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Product Led, Experience Driven

By George Davis

If you work in technology, chances are you’ve at least heard about product-led growth.

Product-led growth (PLG to its friends) means keeping your product at the core of your customer experience. That sounds natural enough, but since products aren’t perfect, it’s also natural for customer-facing teams like Support, Success, Sales, and Marketing to fill gaps for customers. Over time, those filled gaps can grow into a list of customer needs that can only be delivered by hand. PLG is about redirecting that energy into improving your product so that customers can discover value and meet needs without asking for help. It often gets visualized as a bullseye like this one:

PLG has taken off because strong product experiences are insanely efficient at finding and retaining customers, compared to high-touch assistance. But diagrams like the one above can also raise questions that slow down adoption. If Support (and other customer-facing teams) are viewed as peripheral, how can they apply their own expertise and creativity towards product-led growth?

Until this question gets answered, Product and Support teams have trouble collaborating towards a better experience. The consequences can be unacceptable: without meaningful data from Support, Product lacks a complete view of the customer experience. And without Product leading improvements, Support will find itself solving the same problems again and again.

In this post, I share our view for how and why Support – and other customer-facing teams – can participate as essential partners in product-led growth. It starts with a change of perspective: the product-led organization isn’t a flat network – it should be a launchpad, where every customer-facing team works actively to propel the product by providing critical data to the decision-making process. To become product-led, you must also become experience-driven.

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