One Little Feature That Could Help Your MVP Succeed

I recently finished reading a book called Absolute Value. The gist of the book says that in the world of Yelp and other customer review sites, people do not buy brands; they buy reviews.

This certainly seems quite true. The author cites a great example of how ASUS motherboards picked up much more in sales than Intel, which already had a brand. That made me think – while we build MVPs, how about displaying customer reviews for the most useful features?

Imagine a scenario: a new user just signed up for your brilliant application that is of course going to solve world hunger (if not more). But when the customer has just signed up and is accessing your application, you do not yet have their trust. They are still trying to make sense of your application and evaluate it for themselves.

What if, just as they are about to use the core feature, they see a small snippet of a customer review showing how that customer benefited from that particular feature? This will give you a chance to communicate with your customer in a very different way. Here’s why this could be useful:

Set expectations

Often, customers see the benefit of a feature much differently than you do. A lot of early signups do not convert because of this mismatch. However, if you’re setting the right expectation beforehand, it will change the customer’s mindset. This will certainly UP the chances of them having a positive reaction to your product.

Say: You’re not alone

With customer feedback from various people, the new customer would realize subconsciously that they are not the only one trying this software. This is hugely beneficial for crossing the chasm and reaching the early majority of customers.

Gain trust

When someone else is talking about the feature, and not you, then the customer will of course find it more trustworthy. Ideally, you could fetch that review from an external site rather than hard-coding it into your application. This will of course entail some work for you in asking your customer to give you an external review. But I’m sure you could offer some discount or perks to incentivize them.

Stun them

If you are bold enough, you might choose to show a negative review, too. It’s about how you turn lemons into lemonade. It would work the way negative keywords work for Google AdWords. You want the customer to know: if you have the same expectations as this dissatisfied customer, we’re sorry, but we are not built for that. Your honesty will create a positive impression on the customer.

I have not seen this happen a lot in the MVP world. But I certainly think you should consider it. It could entirely replace or complement the tutorial you offer to get the customer started with using your application.

I would love to hear your thoughts on it and how you feel this could help.

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Written by:
Jinesh Parekh is the CEO of a Ruby on Rails consulting boutique, Idyllic. Idyllic focusses on building web and mobile solutions led by user experience design that solves real business problems. You can reach out to Jinesh at jparekh [at] idyllic [dot] co.
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