Product Feedback Strategy Guide
Feedback is an important form of communication in all kinds of relationships, especially between businesses and customers. Research says that 72% of customers will write a review if you ask them to, yet 42% of companies don’t collect feedback.
But why is collecting product feedback important?
You develop your product for your customers. Feedback is their form of an expression defining their experience with the product. If their experience with your product is unsatisfactory, this will reflect in the feedback, so will the good experience. Therefore it is necessary that you continuously include feedback and reviews from your stakeholders to develop and prioritize features on your product roadmap.
Product feedback further helps in dismissing arbitrary assumptions and validating solid ideas. Read on to have a comprehensive understanding of the product feedback strategy (with a free template).
What is product feedback?
Product feedback is the opinion or information shared by your users (both internal and external) about their experience and satisfaction with the product. This feedback can be solicited or unsolicited, detailed or short, online surveys or interviews. Product feedback is vital to understanding customers’ needs and demands.
Collecting product feedback is a crucial part of your product development process. It helps to improve your product by spotting drawbacks and limitations. Both internal users (different stakeholders involved in the creation of the product) and external users (customers who consume the product) can provide feedback. It can either be to address cons and grievances or applaud the good part or pros.
Requesting feedback helps you improve your product and also makes your customers feel valued and important. Letting your customers know that you are listening and their voices matter can contribute to a healthy customer relationship. There are multiple ways to collect product feedback, some of which we will discuss later.
Benefits of product feedback
Product feedback has a wide range of benefits. Let us have a look at some of them.
1. Product improvement and overall customer satisfaction
One of the fundamental reasons why you have a product feedback form is to improve your product. Once you know what your consumer liked and didn't like, you can develop new strategies to improve the product according to their inputs and demands. This in return will ensure customer satisfaction.
2. Helps in contributing ideas to the product roadmap
The product feedback process helps in generating new and productive ideas for the roadmap. You can prioritize the most requested feature of the product and include it in your roadmap. This will also help you to understand the popularity of a particular feature of your product.
3. Supports the development of a successful product
Analyzing product feedback will help you to discover the areas of improvement further enabling you to identify new ways to satisfy your customers in the highest possible ways. A successful product feedback strategy will enable you to identify customer needs and work on them accordingly.
4. Triggers loyalty from consumers
Trust and understanding are the foundation of any kind of relationship. The same goes with the relationship with your customer. Asking for their feedback means you value their opinions, understand their need, and do your best to make them happy while ensuring to improve the performance of your product.
5. Results in a broader customer base
After you have successfully attracted loyalty from your customers, your consumers are most likely to recommend your product to others. Yes, understanding works. People are social animals, they tend to talk, a lot. If you are good they will talk about you, if you are bad they will talk about you. So focus on the good, and there you have your new customers to satisfy.
Types of product feedback collection
Product feedback collection does not always require you to ask the customer to fill out surveys and forms. Some of them can come off unexpected as well. Product feedback is mainly of two different types
Solicited feedback is when you approach your consumers to share their opinions or reviews. This can be via social media posts, circulating surveys and questionnaires, customer portals for feedback, etc. All the feedback that you request from your customers is solicited feedback.
All the reviews and comments shared by users that are not requested or initiated by you count as unsolicited feedback. For example, social media comments, online reviews, discussions on third-party platforms, etc.
Popular methods of product feedback collection
There are multiple ways a user can leave both solicited and unsolicited feedback. While unsolicited feedback is mostly found on social media forums, posts, comments, review sites, solicited feedback can also be gathered in various ways. Here are some popular methods of feedback collection.
Surveys are a popular form of research tool used in every industry. It helps us to understand customer wants, needs and validate new product ideas.
Surveys can be collected with the help of a feedback form. While formulating the feedback form, please remember to keep the questions simple and short. According to Survey Monkey, the longer the survey form, the lesser time respondents spend answering a particular question, which can bring down the rate of accuracy.
An ideal survey should contain both open-ended and close-ended questions. This will help you to get a clear understanding on both quantitative and qualitative grounds.
To help you understand better, we have made a basic product feedback survey template on a spreadsheet.
Get the free and customizable template here
You can also approach your customers for interviews. It can help you get a deep insight into the customer experience with your product. It is a great way to validate ideas and dismiss assumptions about your product. Interviews are typically detailed and time-consuming. Try to ask open-ended questions to encourage respondents to give a detailed account of their experience.
Focus groups include a discussion with a small group of prospects, where they are encouraged to talk about their perceptions, likes dislikes, and opinions about your product. This is a useful way to get insight into customer behavior and their needs.
Including analytics is a great way to determine the efficiency and popularity of your product. Analytics provides a base for solid data sources. It will help you to understand customer patterns and behavior, and clear assumptions about your product. Using analytics can give you specific data of customers like retention, references, that will help you understand the overall performance of your product.
In-app feedback allows your users to directly communicate with the members of your team. You can include the feedback process in a customer portal to let the customers know you are listening and directly available to them. This will encourage them to communicate openly with your team.
User forums are online discussion sites where consumers can openly discuss your product. This type of feedback is generally unsolicited. Users typically interact and answer each other’s questions, contributing to a reduction of your support costs. Users can speak about new feature requirements, share ideas for product improvements, and have an engaging discussion with the community. These forums can prove to be a beneficial source for gathering feedback.
Important product feedback questions for customers
We talked about the benefits, shared a template, and discussed some of the important product feedback tools. Now it is time to ask the most important question. What type of questions should you include in the product feedback surveys and interviews?
Don’t worry. We will not leave you hanging in suspense Here are some of the important product feedback questions to ask the consumers.
Ease of use
Product feedback questions differ for different types of businesses. One of the questions that you have to ask is about the product's user experience. This will help you understand if you need to modify or simplify any product feature to make the user experience seamless. Here is what you can ask
- On a scale of 1 to 5, how easy it was for you to use our product (5 being the easiest)?
Giving a number-based scale or options like easy, moderate, hard will allow you to understand the level of difficulty or ease and analyze accordingly.
Features of the product
Your product has more than half of its value in its features. You cannot afford to waste time and resources on features that do not appeal to your consumers. Therefore, you must know what your customer liked and disliked about the product features to understand the improvements you have to make. You can also play around with the sentences and present them in a friendly conversational manner. Something like this -
- Would you mind telling us about the best feature? Our developers are eagerly waiting for a celebration party.
- We try our best. But we need you to tell us what we can do better?
- As much as it breaks our hearts to ask, we have to. For the sake of our relationship. Which features did you dislike?
How likely to recommend
This is an important question that must feature on your product feedback form. Asking this question will also help you to understand the user’s real satisfaction with your product and help you determine your Net promoter score (NPS).
- Will you recommend us to others?
- How likely are you to recommend us to your friends on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest)?
And that’s pretty much the basic information you require. You can modify the questions to show your creativity. But make sure you don’t include too many questions. It will exhaust your respondents.
And to product managers, please don’t do this at the end of the product survey :-)
Examples of product feedback collection
Here are some real-life examples of what a successful feedback survey looks like.
Google search paved the way
Let's take notes from the Big G itself. Google always has a way of doing things smoothly. We are talking about how subtly Google slides in the feedback form whenever you search for anything. It’s not loud, not disturbing, and gives users the perfect opportunity to give feedback whenever they want. Have a look.
Your user's time is precious and they decided to spend it on your feedback. Make sure to let them know that their time is not wasted just like Google did. It is called the WIIFM (What’s in it for me) framework.
The unconventional one - Ahrefs
Ahrefs is the most loved SEO tool on the planet for valid reasons. Their CMO, Tim Soulo makes sure to run into Reddit every year to post this meaningful message and encourage users to give feedback on their product.
A simple yet powerful post explaining the reason behind this unique tradition of posting every year, while also making sure that the readers know that they often monitor and engage with the users on various social networking sites and forums. A straightforward and well-organized post urging readers for feedback.
Here is the link, if you want to check it out.
They also have a Facebook group to discuss feedback and ideas, where professionals all over the world interact and learn.
The best use of social media for generating product ideas
Social media is one of the greatest mediums for collecting feedback with 47% of the consumers agreeing they head to social media to file complaints or reviews. And Lemist showed us the correct way to use those ideas. They have a Facebook group where they discuss their strategies, ideas, and tactical approaches. That is how they got the idea to develop a new product Lemwarm, which was based on only one question from a member (Vaibhav Sisinity) that goes something like-
“Can we form a small group where we send emails to ourselves to warm a new domain so it’s all set for an email outreach campaign?”
And boom! Their new product is now live. Here is the link
Don’t shy away from showing your creative skills while getting product feedback
Try traditional product feedback methods. That works too :)
The best customer collaboration with Salesforce
Salesforce has created a unique way to collaborate with customers for suggestions and ideas. Through their platform IdeaExchange, they encourage consumers to leave meaningful suggestions and ideas. Consumers can vote on an idea, and if that idea has more than 250 votes or 2500 points, it is reviewed by the product development team to test its feasibility.
Besides this unique strategy, Salesforce ensures to thank their consumers every time their ideas get selected making them feel valued and important.
Steps to take after the feedback collection
After the essential function of feedback collection is done, it is important to establish a system to arrange and analyze them productively. Here is how you can do it-
Sort them into categories
The first and essential step is to identify the common feedback and sort them into categories. Some of the feedback may be related to feature requests and others for general improvements. When you sort them into categories, you will get an overview of the important categories that deserve attention and prioritize them accordingly.
Analyze the pattern and context
After you sort all of your feedback requests, you will be able to identify the common patterns. You will clearly be able to see what is working and what is not and distinguish the relevant comments among the others.
Prioritize requests and ideas
You may have an array of feedback requests coming your way. While it is important to acknowledge all of them, some of them may not be immediately feasible. Therefore you have to prioritize requests and ideas on the basis of their feasibility and relevancy.
Validate and test the idea
After all the prioritization is done, you have to search for possible ways to test and validate the ideas. You can include all the expert stakeholders from design, development to the marketing team and let them know about the possibility of the new features.
A full-proof product feedback strategy
Any action without strategy witnesses delayed results. The same goes for companies who want to utilize feedback for product improvement. Here are a few things you can do to improve your product feedback strategy.
- Develop an effective product feedback loop
A product feedback loop is a continuous loop of activities that includes the collection of feedback, understanding and analyzing information, and deploying ways to improve the product. In other words, it means a continuous alignment of people, processes, and technology.
Here is what the product feedback loop looks like.
- Use tools to aid your feedback collection and management
A feedback tool helps you in streamlining your product feedback management to a great extent. Here is a list of some important tools to simplify your experience of collecting, analyzing, and managing product feedback.
Zeda.io is a complete product management suite offering product feedback management as one of its essential features. It offers a customer portal where you can view all the information on a feedback dashboard. You can also filter and sort requests based on their importance and urgency and send them directly to your internal team directly on their applications. The feedback process in Zeda.io is rather simple and uncomplicated.
- Zeda offers a customer portal to gather feedback with in-app widgets and integrations.
- Offers a feedback dashboard where you can organize, sort, and prioritize feedback requests and view all of them in the same place.
- Allows to convert feedback into requests and forward them to the respective teams to work on them.
- Allows to identify common feedback and group them.
- Offers a prioritization feature to make it easier to work on the most important and critical requests.
- Allows documentation of the whole process of feedback.
- Supports multiple integrations that sync seamlessly with different tools eliminating the tiring process of running back and forth between multiple applications.
Parlor.io is yet another powerful tool for customer feedback management, allowing multiple integrations and sync with various other business tools. It offers live chats, ticketing systems, analytics platforms, and more.
- Users can collect and import feedback from various sources like Salesforce, Zira, Slack and access it from a central location.
- Allows users to organize, validate and prioritize requests.
- Enables users to gather real-time insights.
- Allows automatic communication to keep the consumers informed about the status of their requests.
Typeform is a product feedback tool popular for user surveys. It allows users to develop questionnaires, surveys, and intuitive forms encouraging respondents to fill the full form leading to higher completion rates. The platform offers pre-built templates, photos and video libraries, an interactive editor, and conditional logic that provides a conversational experience to the end-users.
- Conversational and intuitive form builder.
- Uses Conditional logic.
- Integration with multiple business tools.
- Offers survey analytics.
User report is a product feedback tool best known for understanding customer preferences. It mainly has two widgets- a survey widget and a feedback widget. This platform allows you to directly interact with the users and capture real-time insights from customers’ visits to your website.
- The survey widget helps to you get insight into customer demographics, easily track user satisfaction, net promoter scores.
- The feedback widget helps to understand customer preferences, allows you to collect feature requests, fix bugs. They also provide an option for asking users to vote on feature requests, which helps prioritize the important requests.
- Has publisher tools.
Hotjar is a well-known tool for visualizing consumers' behavior with the use of tracking tools, heatmaps, scroll maps, clicks, and so on. It is a great tool for identifying customer behavior patterns and their actions.
- Provides heat maps and user recordings to understand users’ interaction with your product.
- Allows users to create feedback polls to help understand customer behavior.
- Allows conversion funnel tracking to understand drawbacks and increase conversion rates.
- The form analysis feature helps you get insights on various factors like how much time a respondent spends filling up the questions.
- Communicating the status of feedback
After you have successfully integrated all the ideas and feedback into your product development process, it is now time to communicate them to all your stakeholders. You can do it after you have selected your feedback tool. An ideal feedback tool will let you communicate effectively the status and progress of all the feedback requests to the consumers as well as the developers.
Product feedback management with Zeda.io
We have discussed all the important processes of product feedback management. Sounds like too much work? Honestly speaking it is not that much a burden if you have the right tool at your disposal. Speaking about the right product feedback tool, we have Zeda.io here and this is how it will help you-
Feedback collection is the first step toward product feedback management. And Zeda.io has a way to make it easy and hassle-free. You can directly collect feedback from a customer’s portal that ensures that all the data is stored in one place. With seamless integration with applications like Slack, Zendesk, Hubspot, and more, your team members can directly respond from the respective platforms.
Zeda.io’s powerful system helps you arrange your feedback data offering features like filtering and sorting requests and viewing them on the dashboard. You can easily analyze and prioritize your feature request and send it to your engineering team directly via Zira so that they can start working on the new features.
Feedback prioritization is an important feature of Zeda.io that lets you prioritize the important and critical feedback so that you can start working on it as soon as possible.
Zeda.io allows you to effectively collect feedback from all channels including emails, interviews, customer support, reviews, and more. You can sort the feedback data and store them in a common place for easy access.
Zeda.io allows you to communicate the feedback to the respective internal teams directly. This feedback management system tool offers easy collaboration with members so that they can work on the customer-centric features and stay updated on the activity of the product road map.
“Feedback is the breakfast of champions”
Don’t waste customers’ time asking them questions unless you are prepared to act on what they say - Bruce Temkin, Founder, Customer Experience Professionals Association
Feedback will always matter the most in structuring the goal and strategies of your product development process. Product feedback provides a foundation for improvement and contributes to defining the activities in your product roadmap. It will always play a major role in attracting consumer loyalty and retention. Make sure that you do it the right way.