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In the hospitality business, gathering and interpreting data is critical to making smart revenue decisions. Information like competitor rates, what market demand looks like at different times during the year, and many other insights help hoteliers and hotel management companies set competitive rates and maximize profits.
OTA Insight helps its customers answer these important questions using real-time, historical, and future data sets, with accessible and easy-to-understand charts. Wanting to strategically expand the features that were most relevant to their customers, OTA Insight needed help gathering customer feedback to decide what to work on next.
The company’s founder wanted the product team to develop a more efficient and organized process for product management as the company scaled. Ivo Minjauw, Director of Product Management at OTA Insight, quickly saw that Productboard “had everything a product manager needs.” Using Productboard, OTA Insight was able to standardize and scale the way they went from an idea on paper to a successful go to market.
Prior to working with Productboard, OTA Insight logged customer feedback in its Slack channel, but was not able to categorize or analyze it. This approach meant that the company was missing out on an opportunity to link their ongoing product strategy with their desire to meet and address customers’ needs. Additionally, the product team at OTA Insight was seeking a more systematic way to solicit additional customer input. They had previously been using multiple systems to capture user feedback and trying to prioritize items in Jira.
Once they started using Productboard, OTA Insight was able to quickly and efficiently overhaul its informal approach to customer feedback. Using the Productboard Portal, the OTA Insight product team can now poll customers and solicit input on specific features during the research phase of their product development process. This helps the product team more easily determine what aspects of a product will be most important and valuable to their customers.
“Productboard's Portal has turned our customers into co-creators.”
The product team can also follow up with the same group of users to validate the feature design further in the development process to ensure they are on the right track. The high level of customer involvement helps build brand loyalty and turns customers into brand ambassadors.
Strategic planning has always held an important role for OTA Insight. Each year, the company sets annual objectives and refreshes their product strategy, which is heavily informed by customer feedback and the company’s strategic product drivers: ease of use, innovation, data coverage and accuracy, and performance and reliability.
Keeping in mind where the industry is going and what the product team hopes to achieve in alignment with those drivers, product managers then come up with a prioritized short list of things to work on that support the annual objectives.
The product team reviews their product roadmap every quarter with leadership. At the quarterly reviews, the product team assesses all of the priorities by scoring the most important items using the same strategic product drivers. The frequent discussions allow OTA Insight to make sure that they’re working on the right things both in the near and long term. They also ensure that their strategic goals stay up to date, and that they’re taking any recent feedback or frequently requested features into account.
With the core development process embedded in Productboard, the product team was able to scale their processes easily as they grew from one to four different products. As the product team grew, OTA Insight hired additional product managers, designers and user experience (UX) researchers, all of whom came to rely on Productboard to understand customer feedback and product priorities.
Using Productboard to formalize how product managers prioritize feedback and provide visibility and context for UX researchers makes it easy for the team to understand the biggest user needs and to help everyone agree about what to build next, keeping everyone on the same page from beginning to end.
As OTA Insight has grown, aligning product, design, and engineering teams has been critical to ensuring that the company is focusing on the right features and building them out in a way that successfully meets customer needs.
Using Productboard allows the company to automate that alignment process, with the product team steering the process, designers clearly understanding expectations and intent, and engineering being aware in advance of what’s coming down the pipeline.
“Productboard helps turn your product team into a continuous innovation engine, much like Salesforce helps sales teams become revenue generating engines.”
The streamlined alignment process also allows Minjauw and his product managers to be more strategic in their roles. Instead of focusing on continuous administration, his team can now find the always up to date information in Productboard. Minjauw and his team now have more time to focus on how to strategically build the best possible products.
Additionally, tracking everything in Productboard allows product managers to gate the phases of product development and to make sure that everyone can stay up to date and track their progress at any given time, allowing other teams to have full visibility.
Once a new product is out of beta testing and goes to market, Productboard allows OTA Insight to privately message customers to let them know that the feature the customer wanted was built. The company can also send the full list of customers that wanted the feature to the OTA Insight sales team, allowing salespeople to connect with the customers in the interest of highly personalized and proactive customer service.
After seeing Productboard’s impact on connecting customer feedback to strategy and how that can increase customer satisfaction, Minjauw says with confidence that “Productboard is the all in one tool to run your product processes and deliver innovation.”
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