Feedback first: Why customer input drives our product development
by Matt Davey on
Privacy is a right, and it’s not one you should have to sacrifice for the sake of security. Your password manager should give you more control over how you protect your data, not less. These beliefs guide everything we do as a business — including, most fundamentally, how we develop 1Password.
It’s standard practice in the tech industry to track everything. And to a point, it’s understandable: after all, app usage data makes it infinitely easier to optimise your product. Tracking pixels help you to use your marketing budget more efficiently, and customer profiling makes acquisition much simpler.
But all this comes at a cost: your privacy. People trust us with their most valuable data, and it’s important to us to be worthy of that trust. That’s why we don’t collect any information about how you use 1Password, and we don’t have the slightest idea what you do within the 1Password apps.
It might seem like an unconventional approach to decision-making, but it’s the right one for us. Would it be easier to track our customer’s in-app activity and use data to figure out where to go next? Absolutely. But that’s not who we are, and it’s not what we do.
A lot of companies see collecting data as the goal. We see it as a problem to deal with. The issue with data is that once a company has it, it’s very hard to get rid of it. That’s why we only collect the absolute minimum. We don’t know how you use 1Password, and we’re glad to not have that data.
So, what do we do instead?
We chart the course of our product development by listening to our customers. Really listening. Whether it’s through tweets, interview sessions, user testing, or customer support interactions, we’re always seeking out customer feedback.
Every person at 1Password, including the directors, spends time each week answering customers who write in for support. The entire company makes an effort to understand what people like about the product, what needs improvement, and how people use 1Password.
We try to understand every issue and listen to your stories. Many of these narratives are championed internally, which is how we decide on new features and product updates.
We call this a feedback-first approach.
Our customer service teams regularly report the feedback they receive. The product teams then take a close look at the results and quantify it. We then make judgments and development decisions based on that feedback. The product and design teams will often reach out to customers directly to help them work through their problems and find solutions.
If we need specific or pointed feedback, or if the problem is more involved, we interview the people who use 1Password the most. We host customers in our office to demonstrate new and upcoming features. We also ask our sales team for their opinions, based on the interactions they’ve had in the past. After that, we weigh our options and make a call based on the feedback we’ve received from all these sources.
Big data might be the industry standard, but we’ve never really cared what everybody else is doing. Our product development will always be driven by customer feedback. It’s the only way we collect data, because it’s the only way we can protect your privacy.