If you're working on a SaaS product or any other software, the chances are that you have a roadmap of some kind in place. You likely have some idea of what features your customers want next and when they will get them. But there's another way to use a product roadmap that can help boost your business, and that's making it public.
A public product roadmap is an essential tool for any SaaS company. A SaaS product roadmap helps you strategize, plan, and prioritize your product development efforts. A public product roadmap can also help you attract investors and customers by giving them an idea of what the future holds for your company.
A public roadmap can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. At its most basic level, a SaaS roadmap simply shows what features will be added to your product in the coming months. But if you want to give your customers more insight into how you're prioritizing development efforts, or if you want to show investors that you have a clear vision for where your business is headed, then a more detailed version of your SaaS product roadmap might be ideal for your needs.
By doing so, you'll be able to engage with more people who might be interested in your product and show them how much work goes into developing new features which can increase customer loyalty and satisfaction with your company as a whole.
Many big names like Airtable, GitHub, Microsoft, etc have joined the public product roadmap bandwagon. Here are some of the best examples of public product roadmaps and how you can use them as a source of inspiration.
If this sounds like something that would benefit your business and make it easier to attract investment, keep reading!
Keep your users in the loop
Public product roadmaps are a great way to keep your users involved in the process of building and improving your product. If you do this right, you’ll find that your customers will be more loyal and more likely to stay with you as long as possible.
Keep in mind that when we say public here, it doesn’t mean open source or free. That would be a bad idea because it would create problems by making it easier for competitors or hackers to access some of your most sensitive information about your plans for future products or features.
So what does it mean? It means communicating openly about what's coming next for the company's products; sharing that information with customers so they can see what is coming soon (and when) but not giving away trade secrets like how much money is being spent on each project right now (that might give competitors insight into where they should invest their own funds).
Show your customers that you care about the feedback
As a SaaS product, you need to get feedback from your customers. The most important reason for this is that it will help you improve the product. But there are other reasons as well:
Customer feedback gives confidence to your team and shows that people care about what you're building.
Feedback can help prioritize features.
Feedback can be used to measure customer satisfaction with the current version of your product.
Feedback can help build better relationships with customers, which in turn leads to more sales opportunities.
Feedback can help you give actionable customer insights.
Feedback can help make a better roadmap because it helps you understand what customers want and why they would buy the next version of your product
Build closer relationships with your users
When you have a product roadmap for your SaaS, you can communicate with your users about the future of your product. When you have an open and transparent SaaS product roadmap, then you can create a better relationship with your customers by listening to their feedback.
The primary reason for having a public product roadmap is to increase user satisfaction which will ultimately help in increasing customer loyalty and retention. By building closer relationships with your users, you will be able to understand their needs better as well as improve upon them by providing new features or enhancements in the next version of the application/service.
Improve customer loyalty and keep users happy
As a strategic product manager you always have a constant challenge to increase customer loyalty for your SaaS product because if no one uses your product, there will be no customers for you! How do you improve customer loyalty? By giving them what they need when they need it (and sometimes before).
You have to actively find out what people want from your service or product and communicate that back through product roadmaps every quarter or so (more often if necessary). This way everyone knows what's coming next so they can get excited about new features or bug fixes - which leads us to our next point.
By making your SaaS product roadmap public, you can engage many more customers and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
The public product roadmap helps you with:
Increased customer satisfaction by engaging with customers on a regular basis.
Increased customer loyalty by sharing the direction of your product development.
Closing customer feedback loop easily and faster.
Better user experience when users know what to expect in the future of the product they are using today. This helps them prepare and plan accordingly for upgrading their current version or switching to other products that may offer features they need and want in the future.
Increased retention of current customers because they will be able to plan ahead for any future upgrades that could impact their business operations if not planned correctly beforehand (if this applies).
By making your product roadmap public, you can engage many more customers and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
This will also help you build a better relationship with the people who use your product in their daily lives. With this information at their fingertips, they’ll feel more involved in company decisions, which leads to more loyalty and hopefully more sales down the line!