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Improve your customer retention by applying the Mom test

The Mom Test. Finding the way to customer retention

It’s Mother’s day today – so best wishes to all your Mothers and Grandmothers. Feedback from these wonderful people can help you to build a killer product and generate customer retention too.

One of the business books that has been getting passed around our HQ at Campus North is the Mom Test – or as we call it the Mam Test.

The Mom Test is based around a simple premise.  You shouldn’t ask your Mom (Mam) if your business idea is a good one.  She will always give you a positive answer.


Finding the true needs of your customers

The Mom Test is about asking the difficult questions to get to the ‘true’ needs of your customers.

Finding the questions that give you the answers you need to develop a product or service that will solve the problems that really matter to customers (unless of course your customer is your Mam – then you are off to an awesome start 🙂)

As the author @RobFitz correctly points out.  The reality is that the majority of people that you deal with won’t be as excited as you will be about your product or service as you are.


Sacrifice nice for useful

It’s really ‘nice’ when people say great things, but sometimes your eagerness to please prospective or existing customers can lead you down the wrong path.

You end up building something too bespoke that only fits one customer and becomes a nightmare to scale (been there).

Or, you’ll build something that doesn’t generate enough real value for customers.  They all say it’s great – which is great – but they never use it, so you’ve followed the wrong signals. Built the wrong thing. So no customer retention, which is not great.

In start up land, both of these options mean that ultimately you will fail.  No one wants that to happen.

We were fortunate enough to spend time with the author – Rob Fitzpatrick – a few years back when he did a talk at the first ever Lean Start Up North East.  @Robfitz has literally walked this book around the globe, and it is a great read.  Take a look at


Understanding user feedback online

Of course a lot of online businesses never have the opportunity to ask these questions directly or if they are collecting this information then they aren’t able to assess this information based on the context of the user providing the feedback.

For example are they on a free trial, are they a valuable customer, have they just arrived as a signup.  In all of these cases the feedback will have a different influence on the importance of the feedback they have just shared.

One of the Ignite alumni has come up with the ideal tool to help understand user feedback based on the user importance.  If you are looking to build a killer SaaS product, then could well be the answer to the question that you have been struggling to answer.

If that sounds like something you need. Take a look at


Data Driven Customer Retention

The underlying theme for both the Mom Test and also are based on finding the receipe that makes the products and services you offer stick.  The data you collect from direct questioning and indirect feedback all needs to be managed and developing a cleaer understanding your customer behaviour requires management of the key customer data you collect.

The soft measures; where they live, preferences

The hard measures; when they became a customer, what they have bought, how they react to marketing messages.

This is common sense, however without the correct data management in place it is a very time consuming and difficult process to manage.

It is one of the reasons that we created Websand, marketing automation software linked to your customer data – to make the management of this data easier AND allow you to put marketing strategies in place immediately.

One of the things we are helping customers to do it understand the customer data that they collect.  Finding out which products or services appeal to specific customers and then using this information to generate customer retention through targeted relevant marketing messages.

My Mam doesn’t have a clue what we are actually doing but she thinks it brilliant.


P.S.  It is also worth checking out how impact of positive answers have been used to great effect in developing education remote parts of India by using the ‘Mom’ factor – or as he calls it ‘The Granny effect’ by the award winning educational expert – Sugata Mitra.  Check out his award winning Ted talk here.[vc_single_image image=”3678″ img_size=”full” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” link=””][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1441810762617{background-color: #aaaaaa !important;}”]

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