MURAL is a digital workspace for visual collaboration, which 40% of Fortune 100 global enterprises use to visually collaborate and bring context to online meetings and workshops, to create diagrams and frameworks, for brainstorming, knowledge sharing, project management, and more. The platform helps innovative teams to think and collaborate visually to solve important problems. MURAL is headquartered in San Francisco and employs over 150 people working remotely across six time zones around the world.
We had the opportunity to chat with Agustin Soler, Co-founder and Head of Product at MURAL. We talked about how to use customer feedback and user research to drive product decisions and the importance of empowering product teams with the right data.
Sofia: Let’s start by talking a little bit about MURAL and what you do there.
Agustin: I’m Agustin Soler, the co-founder and Head of Product at MURAL. I'm in charge of product management, design, and quality assurance, and I work closely with our CTO, Pato Jutard.
At MURAL, we have multiple product teams, which include different functions such as engineering, product management, design, and QA. Each of these product teams takes care of a specific user persona or a part of the user experience.
I started MURAL with the founders of Three Melons, a video games company. Now we’re over 130 people, and the product organization between PMs, designers, and QA consists of 27 team members.
Sofia: I remember you wrote a very helpful article in 2018 called Making sense of customer research at MURAL. This was before you started using EnjoyHQ. Can you tell us a bit about your current process?
Agustin: We’ve gone through different phases to optimize our process as we grow. Alli Blum, who works with us in a couple of marketing and research projects, recommended we give EnjoyHQ a try.
I liked the idea of being able to bring data together seamlessly. We have a Redshift instance where every Intercom conversation, every NPS response, everything goes there, and you can run queries against it. But, it’s not a good way to handle all of the customer feedback we get and all the research we gather.
For instance, we use Satismeter for NPS surveys and Intercom for customer support. All team members, especially client-facing, would send feedback via email and Slack. And of course, we have all the customer interviews, videos, testing sessions, etc.
We use EnjoyHQ to collect and analyze all of this data in several ways. We use it to plan what we're going to work on during the next quarter or for our long term vision. We can easily access our data, quantify it, and see a variety of themes emerging from the classification we’ve done.
It’s great to be able to track changes over time and quickly dig more deeply into the feedback when needed. We look at outliers and trends for 90 days and prioritize opportunities that way. It’s a way to get an idea of the direction to take so we can dig deeper with additional user research.
We automate some classification with rules, and our customer support team does the triage and tagging for the support tickets. This is high-level because there’s still a lot of nuances, and product managers need to read the feedback.
We also use EnjoyHQ to scope a feature once we’ve decided what we need to do the next quarter. PMs and designers can focus on it and go back to EnjoyHQ to find more evidence. They can perform very specific queries and get the context they need to start scoping their work.
Additionally, we export data from EnjoyHQ onto a MURAL canvas so we can arrange the data in different ways. It’s part of the research and collaboration process. If we need to dig deeper, we set up interviews with customers, which we do via Intercom and emails too.
Once we’ve released a feature, we close the feedback loop by identifying all customers who requested it in EnjoyHQ. We send them a personalized email via Intercom, letting them know about the release, and to show them we’re making progress on the problems they’re trying to solve.
Sofia: What’s your advice for product teams who want to optimize the way they use customer feedback to drive product decisions? How should they go about evolving the process?
Agustin: It’s hard. Many people resist new processes because they fear permanence. In our case, when we try a new tool or process we always frame it in terms that communicate the trial-like nature of it. We say if it works, we’ll continue with it and improve it. If it doesn’t, we’ll find out what went wrong and go from there. That approach seems to find a lot of success in my company.
I don't think anyone will be against iteration if you show why you're changing. Explaining why we are making decisions is crucial because it shows there's thinking behind a change. In the case of a tool like EnjoyHQ, people initially will say that it’s complex, etc. But what we have now with EnjoyHQ is far better than what we used to have. Every step takes us to the next level. It’s all about persistence.
I think EnjoyHQ is super helpful for teams that are scaling. When you’re small, you don't notice at first, but slowly you start accumulating a bunch of spreadsheets everywhere. You begin collecting data in different places, and communication becomes fragmented and messy.
Then you hire people, and they start asking how you handle feedback or if there’s a place to access customer feedback or research. If you don’t have an efficient way to answer those questions, you may end up slowing down your team and business growth.
The same happens with duplication. If teams are working on similar areas of research, but they don’t talk to each other, there’s no way to share knowledge and learn. Being able to direct people to a central repository of insight and empower them to answer questions quickly is crucial when you are scaling.