How much would you invest to prevent a mass customer exodus? Everything Everywhere, the merged T-Mobile / Orange behemoth, was happy to spend £150 per customer to shore up its customer base following the post-merger restructuring.

What did it gain? A reduction in monthly churn from 1.7% to 1.3%, significant given their customers number well into the millions, plus an additional 300,000 customers locked into long-term contracts in place of short-term pre-pay contracts.

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Happy New Year!

I was recently asked what I saw as the major trends, changes, challenges and opportunities for product managers in 2011.

Product managers working in different market sectors, countries and sizes of company will have their own take on this, so here’s my Top 5 from the perspective of a large-ish Business Services company operating in the UK.

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Do you find it difficult to set appropriate financial targets for your product? Recently I’ve been attempting to simplify the process as part of my planning for my company’s next fiscal year and wanted to share an approach I’ve found helpful with you. I’ve created a straightforward spreadsheet, which you are welcome to download and adapt for your own purposes.

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I strongly believe that all software companies should have a manifesto or a set of guidelines which set out in practical terms how they will ensure that their products are intuitive for the types of user for which they’re intended.

For product managers, even if your company or development team doesn’t “get” usability, you can build these into your product requirements and use your Quality Assurance team to check the requirements have been delivered.

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Every now and again, I undertake a DIY tech project. I think it’s because I’m a geek at heart and I like to think to myself a little smugly, “still got it”. This time the brief actually came from my lovely wife: shrink the physical footprint and electricity consumption of the servers running 24/7 in the home office. The beige boxes are going green!

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