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Respond’s New Vision, Prototype and Product Process

3 min read Reports
Tyler Wanlass
Tyler Wanlass Team Buffer
Respond’s New Vision, Prototype and Product Process

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Respond Report July 2016

We’re excited to share the latest news from our startup-within-a-startup, Respond. Buffer acquired Respondly in late 2015 and we’ve since been working hard to create a product that helps our customers build great relationships with their users, fans and customers through social customer support.

July’s top stats

  • Booked revenue was up +3% month-over-month
  • We’re nearing 100 paying customers which to date includes some of the amazing support teams at companies like Slack, Intercom, Stripe and
  • Customer churn was down again this month (from 5 last month to 3 this month) and we expect this trend to continue as we get closer to product/market fit.

Defining our vision

After some incredible learnings in June, we took some time last month to further define the vision for us as a team and product. This helps serve as our north star giving us a lens to view all our decisions through:

“Our Mission: To help our customers build great relationships with their users, customers and fans through social customer support.”

Along with this vision we devised a few questions that we can ask ourselves at each fork in the road. Things like:

  • Will this help our customers be more productive and resolve customer issues faster?
  • Will this help our customers build strong relationships with their users, customers and fans?

Prototyping a new experience

As our customer base has grown one challenge we struggled with as a team is scaling. Scaling our product so it’s fast. Scaling our product so that it’s always up and available. And most of all, scaling while minimizing bugs.

In part to address this challenge, back in May of this year we announced that we’d be sunsetting our Free plan so that we could focus our limited resources and ensure a great experience for our paying customers.

But after months of performance issues, challenging bugs and slow progress on the product, we decided to spend a week in July prototyping a new experience that’s insanely fast, simple and incorporates many of our learnings to date. This prototype turned out incredibly well and we’re excited to share more in the coming months.

New product process

The the Respond product team is still rather small and while we don’t eschew process we haven’t fully leaned into it as we’re keen to keep moving as fast as we can. This month however we kicked off a new product development process to help us continue to move faster, have more predicable product sprints and ship improvements sooner.

We’re using some tools to facilitate this new process. Tools like:

We’re always aiming to achieve an optimal build-measure-learn loop. This is critical for us so that we don’t chase our tail or worse run out of resources before we’ve fully found product/market fit.

respond report2

Coming soon: New marketing website

And lastly, towards the end of July, we designed and wrote copy for an all-new landing page for the Respond site. We’ll be building and shipping it in August – keep an eye out :-)


Over to you

Is there anything you’d love to learn more about? Anything we could share more of? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Check out more of our July 2016 monthly reports:

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