4 Steps to Get User Feedback Successfully

Step 1: Get user feedback

One of the biggest misconceptions when collecting feedback is that only certain teams (most commonly customer service), are identified as being able to relay it. The truth is actually that every customer-facing team should be involved in the feedback collection process. If you have account executives that conduct calls with customers, they’ll gain plenty of valuable insights, likewise, if you have a copywriter on the marketing team that writes customer case studies, they’re likely to hear useful feedback too. All of the information needs to be collected to make the best decisions for the product and for the company. If you end up reliant on just one team or one source of information, you’ll end up with an incomplete and often inaccurate view of how users perceive your product.

Customer Interviews

Customer interviews are perhaps the ultimate tool in a Product Manager’s toolkit for getting high-quality, detailed user feedback. They’re particularly great for understanding the complete picture and building a broad understanding of what users are currently thinking.

  • Customers have the freedom to say exactly what they want to say — they aren’t constrained by choosing from boxes.
  • When you hear feedback, it’s easy to follow up and probe deeper to get more information (“Tell me more…”).
  • You get to understand the full picture, background, and story behind why a user is providing the feedback.
  • Customers are often appreciative that you’ve taken the time to engage with them and listen to their feedback.
  • Interviews can be time-consuming and hard to scale at mass.
  • When you have a large number of users or different customer personas, you should make sure your interviews are representative of your entire user-base which can be tricky.
  • The customers that are most likely to agree to an interview are already likely to be the most engaged with the product — and therefore may not be a representative sample.
  • The data you get is qualitative so it can be harder to compile and analyze.
  • The interview is only as good as the interviewer — make sure to ask the right questions and actively listen
  • If customers try to soften their feedback, it can be harmful instead of helpful. It’s not always easy to get unfiltered feedback in interviews.

In-App Surveys

In-app surveys are often an easy way to get feedback on very specific parts of your product. Commonly just a single question, but sometimes longer, they’re usually triggered by users taking certain actions within your app and being asked for immediate feedback on how their experience was. They can be great when you already have a hunch that there may be a problem with a specific part of your product, and you want that belief to be validated.

  • Quick and easy to launch new in-app surveys once your survey software is setup
  • Can make it as structured or open-ended as you like
  • Cheap to run and easy to scale
  • Short surveys can get high response rates, resulting in reliable feedback quickly
  • Need to ensure your questions aren’t leading or biased, otherwise, you may get inaccurate feedback
  • To run an in-app survey, you usually need to install external software and may need to pay a subscription fee

On-Site Chats, In-App Chats, and Tickets

Gathering feedback from on-site chats, in-app chats and tickets can be the easiest way to pinpoint areas of improvement for your product. Why? Because users are most likely to contact if they need help or are unhappy about something, meaning that most interactions with users can be valuable learning experiences.

  • If users are willing to actively provide feedback to support, it suggests it’s important to them
  • Can be a good balance between specific feedback by looking at individual tickets and chats, but also the broader picture by looking at the tags
  • Utilizes an existing resource — you’re already providing product support
  • Can be time-sapping for support
  • Usually requires the buy-in of any chat-based teams to be effective

Feedback Inbox

Some companies use a dedicated email address and inbox to collect customer feedback and suggestions for improvements (e.g. feedback@company.com). This email address is then displayed in many different places where customers are (on the website, in-app, in emails, etc). When customers send an email to it, all the feedback goes to a central inbox where it can be reviewed and actioned.

  • The email address is easy to share in multiple locations
  • It’s fairly easy to set up and maintain
  • Usually free or very inexpensive to create another inbox

Cons:

  • Takes more effort for customers to provide feedback than an in-app survey
  • All feedback must be individually read, sorted, and forwarded to the dedicated email — which depending on the volume of it, can take a lot of time.

Public Roadmaps

Public roadmaps show users the priorities of your product — i.e. what you’re working on, planning to work on, and what others think you should be working on. With public roadmaps, users get to upvote and comment on your plans, or propose their own solutions too. You can see our very own public roadmap here :-)

  • By prioritizing what customers vote for, and only building features that they need, you can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your development team
  • The feedback and suggestions you gain are very actionable and solution-based
  • Public roadmaps are a great way to make users feel involved and valued by the business
  • When you can see the number of upvotes for different proposals, it’s easy to justify to users why some feedback is being acted on, while others are not
  • Public roadmaps help companies to make sure they work towards their customer’s agenda instead of their own.
  • Requires active involvement from your users to participate
  • Can be used by competitors to get an insight into your priorities

NPS

Net Promoter Score is one of the most widely used metrics for understanding customer satisfaction and loyalty. Customers are given an NPS survey with one simple question asking “How likely are you to recommend [company] to a friend or colleague?”. Then, they are asked to provide a rating between 0–10 to score their answer, with 10 meaning they are most likely to recommend the product and 0 being the least likely to recommend it. With all scores collected, individual results are categorized into either detractor (scoring 0–6), passives (scoring 6–8), or promoters (scoring 9–10). The overall NPS is then calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.

Step 2: Share feedback

Collecting feedback is just one part of improving your product, sharing it is the next. Unfortunately, many companies are adept at collecting heaps of customer feedback from social media groups, chats, interviews, and the like but never share it with the right people in the organization. Not only does this mean the best decisions aren’t being made, but teams end up feeling like “the left-hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.”

  • To develop the right marketing messages
  • To attract the right customers
  • To create content that resonates with the target audience

Product Development

Developing a product is typically very resource-heavy — it can take a lot of time and money to create, test, and maintain new features. For that reason alone, it’s essential that the Product Developers (and of course, Product Managers) are looped into user feedback. With access to user feedback, they can focus on developing what users actually want, ensure that their resources are being put to good use, and get insights that help the product stay one step ahead of competitors.

  • To build features that users actually want and will use
  • To create a product that’s better than the competition
  • To prioritize scarce development resources effectively

Customer Service

The customer service team has a very important role in collecting feedback through their chats, tickets, emails, and other interactions with users. As users are most likely to contact them if they need help or are unhappy about something, most of these interactions are incredibly valuable learning experiences for the company and can result in tangible improvements in customer satisfaction when acted upon.

  • To be able to capture user feedback and complaints that can lead to product improvements
  • To relay the general mood of customers
  • To know where they need to focus on creating more helpful content (help articles/videos) to assist customers

Sales and Customer Success

The sales and customer success teams bring in new business and seek to retain existing accounts. As such, during their conversations, they’re often the recipients of valuable feedback such as what’s holding back new customers from joining, or what’s motivating existing customers to want to leave. By collecting and sharing this information within the company, other teams such as the developers and marketers can act on it.

  • To help the company understand the pains driving user acquisition and churn
  • To inform other teams of the necessary improvements which will make it easier to persuade customers to join and stay

Data Analytics

Data has no use without context. For Data Scientists and Data Analysts to be able to make reliable assumptions, predictions, and explanations, they need a grasp of the feedback that customers are providing. In fact, customer feedback can often be a reliable predictor of what future data will show — for example, large-scale negative feedback may be a prelude to increased churn at the next billing cycle. Access to user feedback means that Data Analysts can produce better reports that lead to better decisions across the company.

Step 3: Collate, share, prioritize and act on user feedback

The question you’re probably asking yourself right now is; if customer feedback is so important, how can we make sure our company has a way to systematically collect it, share it and act on it? And well…that’s why we invented ProdCamp!

Step 4: Feedback is a loop, not a dead-end

Remember, in a well-run company, the feedback process doesn’t stop after you’ve received it.

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ProdCamp

ProdCamp

ProdCamp — public roadmaps and customer feedback management platform. Connect customer feedback to your #roadmap and focus on what matters. www.prodcamp.com