Whether you manage a website, app, service, there are always customer requests. Even with the differences in all of the business categories, the requests from customers can fall into one of two categories: deep or wide. Let us look at the two types, what they are, along with examples:
“Deep” customer requests refer to increasing the functionality or utility of a product feature. We can also look at it as “improve A also to do B and C.” There are a few a benefits to fulfilling these customer requests. The first is retention. The more customers that use feature A, the higher the retention will be when they see the improvements. It also promotes vendor lock-in. The only downside is a loss of focus. Successful companies have a laser focus on the main features of their products and losing that focus can have consequences.
“Wide” changes can be seen as platform level changes, as opposed to feature level changes. An example would be integrating a product with another. The primary benefit here is that of customer acquisition. Increasing the reach of your product by integrating to another product platform opens co-marketing opportunities. You could also see an increase in revenue, as potential customers might want compatibility with other platforms before they commit.
Newer companies, especially those that are first to market should look to go wide first and then deep. Going wide early helps with early growth, while going deep later will increase customer retention.