 users. That's a good sign, but it's still a very very small number. Don't worry too much.

    That being said, when you say text, do you mean via an Intercom like chat bot? If I were you, I will consider emailing them from your personal email. Nothing beats authenticity.

    Are you currently tracking their activities on the site using tracking tools like FullStory, Hotjar, etc? That might be a good data to collect.

    1. 1

      Yes I contacted them directly. We have a text input for them to tell the name of their store on the marketplace, and we keep those names. We just directly go to the marketplace, search for the name of their store, and chat them up.

      We started off with talking to them like normal, just some normal back and forth, but when asked about the app, they didn't reply. They just ditched the conversation.

      1. 3

        Honestly, don't worry about it, and don't be discouraged, you are only less than a week in :) - Surveys are always a numbers' game.

        Maybe they are a bit lazy, or they haven't played around with the app much to give meaningful feedback. I'd suggest you wait until you have more users while keep A/B testing on how you ask.

        Some suggestions:

        • Make it very easy for them to answer: I don't know how you ask them, but I guess you ask them manually, with open-ended questions? If yes, consider asking them multiple choices or 'yes or no' questions. This way it's less burden for the users. You can use services like Hotjar to automate this.
        • Be clear on what you want to ask: what's your goal? "Getting feedback" is too general. What exactly do you want to know? Their motivation in signing up? How they use certain features?
        1. 1

          Thanks for the kind words Jovian, I really appreciate it. We asked open ended question and maybe that's burdening them and we make them really easy NOT to reply.

          Thanks for the reply Jovian, I really appreciate it.

          1. 3

            No problem! Check out Hotjar's blog: https://www.hotjar.com/blog - They have fantastic content on customer's development best practices. Their Content Lead @Louis_Grenier is also a fantastic guy with a great podcast.

  2. 2

    @vinliao - In hoping that you are open to honest responses here and won't take it personally, here is what I'd say.

    "building a SaaS tool that lets online marketplace seller calculate their income seamlessly and quickly"

    That to me sounds like a Razorfish answer. What exactly do you do again?
    (see https://youtu.be/lxeCAOimziQ?t=9 and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Razorfish_(company)#60_Minutes_II_interview to understand my reference)

    As others have mentioned, you'll have to be more clear in what is it you do and the ask. Also, please ensure that your audience is put first in whatever it is you are requesting them to do. Turn it into something that would want them to give and not feel obligated or worse - ignore entirely.

    IMO and like I was stating in an earlier post, you'll see a better response when it is more about "them" and not "you".

    No one knows what you have to offer better than you yourself. Take time, re-analyze and understand if you did anything incorrectly before you do it again, correctly. Go get them. 🚀

    1. 1

      What exactly do you do again?

      We observed that online sellers on Indonesian marketplace still have inefficiencies when handling their finances, often time they still calculate their profit and loss manually by hand, which is pretty tiresome especially if they sell on multiple marketplace and sell hundreds of product a month.

      We're trying to address this inefficiency by creating a SaaS that help them calculate their profit and loss in minutes, just with a few clicks.

      I really appreciate it when you point out that you don't clearly understand our "elevator pitch." Looks like we have to improve it so other people (especially our user) understand it better.

      Also, yes. I think the biggest mistake that we're making here is we're talking about ourselves, not about the user. Fortunately this is a mistake that can be fixed. Thank you!

      1. 1

        Thanks for the additional clarification @vinliao. Not sure what type of platforms are used for marketplaces in Indonesia but I'd assume most such platforms do include inbuilt accounting features. That combined with external business & accounting software such as Xero (https://www.xero.com/id/) should take care of it all, at-least that is my understanding. So, I'm still a bit unclear on what it is you are solving but that might be just me. I might not be a 5th grader but it would always help to use the "ELI5" 🔗approach :)

        https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=ELI5 🔗

        1. 1

          Yes, there are several popular marketplace here in Indonesia, and most of them have built in analytics capability. What I've observed though is if people sell on multiple marketplace, they still manually keep their book. One of the reason is because the data in marketplace A can only be combined manually with marketplace B. Or to put it in other words, we are helping them combine their sales data from multiple marketplace.

          But recently, we've found that people don't really value these kind of things (from the day I posted this, I talked to few other people) and since they don't really need this capability, looks like we're gonna pivot.

          1. 1

            (from the day I posted this, I talked to few other people)
            @vinliao - Glad you're doing it. Way to go. 👍

  3. 2

    I agree with everyone else here that you are expecting immediate responses, and they might not give them to you.

    I would also highly recommend giving them a phone call and when they don't answer leaving a nice message. Something like "Hey there, this is Vincent, the founder of ..., you signed up for our service just last thursday and we are excited to have you! I was wondering if you would be so kind to give us a couple minutes of your time and share your feedback with me. Feel free to reach out over text to this number, its my personal phone or just give a call back. I'm excited to hear how I can make your experience better!"

    I get on the phone with as many customers as possible. Churned customers are the hardest to get a hold of, but its worth it!

    1. 1

      Since many people talked about phoning their user, I am beginning to think to try that method, but I'm really scared talking directly to customer. I've never done it before. Is the best way to handle this anxiety is to just do it?

      1. 1

        Yes. Its a growing experience unfortunately. I am a bit farther along in my business than you, so often times I have my employee do the actual call but I will be on there with them.

        They do the little intros and then I feel comfortable. But it is hard, for me at least, but its one of the most important things, so it must be done. Just hit the dial button.

        1. 1

          Yeah, these things aren't taught in engineering classes so we need to put extra effort on these kinds on things. I just gotta do it I guess.

          Thanks for the reply Grendorf, I really appreciate it!

  4. 2

    Don’t take it personal. We’ve all gotten these net promoter score type of emails enough that they feel pretty automated and easy to ignore. If the feedback is that important to you then you might want to consider incentivizing it.

    Imagine you are on the other end. Do you respond to all of these types of feedback requests? What would it take for you to respond? That’s where I’d spend time thinking.

    Also check out what the conversion rate is on these types of things typically. Even if you had only 1 response that would be a 25% response rate. I would guess the average is lower than that. Since this number is important to you be sure to track it. Goal #1 is to make it greater than 0. Most likely going from 0 to 25% is pretty amazing. If so then the only way to make a more modest improvement would be to add more users.

    1. 1

      What would it take for you to respond?

      That's a really interesting question. I used to respond to feedback request if I find the product helps me greatly and I genuinely want to help those guys improve the product.

      How can I make the user want (or incentivize them) to genuinely help us improve the product?

      1. 2

        Do you charge for your product? Maybe if they fill out a survey you give them a month free?

        If you really want their feedback bad enough you could offer to pay them for it or give them a gift.

        Most likely I would just try to get more people in the funnel before doing anything too radical. Some people just want to do their thing without being bothered.

        Honestly, I think it is time to celebrate that you launched a product and have users already. I would focus on that and think of ways to add more.

        Lastly, if you have their phone number and you really want to talk to them... you could try calling them. I have no problem ignoring what looks like an automated message. But if the owner of a product I just started using called me and wanted to know about how they can make things better for “me”. That could result in a higher conversion.

        1. 1

          So one of the best way of getting feedback for your product is making them want to do it, and one of the best way to do so is by giving them something back for their feedback? Got it. Thanks Todd.

  5. 1

    Hi Vincent, I think you should make easier for your customers to give you a reply. I am co-founder of replybutton.com and we use our product to get feedback from our users. We got around 20% reply rate. Try sending feedback emails with reply buttons below with replybutton.com. It's free. I hope we can help you.

  6. 1

    Hi Vincent,
    Why did you build it in the first place? Who was your target market/customer?
    Can't you go back to those people with whom you built the customer journey to understand what if off now that prevents them from using it?

    1. 1

      Sorry Ana, I don't really understand your question, but from what I understand is that you're saying that I should go to the users directly? We currently can't because we don't even know where they live, but directly interviewing the user would be a great idea

      1. 1

        My point was - I assume you validated your business idea with potential target users before developing your product. My suggestion was to test again that validation with those initial targets.

  7. 1

    This comment was deleted a year ago.

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