Behind every groundbreaking product is a team of product managers that are willing to think big. Guesty’s Product Managers spend their days envisioning new and innovative ways to simplify short-term property management and build the tech solutions needed to revolutionize the industry.
So how do they do it? We spoke with veteran Product Manager Hagar Sened to get an inside look at the process that turns great ideas into the features you see on your Guesty dashboard.
How do you initially identify which features need updating or where to introduce entirely new features?
First and foremost, we talk to clients. There’s no better way to understand the needs of property management companies than to go directly to the source. Sometimes clients submit product requests to their Customer Success Managers and we read every single one. Sometimes we ask follow up questions to better understand what they have in mind, and sometimes the requests are for features we already have in the works, which only serves to strengthen our resolve that we need to deliver this feature to our user base.
Another means of identifying places in our software to enhance or add features is to search for any potential friction in user flows. If, for example, a specific Help Center article is generating a lot of traffic, it may indicate to us that the user experience is perhaps not as intuitive as it should be and that the feature may need updating. The same applies to support tickets, repeatedly necessitating the intervention or assistance of our Customer Solutions Team for a specific feature.
What impacts your decision to move forward with a product update or new feature?
We always prioritize based on impact. We ask ourselves: What will best help our users? How many users will be affected? How many users prioritize this? How many tickets about this have been opened?
Each Product Manager has a guild of employees from customer-facing teams that represent the users. We always present our guilds with our ideas and get their feedback before we make any official decisions.
What does the product creation process entail?
After confirming that the introduction of or enhancement to a feature will, indeed, make significant difference to our user base, we begin the ideation phase, in which we work with the design team to create mockups of our concept.
Once we’ve got the mockup, we’ll proceed with usability testing, which involves hopping on calls with users and allowing them to try out the prototype even before we start developing it. Here, we’ll play close attention to the user flow, making sure to test the idea, not the client. This process helps us ensure we build products that will truly benefit our customers, rather than features that only have our subjective support.
From there, we head into the development phase, work with our R&D team to bring the feature to life. We make sure to communicate to the developers the precise problems we’re trying to solve so they understand the story behind the solution they’re building and can orient it accordingly.
What are the final processes before a product is launched?
We don’t take product launches lightly. We are careful to thoroughly review the solution before making it available to users and always begin with a pilot phase to ensure everything is optimal before launching general availability. This is another opportunity for users to influence the final product, which as I’ve said, is so, so important to us.
Of course, once a feature is launched, we don’t just leave it as that. We monitor its adoption, listen to feedback and continue to improve it in any way we can.
We don’t want to create products that just look great or are easy to market. We want to build solutions that truly simplify the processes involved in short-term property management. And that’s why we involve our users as much as possible in all phases of the product life cycle. Who better understands the needs of our users than our users themselves? With their input and our expertise, we’ll continue to expand and enhance the Guesty software to revolutionize the industry and make short-term property management easier across the board.