Though your title may be product manager, you need to be thinking like a product leader. It’s fair game for you to be involved in anything that falls under those three umbrellas.
- Clearly communicate your product to stakeholders
You’re responsible for keeping your stakeholders informed. If there is a breakdown in communication around the product or your upcoming plans for it, then that’s on you. You have to ensure that everybody on the team knows at least on a high level what you’re all working towards.
You can easily achieve this by having an internal roadmap that your team can easily access, alongside wikis, documentation. Also put a premium on open communication - make yourself available to chat and answer any questions and clear up confusion.
- Engage with customer feedback
You’re responsible for engaging with customer feedback. It’s not enough to just keep tabs on whether your client base likes your product. It’s a two-way street.
Test and establish for yourself a consistent way to communicate product changes to your customers - and a way for them to send you feedback in response. For example, you could reach your most active users through in-app messaging, and the rest through email.
Always make sure they know what's going on and have the opportunity to comment on release updates.. Your product’s direction should not be kept a secret. If an upcoming change that will suddenly remove a feature they love, like or expect to have, they need to know about it.
- Impact on KPIs
The most effective way to measure yourself is by taking a look at the impact the changes you are releasing has on your KPIs. As PM, you’re responsible for owning three things:
Customers who churn give you clues about your product’s performance and usability that you’d otherwise miss. You can learn whether they churned because they were never properly
onboarded or after months/years of use, didn’t find value in using your product, or found a competitor doing it better.
Either way, thinking about churn helps you understand where along the customer life cycle your faults lie.
Retention and churn are two sides of the same coin. Instead of looking at why you’re bleeding customers, retention focuses on how to actively to increase customer lifetime value (LTV). That is, what can you do to help them become more successful users, more deeply invested in your product and upgrade to higher value accounts.
Usage is a tricky one, and varies based on the nature of your app. Is your product meant to be used a few times a day? Once a day? Once a month? When you identify that overlap between what a successful user’s habits look like and their usage rates, you have a starting point.