fighting catsCustomer teams translate customer issues and requests to the rest of the company, and translate company news to the customers.

Product managers translate the CEO’s vision AND the aforementioned customer feedback into a practical product.

Too often, though, these jobs are perceived this way:

“Customer teams whine about stupid customer complaints a lot.”

“Product managers prevent customer feedback from getting to the appropriate people.”

There’s value to both roles, but they’re both easy to misinterpret. Here’s two easy ways to make things better:

1. Customer teams should be better about bringing customer stories and pain points, not requests, to the product team (we touched on this in our interview with product managers on customer feedback).

2. Product teams should strive to provide more transparency into what they’re doing with that feedback and how product priorities are being determined.

Try those two things. I guarantee those teams will start treating each other better…and your customers and business will benefit.

Inspired by a great discussion at Product Manager Breakfast SF.
Photo courtesy of Rahen Z.