Product managers, what's the best way to get user feedback?
If developing the best product is your aim, then user feedback should be your focus. Understanding what consumers want is at the core of product development but, as a recent study showed, as many as 20% fail to meet customer expectations. This shows just how hard it is to get it right, and just how important it is to engage with customers directly.
Fortunately, customer feedback puts the control back in the hands of product managers and allows them to get to the root of customer wants and needs. By leveraging those insights, you can ensure your products are hitting the mark every time.
In this article, we share everything you need to know about collecting product feedback directly from your customers. With these tips, you can make informed decisions to give your products the upgrade they need.
The product life cycle
Before we go any further, let’s take a look at the role of the product life cycle. In a nutshell, the product life cycle refers to the time between a product being introduced to consumers, to when it is eventually phased out.
Of course, the time this takes is dependent on the demand for the product and its ability to meet consumer needs. The longer a product’s life cycle is, the more revenue it makes for the company. Unfortunately, when a product isn’t performing well in the consumer market, the company has a choice to make – to invest in product development or scrap it and try something new.
Why gather customer feedback for products?
While consumer needs and expectations are always changing, there is one effective way to keep up with them – asking for customer suggestions.
Instead of using guesswork and vague customer assumptions, customer feedback goes straight to the source and asks customers what they really want. By tapping into that, your product team can ensure their new and old products are always relevant and profitable.
How to collect product feedback
To tap into customer insights, you need to select a strategy for feedback collection. To start with, it is wise to choose a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods so that you have something to track but also something to act on.
Quantitative methods refer to anything that can be measured with numeric data, including polls, A/B testing, and analytics. On the other hand, qualitative methods highlight the reasons behind the scores, including interviews, focus groups, in-app community feedback, and user forms.
By combining both qualitative and quantitative customer data in a customer feedback survey, you will be unstoppable. To succeed, there are several core principles that you need to remember:
- Ask specific and targeted questions about the product.
- Be relevant to the customer's recent experiences with the product.
- Incorporate a trackable metric like Customer Satisfaction.
- Incorporate qualitative feedback through open-text answer boxes.
While we recommend using surveys, that doesn’t mean you can’t also use other feedback channels. For example, examine product reviews, social media discussions, and real-world conversations as well to ensure you have all the information you need.
How to interpret product feedback
Once you have gathered feedback, you need to evaluate it and turn it into useful, actionable information. To do so, you need to use a quantitative metric that can be tracked over time.
Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
Firstly, use Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) to assess how well a product is meeting customer expectations at any given time. This can refer to the product as a whole or specific features and characteristics.
Customer Effort Scores (CES)
Ease of use has a big impact on the product life cycle, so it’s vital that you keep an eye on it. To do this, ask customers how easy it was for them to use the product based on a Customer Effort Score (CES). The higher the score is out of 1-7, the more convenient, simple, and user-friendly the product is.
How to integrate feedback into your product cycle
To ensure you continue to generate revenue, you need to incorporate feedback into the product cycle. To help you, we’ve broken this down into 4 simple steps:
Set up a Customer Feedback Platform
Before you do anything else, find a Customer Feedback Management (CFM) platform that is compatible with your business. This software will serve as a central dashboard for all customer comments and data, regarding products and the overall Customer Experience.
To find a CFM platform that works for you, make sure it integrates with your Customer Relationship Management tool (CRM) and other existing business tools. Additionally, make sure it uses the feedback metrics you hope to use. For example, the Review Tui CFM is seamlessly integrated with HubSpot and provides both CSAT and CES metrics.
Ask for feedback
Now it’s time to start reaching out to customers for their input. Luckily for you, your CFM software should have a survey-building tool and helpful templates to get you started.
For this step, the main thing is to ensure surveys are simple, straightforward, appealing, and user-friendly. If you use a template from your CFM, this should be relatively easy. You can also use our top 18 Customer Satisfaction questions for inspiration.
Analyse the data
Once the results are in, you can turn them into actionable insights. Whether it be a major trend or a single customer suggestion, your team can use the organised data to assess how well each product is performing in the marketplace.
By using CFM software, this step will mostly be done for you so all you have to do is check the dashboard to keep up to date. With Review Tui, you’ll even get real-time reporting to identify common trends and let you know when there’s something you need to address.
Plan your product development
The final step of the process is to develop an action plan for going forward. Now that you know everything your customers are saying about the product, you can make informed decisions about how it can be improved.
For more advice on customer feedback, sign up for the Review Tui waitlist. We’ll share everything you need to know about customer insights and how to take your products to the next level.