Do you remember the last time you went on a road trip? Instead of jumping right into the driver’s seat and hit the accelerator, you probably did some serious research, and maybe, developed a tentative “roadmap” to guide you along the way. After all, a roadmap is your ultimate traveling tool. It keeps you on track, while enabling you to get to your destination safe and sound.
A product roadmap serves a similar purpose for your business.
As an indispensable managerial forecasting tool, a product roadmap is tasked with the mission to outline and establish your objectives. According to Aha! — a company that specializes in helping businesses to develop brilliant roadmaps and product strategies — “The purpose of a product roadmap is to communicate direction and progress to internal teams and external stakeholders.” Put plainly, a product roadmap seeks to give businesses (like yours) the game plan to survive competitions, a vision to pursue, and a future that promises to shine.
The Right to Know: The Importance of a Product Roadmap
We all know that a company can never survive with divided or unclear visions. However, a company can also not survive without its customers. While a product roadmap is the key to keeping your team intact, it is also one of the essential ingredients in customer retention.
As one roadmapping strategy group writes, “Roadmapping is just good planning, for all the areas that contribute to a successful product line.” When done right, a great product roadmap integrates market and customer needs, while closing the gaps between product evolution, time, spending, and technological development. Customers and employees alike love product roadmap because it keeps them informed and excited about tomorrow.
Establishing Connection and Instilling Loyalty
Technology is always evolving. You know it, and so do the customers. No one likes to miss out on the most recent innovation or industry breakthrough. As a company that provides products and services, it is your duty to stay on top of the competition by constantly researching and improving existing products. But how do your customers know your “behind the scene” act?
A clear, concise product roadmap does just the trick. By keeping your customers in the loop with your company’s product evolution, you can effectively cultivate trust and instill loyalty. This is because customers appreciate a transparent business relationship.
Regardless the size and type of business we run, all of us understand the importance of staying ahead of the game. Naturally, we would want to contract with vendors who not only know what they are doing, but also how to get there. Having a well-planned product roadmap enables us to see the vendors visions, while giving us the peace of mind that our needs are being taken care of by the pros.
Developing the Road of Trust
Customer trust can go a long way. A product roadmap will help you to instill customer loyalty and reap unexpected rewards. For example, I was recently asked to write a review of my experience with a vendor on a third-party software review site. I was offered absolutely nothing in return. Meanwhile, the third-party site had some technical issues, which made it impossible for me to submit my review.
Most people would have given up at that point. But I was so determined to get my review posted that I contacted the review site and made sure that the technical issue was resolved.
Looking back, I realize that I had a strong loyalty to my vendor. They have done a great deal for me in the past and made me feel like a valuable customer. As a result, I wanted to make them better. More importantly, I wanted people to know about them and use their services.
I believe in my vendor because they have an organized product roadmap. I know where they are going, and I am happy to follow them to that end.
What about you? Do your customers know your vision? Will they walk with you to that bright future? Create a product roadmap today to let the journey begin.