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Take a Long Walk in Your Customer's Shoes

Posted on July 13, 2015

At a startup, every second counts. When a potential customer is interested in your product, you pounce, give them the special treatment and demonstrate the benefits of choosing the little startup that will treat them like a person instead of just a number. Once a customer signs up, the clock begins to tick. You have a very short window to demonstrate your product’s value. The customer is expecting to see a return on their investment immediately with as little friction as possible.

At Kevy, we help eCommerce companies know their customer better and generate more revenue. Our customers expect to see results quickly. In order to do so, we streamlined our on-boarding process to consist of only 2 calls. The first call is for an initial walk-through of how to use Kevy with the customer’s main user, typically a marketer. The second call is with a Kevy engineer and someone from the customer’s development team - we walk-through the implementation process required to get their eCommerce data flowing into Kevy. It’s just placing a little bit of JavaScript on a few pages of their eCommerce store. It’s a well-documented process, and in theory, it’s easy to implement. At least I thought so.

Unfortunately, our recent customers didn’t share the same sentiments. They were having trouble implementing the Kevy JavaScript. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. So, I decided to implement the JavaScript myself for our next customer. I expected to be done in 15 minutes. Why not? I had built what I was implementing. Wrong. It took me 3 tedious hours. I felt the actual pain of my customer as I attempted to use my own product, and it was unbearable.

Throughout my implementation, I documented the gaps in the process and the areas of inefficiencies and duplication. There were 5 discrete steps - 4 steps too many. The next day, I wrote some code to reduce those 5 complex steps into 1 simple step. Consequentially, I had abstracted away the need for the customer to write any code to integrate Kevy with their eCommerce store. Now, it can be done with the simple click of a button. Furthermore, we no longer need that second call during on-boarding. That’s something they will definitely appreciate.

We’ve been selling Kevy as easy to implement. Unfortunately, I hadn’t realized how painful the implementation process was until I took a moment, well 3 hours, to walk in my customers' shoes. It proved to be a tremendously valuable exercise - after I felt their pain, I was incredibly motivated and equipped (through documentation and analysis) to find a simple solution.

About

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Hi, I'm Don Pottinger.

I love building things with computers. At 10 years old, I wrote my first program using BASIC. I built my first computer when I was 12 years old. I studied Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech. Now, I'm a full-stack software developer and entrepreneur passionate about building rich web and mobile apps. My weapons of choice are Ruby, Javascript, and Objective-C.

I live in Atlanta with my amazing wife and son. For fun, I play too much soccer and follow my favorite soccer clubs, FC Barcelona and Arsenal F.C.

My CV so far

  • Chief Technology Officer at Kevy (2014 - Present)
  • Co-founder and Head of Technical Development of Body Boss Fitness (2010 - Present)
  • Co-founder and Head of Technical Development of Kickdrop (2014)
  • Resident Nerd, Full-stack Developer and Backend Team Manager at Big Nerd Ranch (2012 - 2014)
  • IT and Management Consultant for Accenture and Slalom Consulting (2008 - 2012)
  • Graduate of Georgia Tech with BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering (2008)

My Recent Projects

Facts About Me

  • I was born in Jamaica and raised in the United States.
  • I speak English, Spanish and Jamaican Patois.
  • I love to travel. So far, I've visited Peru, Argentina, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Greece, France, Italy, Canada, Jamaica, Hawaii, Mexico and England.