“You know, I had something like productboard in mind before I found you guys…”
Matt Griffin sat down with me recently and discussed their old systems for logging feature ideas:
As the SVP of Product at Traxo, the corporate travel data platform, Matt’s role was to focus the fast-growing organization’s efforts. When he came aboard, he was already well versed in making product decisions based on data from surveys, user research, and conversations with prospects. Yet he’d also seen how all of the time and money spent collecting this valuable data culminated in a Word doc, Powerpoint, or PDF that would quickly get buried, never to be seen again.
“We were passing out these $100 Amazon gift cards to customers just so they’d share all these valuable insights with us — insights we could have tracked over the months to spot trends and guide the direction of our product. But we didn’t have a system in place for surfacing these insights down the road.”
Surfacing (and reusing) user insights
That’s when Matt started looking for a tool that could help him collect all of those user insights in one place and put them to use again and again as they made prioritization and design decisions. In particular, he hoped for a way to integrate directly with his team’s existing tools for communicating with prospects and customers — Intercom, Zendesk, and email.
“productboard leaped out as the clear winner for putting user feedback to use.”
Beyond the integrations, Matt’s favorite part of the product is being able to log all of his incoming user feedback but highlight just the key insights — the one or two sentences that represent the key user wisdom within each conversation.
“Once you’ve linked those insights to related feature ideas, they’re always just a click away.”
Matt even uses productboard to spot broader industry trends. That provides insights he can take to investors to demonstrate major opportunities they should be pursuing.
Managing features through to delivery
As feature ideas are winnowed down and Traxo’s product team moves forward with designing the ideal solution, productboard helps expedite the process and smooth the workflow from ideation through delivery.
“Before, there was sort of this lull, where we’d decided what to work on but our designers didn’t have user insights they could use for inspiration right off the bat. Now when we’re in the requirements gathering phase, I know the exact people to follow up with for design interviews… the same people who voiced a need for the features we’re about to go build!”
productboard can also help teams track high-level deliverables, like mock-ups, that are prerequisites for development or launch.
“I actually use the Task columns on a daily basis. I’m always thinking, ‘Ok so what things do I need to get my designer queued up to work on? How do I make sure the dev team is working on the right things?’ productboard has helped me stay on top of all that.”
And when it’s time for preparing final launch materials, Traxo uses the user feedback they’ve categorized in productboard to improve feature naming, documentation, and messaging.
“As we get ready to release a new feature, what better way to ensure our product marketing materials resonate with users than repurpose the very words they used to express a need or request a feature in the first place?”
With its user feedback repository, productboard helps Traxo speak the language of their customers.
Closing major deals
productboard can also help teams track requirements for specific deals. Since Traxo helps companies like Lufthansa, Booking.com and United distribute their travel booking data to the corporate travel ecosystem, value added is enormous, and deals can be sizeable. Large accounts often have specific requirements the product team must meet. With productboard, Traxo can track prospects’ requirements and work on them as the sales cycle progresses.
“productboard allows us to easily categorize qualitative data like key requirements for major deals and keep sales up-to-date on our progress.”
That means deals that might have slipped in the past are on lock. And with breakneck turnaround on feature gaps prospects have identified, they earn large clients’ trust and enter contract negotiations in a stronger position.
Focusing on core user needs
As Matt is quick to point out, there are all kinds of tools you could use to store feature ideas, and just as many ways to design a roadmap, but what’s missing is a way to tie it all together in a way that answers the perennial question of product management:
“Why should we add this feature?”
productboard helps Traxo’s product team answer that question while providing evidence to support their prioritization decisions. But it also supported their effort to define a whole new structure for their product itself.
“We didn’t always have these two products… that was one of the things I really appreciated about the Features board… It was so easy to prototype different ways of thinking about the value our product offers and how we might package our features and bring them to market.”
Using productboard, to organize feature ideas around what user need they addressed, Matt’s team was able to narrow their focus to just two fundamental jobs they hoped to accomplish for end users:
- CONNECT — by helping corporate travel managers understand where employees are and how much they spend on travel
- CAPTURE — by aggregating travel booking data with email parsing
“productboard has helped me focus on what’s important and avoid the rest… it really has been critical for helping me accomplish that aim. When we started out, our product was very feature oriented. Now everything our company does — from sales to marketing, product, to ops and finance — centers on the core user needs we’re addressing.”
From feature ideation through delivery, with productboard team Traxo has all the insights it needs to go places.
productboard is the all-in-one product management platform that helps teams understand what users need, prioritize what to build next, and earn buy-in for their roadmaps. productboard is the product management solution of choice at modern, data-driven companies like Traxo— organizations with passionate teams dedicated to making products that matter.
Traxo provides itinerary data aggregation solutions for corporate and leisure travel agencies, expense management and duty of care providers, and more, to capture off-platform bookings and comprehensively track travel spend — regardless of channel. With API-based and hosted white label solutions, along with private branded email parsing and data normalization solutions, Traxo provides its clients with the most robust suite of data aggregation services on the market.
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When Matt Stein first found productboard, he was looking for a better way to visualize their team’s roadmap. At the time his team was using a variety of tools to categorize user feedback and manage the roadmap — from spreadsheets to presentations.