I have mentioned before that I spend a lot of time in the puzzle aisle when I am out shopping. I meet the most interesting people. People who are really passionate about jigsaw puzzles. They know what they like and spend the time to find the right puzzles.
I often give these people my business card and ask them to call or e-mail additional comments. By now, I have quite a focus group of people who check in fairly regularly.
Their feedback is invaluable, although often they call with complaints about other puzzle companies products. Lately, I have been hearing about boxes that are poorly made (and fall apart so that the puzzles can not be restored in them), do not stand up properly when empty making it difficult to refer to the box lid, and pictures on the lid that do not match the picture on the actual puzzle.
I love these types of calls and e-mail. I forward them on or summarize them to the rest of the team. I want us to remember that the experience the puzzler has with our product is critical to our success. Too often I have seen companies spend too much time looking internally, and not paying attention to how consumers interact with their products. Being new and small makes it easier for us to respond to consumers likes and dislikes.
So keep the comments and thoughts coming. We really do listen.