SWH2 is thrilled to offer this piece from guest blogger, Jim Rudnick of KKT INTERACTIVE Inc.
STARTUP FOUNDERS NEED USER FEEDBACK
If there’s one thing that any startup founders need to know it’s how to get that oh-so-valuable user feedback to help fine-tune their business model….and it’s this single item that seems to cause such a lack of foresight among startup founders too!
Here’s what I mean by way of an example. Let’s say you have built a brand new mobile application and you launch same with as much fanfare as you can build…and you wait for new users to find your website, signup and then download and install the app and then you hope they’ll use your site flow exactly as you’ve imagined. Simply put – this seldom happens as what our experience has shown, is that when it comes to users, they use the signup process in ways you could never have imagined – or in many cases, planned for either.
Look at the simple process of getting users to your website to signup and register as a new user and download/install the software. That may appear to be a basic startup staple that we all use but in fact, do the users you attract “do” just that?
To find out how that works for your own website functionality, we learned to use a feedback tool that can help you gauge exactly how your potential users are “using” your site to signup, register and download and run your startup app.
Our own experience is with a great online tool called GoSquared.com – just such a tool to help you monitor all visitors when they arrive at your website to become users. We signed up for their Standard package that provides us with tons of feedback and numbers for $9 a month, but they do have larger plans at higher costs too. And what does GoSquared provide us with? You get features like immediate visitor numbers, what page they’re on right now, trends to help you gauge what works for visitors, traffic sources, your popular content, your visitors preferences and profiles too….it’s all there. And all is delivered in real time too so you’re not “reacting” to old data but “seeing” real time data as it’s created. That helps, and as we’ve found, it can help big time to show you how your own signup/Register process works for your potential users!
But that’s not all you can monitor for feedback and in fact there are a host of items that you can choose from for real time user feedback. Kissmetrics.com, Wingify.com, Chartbeat.com were some of the ones we looked at…but in the end we decided on Mixpanel.com for our user feedback tool. We chose their Free plan at the start as our numbers are so small…but their plans do grow to encompass much larger sites too.
This tool has an API, that allows you to add to your own code via Properties that make call outs to their server, that show you some great basics for learning about how your users “use” your app. Funnels are my own favourites and they let you build funnels using events you already track with Mixpanel on the fly so you can find where your greatest drop off rates are. To enable funnels you have to track multiple events and build a funnel report using those events and that will require some small coding work by your CTO, but it in fact is a pretty easy system to incorporate in your user feedback functionality.
One more note too…that while it may be fairly easy to incorporate some of the online user feedback tools for your own startup app – the real challenge is in monitoring same and then providing modifications to your user experience to take advantage of this feedback.
Anything else is a true non-starter as founders who look at users who “fall off the cliff” at a certain point in the signup/Register process and then do nothing about it, should keep their day job.
Jim Rudnick is CEO of KKT INTERACTIVE Inc. one of the StartupWeekendHamilton:2 Sponsors who is offering up a full SEO/SEM Seminar entitled “ EXECUTING YOUR GO-TO-MARKET ONLINE STRATEGY ~ A Strategy for Start-Ups” as well as attending the full weekend as a Mentor to help one and all too!