My confession as disloyal customer

I'm not a native English speaker - I'm from Slovakia. The level of foreign language education here could definitely be improved, but I've been learning English myself since I was a teenager, started by watching Gossip Girl on torrents like a million times (and I still watch it for nostalgia!). About a year ago, someone recommended Grammarly to me to help with my written English skills, and I fell in love with it instantly. I love the playful design and how it understands the objectives behind your text.

So why don't I want to use Grammarly anymore? I mainly used it for my side gigs, but now I use GPTChat instead. The design isn't as fancy, but it provides better modifications, thanks to which I am learning better phrases, so I feel very confident with the content - more so than I did with Grammarly. And of course, ChatGPT is the solution I need for free.

When I saw that my Grammarly subscription was paid for another year, I was disappointed because it's wasted money for me. But it made me think: why am I not loyal to Grammarly? What can they do to keep me as a customer so that I'll make another purchase in 2024? I can imagine how challenging it must be for them to figure this out. Because I'm sure I'm not alone!

It also made me wonder: am I a product owner for a product where customers can shift to another solution as easily as I did with Grammarly? To another product that is more AI-friendly, more accessible, quicker? How can sales, service, and marketing can complement my product?

So as part of my brainstorming, I drew a few basic models while trying to figure out the balance and direction, built around a growth strategy, highlighting resource allocation in the company from a high-level perspective.

80% product / 5% service / 5% sales / 10% marketing

Indicates that the company aims to feel confident with the product, invests in technical excellence, resulting in good quality, so the service support is not needed as much, and the product development can focus on innovative approaches, where the product sells "itself".

50% product / 20% service / 20% sales / 10% marketing

However the product wins the resource allocation, the space for innovation is not as big, aiming for maintaining good enough quality, where the human touch in customer service and sales increases in importance.

20% product / 40% service / 30% sales / 10% marketing

The service takes the lead, which is understandable since the resources put into the product is only 20%, aiming to maintain quality with a conservative approach to building new things, where, as part of the growth, sales typically focus on new regions.

Obviously, there are many more combinations, which should take into consideration the stage and direction of the organization. For example, a startup in very early stages won't focus on quality or service, but rather on sales and marketing.

I believe we all need to reconsider in the digital solutions industry that the product-led growth era alone is a razor-thin hype, which doesn't build loyalty, so it needs to act with innovative products instead. Sales-led growth strategy alone can die on not investing enough in digital innovation. With poor service, well, it's poor service. Clients should get good service if the product is not ready to scale.

In which stage is your organization? What's its direction? Which growth strategy takes the lead? I got mine!