What unconventional ways have you found of listening to customers?

Hey! I work at Pause - we're a light, easy to use tool that helps people take time off and organisations to plan work better. We in beta but we plan to launch on Product Hunt soon! We're only a few months old, but starting out, we encountered some difficulties in getting user feedback regularly to improve our product. We realised instead of approaching users, it made more sense to create channels through which users could approach us directly. The easier we made it for customers and users to contact us, the more they did. The more they contacted us, the more bugs and issues we were able to find and fix. So the three things that worked great for us were: 1. Intercom Integration: Intercom offers some good deals to Startups and we were able to incorporate the chatbot into our product. It's super valuable as a way to keep a track on customers, report bugs and quickly contact customers (through chat) 2. Shared Slack Channels: For our largest customers we created shared slack channels with their organisations so they could reach out to us from where they work (it also makes sense for us as we're a Slack bot). We got a lot of feedback and warnings of bugs this way! 3. Low-tech methods: Some of our user base was more comfortable with phoning us or emailing us, so we made those channels available too! We included a phone number and email ID in the onboarding emails we sent to users (and got a lot of calls from there too!) What kind of methods worked for you folks? I'd love to hear them from you :-)


Depending on your audience, gamification can be really effective, your user may not be sensitive to badges and points in that case offer them in app advantages for their contribution, in my previous startup Gooddon (RIP) we scaled up to 500K users giving at least 1 feedback a week using this method!
Tyler Dane
Listening to your competitor's customers might be just as useful. Love the story of how this company found their value prop after seeing how many angry comments were left on their competitor's forum: https://cloak.ist/blog/how-we-go...
Vijaya Jeyakumar
Depending on your product, analytics can be quite powerful without having the customer give you insights. From a backend perspective, you can try tools like Firebase Analytics or a simple data dump to see how users are interacting with your app.