It’s easy to let a week or a month go by without spending time to reflect.
But now we’ve reached the end of 2016, as I’m sure is happening in your own team, we’re taking a little time to look back at what we’ve worked on this year. What’s gone well? What’s failed? And what have we learned that we can take into 2017?
Let’s dive in to our 2016 year in review.
10 years of GoSquared
In February of this year, we celebrated 10 years of GoSquared. While “10 years” is more of a technicality (at the time, the founders were still at school and didn’t have a clue how to code or design), it’s been a momentous year and one where we’ve spent time reflecting on our past, to set us up for the future.
One thing’s for sure – we’ve got a lot more in store for the future.
Introducing Live Chat
Until recently, GoSquared has always been known purely as an analytics platform. This year, we’ve invested a lot of time and energy in expanding the platform to include Live Chat software in addition to our Analytics tools.
Why the heck does GoSquared have a Live Chat product now? It’s a question we’ve been asked more than once. We’re here to make it easier to run and grow your online business. We started with a beautifully simple, accurate web analytics product. We introduced user-level analytics and automation in 2015. In 2016, we’ve taken the next logical step in helping you make use of the valuable data already available in GoSquared.
GoSquared Live Chat enables you to talk to visitors on your website and help convert them to trial users and customers. Live Chat also enables you to talk to your users inside your web or mobile app. And by integrating seamlessly with the GoSquared Analytics and People products, you can talk to your visitors and customers with more confidence and speed than ever.
Inbox for web
A core part of the GoSquared Live Chat product is Inbox. Inbox is a beautiful web app for your team to respond to messages from Live Chat on your website. Inbox is essentially a helpdesk, but one designed for the future, not the 20th century.
With Inbox, you can see all the conversations your team are having with your visitors and customers. You can see all the key info on any customer (powered by People CRM). And you can chat naturally, as you would with a friend, with any visitor or customer via Live Chat and email.
Inbox has been a huge design and engineering project for us, and we’ve been iterating like crazy since getting it in the hands of our first beta testers. Inbox continues to develop every day, and has a bright future ahead in 2017.
Inbox for iOS and Android
In November we launched our first ever native app for iOS and Android. We’ve held off building a native mobile app for years, despite our strong desire to. With Inbox and Live Chat, we felt it was essential to the whole experience, and the future of business <> customer communication, to allow that conversation to continue on mobile.
Inbox for iOS and Android is developing at a rapid pace alongside Inbox for web, and we can’t wait to get many more improvements and updates into the hands of our customers next year.
Updates to People CRM
People CRM is the core to a lot of what we’re working on at GoSquared. It’s the definitive understanding of every visitor, user and customer within your business.
People CRM is not only an incredibly powerful tool for sales teams – it’s used by hundreds of businesses to automate their email marketing and customer communications.
People CRM has continued to evolve in 2016 with more powerful integrations, and improved functionality throughout the product. We’ve also been working to bridge the gap between People and Inbox so you can use the entire GoSquared platform together as one.
Helpful content on the Blog
This year, we’ve learned a lot and have wanted to share as many of our learnings with our customers and the rest of the world through the GoSquared Blog. Here’s a selection of five of our most popular new posts this year.
Product design — How we make complex tasks feel simple
How we designed the filtering interface in People CRM to retain the simplicity customers love, but expand the functionality.
How bad features are born
Most unsuccessful features don’t start with a clear customer problem they’re looking to solve. We share our process for how we aim to avoid shipping bad features to customers.
When should you surprise customers with a new feature?
It’s not very “lean” to build a feature without speaking to customers first, but are there occasions where surprising customers can work out for the best?
Why customer service doesn’t belong in Slack
Customer service tools exist for a reason. While notifications in Slack are helpful, is your team chat tool the right place to be responding to customers?
As little design as possible
As software makers, what can we learn from the world renowned product designer Dieter Rams?
50 issues of GoSquared Weekly
Our weekly email newsletter on building a software business – with content on product, marketing, sales and customer service – has grown from strength to strength this year.
Admittedly, when we started GoSquared Weekly, we didn’t know how long we’d be able to keep it up for. We didn’t know if anyone would want to read it. We didn’t know if we’d have enough great quality content to make our readers happy. But we started and kept going. GoSquared Weekly is one of those projects we’ve just kept our momentum on and we’ve seen the results pay of increasingly each week.
This week we’ll send our 61st issue of GoSquared Weekly to over 15,000 people. You can get it too, if you subscribe now!
Five key learnings
Always pitch the value
As the GoSquared platform has continued to evolve, so has our pitch. We now offer dramatically more value to our customers than we did last year. Building the product is just one side of the value – pitching it, and selling it effectively is just as important.
Don’t give up
There’s been a few key projects we’ve worked on this year where at times it’s felt like giving up would be easier. But our gut and intuition has driven us to keep going and push through the tougher times to eventually see success. Taking a longer term view on things is sometimes the best way to make progress.
Onboarding is never complete
We’ve invested heavily in improving the onboarding experience for new and existing users of GoSquared. As the GoSquared platform continues to evolve, so will the onboarding. As a primarily self-service platform, we live and die by the simplicity and speed of our onboarding flow.
Serverless is the future
As an engineering team, this year we’ve fully embraced the concepts of serverless architecture. The fewer servers we have to manage, the more we can focus our engineering efforts on shipping valuable updates to our customers.
There’s nothing more important than understanding your customers
Very few companies understand their customers at the level they need to build truly valuable products for them. We’ve spent a lot of time this year getting to know more about our customers – from their team to their tools, to the time they take lunch each Wednesday. Getting outside of the office and meeting customers always always pays dividends.
2017 here we come
We look forward to growing with you. Merry Christmas, and here’s to a successful new year.