Leaders must foster collaboration between engineering, customer success teams

I love the collaboration that I get to witness working within the world of startups. In fact, seeing this clear window of teamwork and connection develop at early-stage companies was a critical motivator in my decision to start another tech company.

In my experience, at the beginning of any startup, it is so small that everyone is habituated to working with everyone. However, maintaining that culture of collaboration and codifying it to be part of your company’s DNA is critical to your growth.

In my experience and in talking to other founders, as a company scales there are two teams that grow separated from each other, sometimes to the point where neither clearly understands what the other team is doing. These two teams are engineering and customer success.

Continue reading this column in Forbes, where it first appeared.

Christian Wiklund is CEO of unitQ.


Digging deep on AI with Niklas Lindstrom

Niklas Lindstrom, our CTO and Co-Founder who was recently named one of the top CTO’s in the analytics startup space, appeared recently on the Hashtag Trending Weekend Edition podcast to give a deep dive into AI and unitQ.

Interviewed by Jim Love, publisher of IT World Canada, Nik discusses how unitQ makes sense of data — via AI — that unitQ ingests to provide our customers a real-time understanding of the Voice of the Customer. This parsed data enables organizations to build exceptional customer experiences based on that user feedback.

Human in the loop

Nik explains the “human in the loop” concept, where unitQ uses “data labelers” and machine learning to train the AI to accurately recognize what people are saying about organizations on Twitter, Reddit, Discord, app store reviews, chatbots, support tickets, and you name it.

“So we need to have very detailed labels on it. And it’s a challenge for, I think, all AI companies out there that they have to tackle, that they have to treat the data as the most valuable asset they have,” Nik says.

The collective mind

Nik says building an AI is a symbiosis between humans and machines.

“So an AI can never become better than me if I would be the only data labeler. But if we work as a team here, Jim, we can train an AI to become better than one of us, because we have a collective.”

What’s more, data always needs constant training and auditing because it can become biased, Nik says.

“You need to build and you need to train the AI with data that you trust, something that you 100% rely on. But you also need to keep auditing AI. So even after it’s trained, you need to make sure that it’s doing what you expect it to do, so it doesn’t get any assumption to say something wrong,” Nik adds.

Listen to the podcast here.

To learn how unitQ and its AI-driven platform can help your organization understand the Voice of the Customer to help create exceptional user experiences, schedule a demo today!

David Kravets is the Senior Content Marketing Manager for unitQ.


Embrace customer feedback data to drive business success

It’s no surprise that today’s customers have high expectations when it comes to product quality. And companies have high expectations as well — product quality is incredibly important to an organization’s ability to differentiate itself and compete. But if those expectations aren’t met — if there’s a disconnect between customers’ expectations and how the product actually functions — customers can become frustrated. They might go to a competitor, or they might simply give up on the product altogether.

It is critical for organizations to remember that what you can’t measure, you can’t improve. Fortunately, in today’s environment, there is an opportunity to utilize data collected from users to address quality in a way that wasn’t possible even a few years ago. 

The most significant piece of data for organizations to consider is the voice of the customer. This data is the single most important source of truth when it comes to product quality, and it comes complete with actionable insights and precise information about what users are saying about your product’s performance, features and capabilities. 

Continue reading this story in Profile Magazine, where it originally appeared.

Christian Wiklund is unitQ CEO and Co-Founder.


How to measure the three Ps of business to elevate brand product quality

Much has been written about the three Ps of business — people, process and product — as they amount to a fundamental foundation for every company. While data is critical for improvement and to enable leaders to make informed decisions for the betterment of the business, measuring the three Ps with quantitative data has historically been a challenge.

‍With new tools embracing artificial intelligence and automation, it is now possible to progress from a qualitative view of the three Ps and transform them into quantitative, measurable areas. This allows business leaders to evaluate a brand’s quality, or even a customer experience agent’s performance, by taking a data-driven approach.

‍Read on as we explore some of the measurable data available for the three Ps, and how organizations might exploit that data.

Continue reading this post on the MaestroQA blog, where it originally appeared.

Larrita Browning is Head of Marketing at MaestroQA.


Leverage what you have or build new features in a tough economy?

It was my love for building that initially drew me to engineering, but it has been my sense of focus and persistence that has helped me build two successful tech companies. Lately, I’ve noticed a worrying trend within the startup world: a lack of company focus. In today’s environment of hiring freezes, layoffs and decreased VC spending, focus seems like one of the most important topics for organizations to address.

When companies over-prioritize building new product features, they constantly shift their attention from one new shiny thing to another. This can lead to a scattered core solution, customer churn and financial burn. But when you optimize to fix what you have to improve product quality—instead of budgeting for building new features—organizations can increase retention, engagement and conversion during uncertain economic times.

There are so many upsides to fixing issues and working on your foundation. I was recently asked about tips to help leverage focus and build a strong organizational foundation. Here are my top three:

Continue reading this article on Forbes, where it originally appeared.

Christian Wiklund is unitQ CEO and Co-Founder.


The data CIOs are missing from their tech stacks

One thing that connects nearly all companies in today’s digital world is the universal quest for data. From data modeling solutions to business intelligence tools, there has been a big explosion of access to data velocity, volume and variety across all stages of companies—from startups to enterprises. Chief information officers (CIOs) are at the center of this movement, leading data revolutions at companies around the globe—but right now all technical talent is paying attention to what data is sharing.

However, I have seen many CIOs get bogged down by numbers and forget about both the qualitative and quantitative data coming from the audience who knows their company better than anyone: their customers.

I believe that to fully understand what the data tools are processing today, CIOs also need to prioritize paying attention to the voice and lens of their users. And I don’t just mean looking at how long customers stay on a webpage or what links have the highest click-back rates. Here are my four tips that CIOs can incorporate for their teams to help tap into new metrics and get better data to help their organization:

Continue reading on Forbes, where this article was originally published.

Christian Wiklund is unitQ co-founder and CEO.


Take Your Product’s Quality to the Moon

You may have heard that we reference “Product Quality” quite a bit here at unitQ. We believe quality is more than just product experience, it’s the entire surface area of a company. It’s also a characteristic that will become more instrumental for business success in the coming years. As its prominence is rising across different industries, let’s talk about how teams can take their product’s quality to the moon. 

Meet Product Expectations

The key is making sure the product works as expected. When someone is using a product, they have an expectation that things should work in a certain way. If there’s a disconnect with what’s expected with any product, it will cause dissatisfaction and ultimately churn. To prevent this from happening, the best place for businesses to start is leveraging user feedback data. The user base has almost complete test coverage as they interact with the product and its features everyday. If businesses can capture the data, extract actionable insights, and ensure the right information reaches the right person at the right time — they’ll empower their teams to take a data-driven approach to product quality and stay ahead of the competition.

Stay Laser Focused on Mission-Critical Insights

Many teams struggle with the manual and resource-intensive process of gathering and analyzing user feedback. There’s daily feedback to continuously comb through across multiple sources and across many different languages. In addition, users have various ways of articulating their experiences. The best way to overcome this challenge is finding an interface that can decipher the key insights and remove the noise. Once teams have that component established, they can begin to understand what needs to be fixed and build to drive superior product quality and experience.

Differentiate with Product Quality 

Companies can buy traffic, create feature differentiators, launch new things, but all these efforts are in vain if they’re not providing the best experience for their users. For example, if they’re spending money on advertising to drive traffic and users are met with a subpar product experience, users will turn away and the spend would be inefficient. If companies focus more efforts on holding themselves accountable to provide the best user experience, they’ll spend budget more efficiently, see really impactful results, and avoid churn.

Retain Users with Quality

Retention is growth. If you build a product that can retain users with high engagement and high conversion, then growth will come. Getting users to show up is the easy part, the hard part is keeping them around, and product quality has a huge impact on how long they’ll stay. Staying on top of product quality will allow you to squeeze more juice out of the lemon and make every marketing dollar you spend count.

What Doesn’t Get Measured Doesn’t Improve

Leadership needs to be able to measure things in a clear and measurable way in order to set goals and drive better outcomes for their users and, in turn, their company. When I talk with senior leadership teams and board members, I often ask: “How do you measure product quality?” The consensus was they didn’t have a metric. Now they do with the unitQ Score — the first product quality metric that helps businesses find and fix the right issues fast, deliver superior product quality and experience, and drive retention and growth.