What is a Product Feedback Loop and How Can You Leverage it?

Product Management
March 21, 2023
8 mins read

Businesses are aware of the importance of collecting customer feedback. Most companies are already collecting customer/user feedback consistently and incorporating it into their product strategies.

However, most companies still struggle with building a consistent product feedback loop that includes actionable information. This article will help you build a product feedback loop from scratch as well as help you with feedback loop organizational strategy. So, let’s get started! 

What is a Product Feedback Loop? 

A product feedback loop is a strategy that businesses use for consistent product development and improvement, based on customers’ feedback and suggestions. 

According to a survey, customer experience will soon outperform key brand differentiators like the price of a product. The day is not far when customers will solely make purchases based on experience. A product feedback loop provides businesses with a closer look into customer insights to create a remarkable customer experience. 

A product feedback loop (also known as a customer feedback loop) is all about capturing customer feedback, analyzing this feedback, and incorporating the conclusions within the product strategy. The loop gets repeated in this way. 

Product Feedback Loop Stages
Product Feedback Loop Flywheel

Why is a Product Feedback Loop Important? 

A customer feedback loop is the cornerstone of your customer engagement activities. It helps you stay updated about your customers' needs, preferences, and complaints and plan ways to improve products based on their feedback. 

A product management feedback loop works like a fact-checker for companies. Sometimes the strategies of the product team are not aligned with the customers. A product feedback loop helps product managers to understand whether their ideas and solutions are properly aligned with customers’ expectations. 

Wondering why a product feedback loop is important? Here is why - 

  • Feedback loops help companies to nurture their relationships with customers. A product feedback loop addresses customers’ complaints and expectations to ensure that the trust and loyalty factors are established. As a result, product managers can retain existing customers and ensure the acquisition of new customers. 
  • The purchase experience is a major brand-differentiating factor for customers. Satisfactory purchase experience can retain customers for long, while unsatisfactory experience can force customers to switch brands. That’s exactly why building an efficient customer feedback loop matters for businesses. It gives product owners an in-depth visibility into customers’ purchase experiences. 

Some of the metrics that should be a key role in your product feedback loop are as follows

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) 

CSAT is a great customer feedback metric that measures the level of customer satisfaction. This product experience metric should be an integral part of your product feedback loop as it evaluates the efficiency of your customer engagement activities. 

Customer Effort Score (CES) 

CES is a transactional metric that estimates how simple your product is and to wha kit extent the customers are required to put effort into using the product. For example, you can ask questions like “How easily can you use our product/solution?” to find out the CES of a product. This metric again adds a lot of value to your product feedback loop. 

Net Promoter Score (NPS) 

NPS measures customer loyalty. NPS should be a part of your product feedback loop as it can segment your customers into three segments - promoters, passive, and detractors based on their loyalty level. Accordingly, companies can get an idea of which customers to prioritize and they can modify the customer feedback loop accordingly. 

Examples of Amazon’s Product Feedback Loops 

Global eCommerce giant Amazon has a successful customer feedback loop that helps this brand to close millions of customers regularly. Amazon’s efficient data team is responsible for gathering customer feedback, evaluating customer feedback and converting it into actionable takeaways that can improve customers’ journey. 

Amazon's Product Feedback Loop

Amazon has built an automated feedback loop where the focus is more on showing customers that Amazon takes initiatives to resolve customers’ issues. Initially, it was a challenge for the eCommerce brand to regularly evaluate and incorporate millions of customer feedback. To deal with this, Amazon’s internal team has built a bespoke solution that captures, analyzes and incorporates customer feedback competently. 

Here is how Amazon achieved this - 

Utilizing VoC data 

Initially, Amazon focused on structuring customer data based on different themes like pricing, selection, etc., and trigger follow-up emails to the customers to respond to their complaints. The brand made sure that these follow-up responses don’t sound auto-generated. The brand was very particular about making the customers realize that they genuinely care about customer feedback. 

Feedback data tagging 

Amazon’s internal teams meticulously tagged the follow-up responses with the data themes to personalize the triggered messages. Effective data tagging has helped Amazon to personalize follow-up responses and encourage the customers to see if the suggested changes are incorporated. Furthermore, Amazon consistently tracks NPS to get visibility into customer sentiment. 

4 Steps to implement a product feedback loop right away 

Here are the major steps to implement a build and implement a product feedback loop in your organization: 

Step 1: Collect feedback from customers 

The very first step to building a feedback loop is collecting customer/user feedback. Some of the popular tools to collect user feedback or customer feedback are: 

  • Customer survey through emails 
  • Live chat survey 
  • Online review portals 
  • Social media tracking 

The data you collect from these portals are often sufficient to measure KPIs(Key Performance Indicators)like CSAT and NPS. However, the feedback collection tools can change depending on the business type and industry. 

Step 2: Analyze and evaluate customer feedback 

Once you have all the user feedback data, it is time to analyze the data and find a pattern in customer behavior. You may find certain features within your products that all customers are questioning or some product issues that customers are bringing up again and again. 

These patterns can provide in-depth insights into your customer experience. Once the feedback analysis is complete, the product manager can find a list of key takeaways from the process and share these with the product development, marketing, and sales teams to make it part of their strategies. 

Building blocks of effective product feedback loop

Step 3: Incorporate feedback in product strategy 

When all internal stakeholders know the insights from the product feedback survey, it is time to start A/B testing. Product development teams can make certain changes in the product based on customer feedback and experiment which version is becoming more popular among the customers. 

In this stage, product owners should start collecting additional feedback from customers. It would help them understand whether the changes and updates made to the product are working for the customers or not. 

Step 4: Follow-up and close the loop 

Finally, it is time to close the customer feedback loop. However, product managers should perform some actions before closing the product feedback loop: 

  • If you referred to a particular customer’s feedback to identify and fix a bug in your product, send them a personalized email mentioning this. Also, ask them to share their feedback post bug fixing. 
  • Once the product is updated and most bugs are fixed, you can ask your marketing teams to reveal it across different channels and request the customers to update their reviews. 
  • Before closing the feedback loop, it is also important to follow up with the loyal customers who have left positive feedback and request them to provide testimonials for your website. You can use these testimonials as social proof and build a credible brand image. 

Product feedback loop best practices 

Does developing a product feedback loop sound difficult? Well, here are some best practices to simplify the process of the product feedback loop: 

1. Focus on feedback sources that matter

The first step toward building a successful customer feedback loop is to focus on the right sources. Initially, companies can start off with a single feedback loop as managing too many can be overwhelming. 

However, as the business grows, you must build a mix of feedback sources for a deeper level of understanding of customers’ expectations. For example, you can start with using social media as your sole product feedback source. But going forward, you can also include review portals, customer survey emails, etc. to collect more data. 

2. Be ruthless when it comes to prioritizing 

Collecting product feedback is not sufficient unless you learn how to prioritize them. For example, there can be 1000 product reviews and product teams can't respond to each one of them. So, product managers should ruthlessly prioritize the most critical user feedback and take actions accordingly. 

3. Remove all internal bottlenecks 

Internal roadblocks and silos can affect your product feedback loop. For example, in most SaaS companies, the customer success manager is the only person who communicates directly with customers. 

This can often create a communication gap and the product development teams might not fully understand what the customers are demanding. To eliminate such bottlenecks, there must be an open communication network and other team members can also interact with customers if required. 

4. Close one product feedback loop to open another one 

Closing a product feedback loop is definitely not the end! In fact, companies should look at it as an opportunity to open another loop - the engagement loop. Once you start interacting with a customer, make sure that you use them as a consistent resource for your company. 

Best tools for product feedback loop 

Here are a few tools that you can start using to build your product feedback loop: 

1. Zeda.io

Zeda.io is a powerful tool specially designed by and for SaaS product managers. It helps you across all steps of building the customer feedback loop. Zeda.io is a one-stop tool that covers each step and element of a product feedback tool. Instead of going for other tools that cover only 1 or 2 elements, go for Zeda.io which includes a complete kit to build and manage your product feedback loop. Here are the different ways you can use this tool in your favor: 

  • An efficient and responsive customer feedback portal where you can easily onboard the customers to share their reviews and feature requests. 
  • An interactive feedback analysis dashboard that consolidates reviews, feature requests, ideas, and suggestions on the product in a single place. 
  • Analyze customer feedback meticulously, identify common trends in customer feedback and plan your actions accordingly. 

2. SurveyMonkey

SurveyMonkey can be your go-to tool for direct feedback collection from customers. It includes 100+ survey templates that simplify companies' online customer survey process. However, for small businesses, this tool is rather expensive as most of the advanced features of SurveyMonkey are part of the premium plan. Plus, implementing automation can be difficult with this tool. 

3. Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk is a powerful live chat platform that helps businesses collect instant feedback and provide quick responses to customers. This self-service tool can empower customers by automating the feedback collection process. 

4. G2

G2 is a top review portal where customers provide authentic reviews for software brands. Product managers can use this tool as a major source to genuine customer feedback and use these customer reviews as a priority in building the customer feedback loop process.

We hope that you now have a detailed understanding of the product feedback loop and how it works. If you are struggling with building a product feedback loop from scratch, it is time that you explore Zeda.io. It can help you from the feedback collection to the implementation stage. Join the waitlist here!


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