10 Steps Product Managers Take to Get to The Lovability Line
June 13, 2017

10 Steps Product Managers Take to Get to The Lovability Line

by Brian de Haaff

I bet you can think of at least a few customers who absolutely love your product. They are vocal, share positive feedback, say that you “get” them, and advocate for your company. But let’s face it — you can probably also think of a few customers who merely like your product. And then there are many others who simply tolerate what you do. It takes work to get these customers over the line and into love.

I call this turning point The Lovability Line — it is where customers move from merely tolerating a product to passionately loving it.

At The Lovability Line, you will find that customers start judging your product less on rational criteria and more on emotional ones. This is because they are now invested in what you do and how you do it. And they want to tell people about your product and your team.

I write about this concept in Lovability, my bestselling book for product and company builders. And I share how our team at Aha! first knew we were on to something in 2013. Customers started telling us that they love us — they were delighted with our product and how we treated them. No one loves enterprise software.

So we decided to capture and define what product and company love looks like.

I have written about the building blocks of lovability before on this blog. But today, I want to zero in on The Lovability Line — the sweet spot where lifelong loyalty and passion begins. Know that there is no jumping ahead. There are no shortcuts. But the work is worth it.

Here are the building blocks that get you to The Lovability Line and help you surpass it:

1. Hope Your product represents the end to the customer’s long search for something, anything, that might solve their problem or meet their need.

2. Satisfaction The customer has tried the product, and it has delivered as promised. The customer is not in love yet, but they are happy your product did what your marketing said it would.

3. Care This is where customer support steps up to elevate things from a mere transaction to a relationship between your company and the customer.

4. Confidence A meaningful partnership between you and your customer starts to develop. Trust begins to form.

5. Trust The customer is not just confident in what you do, they believe in who you are and that you stand for the values that you espouse.

—————————— The Lovability Line ——————————

6. Scale Your product is always slightly out in front of what your customer needs and even what they expect. You are delivering new functionality before it is even needed.

7. Sustainability You provide continuity for the customer. They are secure that you will be there year after year with the same level of service.

8. Motivation The customer feels that they are better with your product than without. It gives them the motivation to strive to be even better.

9. Fun Your product makes the journey enjoyable, even as the customer is working hard to get there.

10. Halo This is the pinnacle of lovability. Simply put: Your customer says that your product makes them look ridiculously good.

The Lovability Line is where you will find your most loyal customers — the ones who will be with you for the long run. But it is up to you to sustain that love.

The first five blocks are your foundation. You cannot have lovability without them. But you need to go even further to earn the kind of passion and obsessive fandom enjoyed by the world’s top brands.

What building blocks would you add to the list?

Brian de Haaff

Brian de Haaff

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world’s #1 product development software — and the author of the bestseller Lovability and The Startup Adventure newsletter. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the journey of pursuing a meaningful life.

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