Gathering user feedback successfully and translating it into actionable items is a must for any business to make informed product decisions. But the challenge lies not in collecting feedback but to understand what to do with the feedback collected.
One of the main goals of gathering customer feedback is to enable communications between you and your customer. As we do businesses online, there is less of the face-to-face communication you find in a physical store front. If we have a real shop, we communicate with our customers on regular basis. And we understand what they like and dislike. They can ask us and we can answer. But in the online world, there's no communication and if we don't have that communication we will not be in a position to understand why our customers are doing what they are doing.
Customer feedback plays a big part in roadmap prioritization at any intelligent business, but feedback takes many forms and not every idea can or should be shuffled from the support queue to the product team.
This system of recording, organizing, sharing, and using customer feedback is the lifeblood of growth for any product. Here’s a look at how we turn feedback and feature requests from customers into actionable assets. We come from the school where we were taught, Customer is king, but with today’s development in technology, we are drowned in feedback. It is necessary to validate and have a process to utilize this kind of large information.
In Essentialism, author and business consultant Greg McKeown says, “Today, technology has lowered the barrier for others to share their opinion about what we should be focusing on. It’s not just information overload; it’s opinion overload.” Opinion overload can affect support, too. But when you’re in tune with product expectations and your goals, you would be in a better position to pay attention to great feedback and ignore the underwhelming stuff.
But there are instances where, we need to take decisions swiftly and get into action. Anything that stops customers on their tracks or prevents them from using the product as intended can be defined as a roadblock. The customer is rightfully frustrated, and the support team is losing time apologizing for things that just need to be fixed.
The only way out is to fix the problem. This solves a product problem, which then solves the support problem. Since support is often the first to hear about roadblocks, these scenarios should make the share-with-product-team shortlist, no questions asked.
Consider who is giving the feedback:-
This is again an important strategy to validate the feedback received. Are you hearing from a long-term product user or a VIP customer who's using every feature available? Or are you hearing from customers at the other end of the spectrum, who are only using the basics? Product experts give the best feedback, and if anyone knows your product well outside of your own team, it’s customers who are already extracting a ton of value. So prioritize these kind of feedback and try to act on it immediately. So when a customer suggests something that would have a meaningful impact and there’s room for a fast change, make sure those ideas get to the right person and right action is taken upon.
We call these updates “CANIs,” or “Constant and Never-ending Improvements.” Over time, little changes go a long way. Data is useful for solidifying your case. “The Numbers” help you offer a meaningful argument with supporting evidence to your product team, but they also bring clarity to the fog that is your own memory. Without data to validate your hunches, you might remember things wrong—that issue you could have sworn you heard 100 times this month was actually mentioned a lot less. A well-organized feedback data will help in a log=ng way to bring in valuable numbers to the table.
A meaningful number attached to any request on features to add, bug reports, or specific user cases helps prevent ambiguity. We use tag counts alongside our own reports to keep track of what customers are talking about. Whether it’s a feature or a non-urgent bug, tags are attached so we have an accurate count of how many people are talking about the same thing.
And lastly, the support team may well know more about what customers are struggling with than the people building the product, and it will negatively affect development if they’re stranded without a means of regularly sharing feedback with the product team. A fierce commitment to gathering, organizing, and sharing feedback plays an important role in pushing your business forward.