How To Support Your Minimum Viable Product With No Tech

Don’t doom your MVP with a bad first impression

  • The user experience isn’t defined.
  • The customer experience isn’t executed according to plan.
  • One or more outliers grow unchecked until the product falls over.
  • The front line of support doesn’t know how to solve or escalate problems.

The Problem: MVP delivery, execution, an support are usually afterthoughts

Customers will actually accept a new product that doesn’t work 100% as expected the first time and every time. What they won’t accept is having to jump through a bunch of broken hoops to purchase, receive, use, and manage the product. Delivery, execution, and support are concepts that have all been set in stone for a while now, and no one wants those things reinvented.

The Solution: A simple playbook

An MVP playbook is a living document that defines and dictates how the product is delivered, executed, and supported. It’s sole purpose is to remove customer friction at every step, by providing information, instructions, and feedback mechanisms to everyone at the company involved in customer interaction.

  • It supports links and images.
  • It can be easily and quickly updated.
  • Most importantly, it can be shared.

The company can’t onboard customers properly or quickly

Acquiring customers is difficult, but keeping them from churning is a constant struggle. That struggle begins with nailing the onboarding process — getting new customers engaged and leading them to value.

  • What information the customer needs from us during onboarding, how they get it, and when they should get it.
  • What information we need from the customer during onboarding, how we get it, and when we should have it.
  • How we determine whether or not a customer is engaged, and when we proactively reach out when they aren’t.
  • What we need from the customer when we reach out.

The user experience isn’t defined

Entrepreneurs also go into an MVP launch with assumptions about how their customers will use the product. Sometimes, these assumptions are way too simple. Other times, these assumptions are just plain wrong. But almost all the time, customers will find workarounds and shortcuts that the startup wasn’t intending to support.

The customer experience isn’t executed according to plan

It’s not just your customers who will have different interpretations of your product, your own team might have different levels of understanding as to what your MVP should do.

  • Highlights of known weaknesses, specific instructions at points where things are most likely to go wrong.
  • Messaging for instructions and explanations to the customer.

One or more outliers grow unchecked until the product falls over

MVPs are designed to fail at the margins. The problem is that the makers of the product usually believe they know what “normal use” means, but the customers will always determine what “normal use” means. And when the customer definition slips closer and closer to a scenario the makers weren’t prepared for, you get an ugly surprise.

The front line of support doesn’t know how to solve or escalate problems

Support always seems to be an afterthought with an MVP. But even when a support plan is created, the problems that we anticipate and assume before launch are nothing like the problems that happen after launch.

I’m a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. Sold ExitEvent. Building TeachingStartup.com & GetSpiffy. Former Automated Insights. More info at joeprocopio.com

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