By now, most product owners understand the importance of customer feedback. In a time where the margin for error and learning by experiment is very small, I felt the importance to share what I learnt from all the mistakes and right things I've done managing customer feedback for Hellonext.
With tools like Hellonext, it is super fast, and easy to gather customer feedback for a product. But that doesn't mean that your job is done.
Customer feedback, as we might initially think, is not a one-way conversation. When you send out an email or a platform to share or ask your customers to vote on features, you are basically asking their time, and they are paying you for it.
When a customer shares a feedback or supported you with what you asked them for, you gotta respect and do something about it.
There are four rules that I wrote down as Hellonext grew.
Customer feedback is not a task
You cannot outsource your customer feedback. You need to handle it directly along with your team. Hellonext helps you to do just that in a very simple and beautiful way, with your team.
You can't schedule an email to a customer asking for feedback and blast them out every now and then. It is not a task that you complete. It is an exercise that you do on a regular basis.
Act on the feedback
This rule is very simple. When you receive feedback from a customer, act on it. Don't commit to a customer without the consent of your team.
When you commit something to a customer, and your team's bandwidth doesn't allow you to do that, you are basically disrespecting both your customer and your team.
Pick and choose which customer to ask
Early on, I used to drop an email to every single customer asking them questions to improve Hellonext. One thing I didn't realize was that, many times I was asking someone who was told to signup for Hellonext by their boss. They had no direct relation to the product, and I used to follow-up with them regularly to get them talking, only to get an email which read something like:
Please. Stop emailing me.
This was a huge wakeup call, and we changed the strategy to email customers at a time when they just signed up and walk with them throughout their journey with Hellonext.
Today, we have an internal framework that we use, where we breakdown when to reach out to what customer and in which channel. Just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need this template.
Respond to the customer
As soon as you receive a feedback about your product from the customer, it is easy for you to quickly hop on a call with your team and discuss about the new feedback. I've done that a lot, only to burn my fingers down the line.
Instead, today, the first thing I do as soon as the feedback about Hellonext comes in, is to respond to the person who took time to write down the feedback. Respect.
Acknowledging a customer's feedback has opened up a whole new world for me. Has given me a chance to start a healthy conversation with Hellonext's customers like never before.