The feature requests are distinct ideas that a customer will share with the company. These requests will mostly involve adding something extra that they feel will make the product better. Now, you have received the requests, then is what to do with all of these. How to handle them and how many of them do you really turn into features?
The types of feature requests
Before getting started with the most valuable suggestions to manage feature requests, let’s discuss the different types of feature requests.
All feature requests cannot be of the same type, so it is essential to distinguish them in order to make it simpler to manage them.
The different types include:
Bug reports – when a customer mentions something which is not working precisely in your product.
Feature improvements – suggestions from a customer that can make a current feature a bit better.
Totally new features – ideas for introducing an entirely new feature that can be added to your product.
The 5 most valuable suggestions to manage feature requests
It’s never easy deciding how to deal with feature requests considering the minefield that they can create. Therefore, here are the most valuable suggestions that can help you avoid getting overloaded.
1. Place everything in one place
The organization is the most important factor when it comes to managing feature requests. With a disordered/messy system, you’ll notice it difficult to stay on top of all the different ideas and feedback you receive from your customers. The best ways to handle this is by using a dedicated feedback management software like hellonext.co, which incorporates the entire product planning process. Later which, you can handle each feature request, add it to your idea portal and connect any relevant suggestions to features in the feature list.
2. Design a system for receiving and managing feature requests
Having an organized process will make your customers feel much more comfortable sending your ideas and feature requests. In traditional ways, customers would require to send an email and hope it got read and forwarded to the right person.
With the best feedback management software like hellonext.co, your product teams can create a single location where users can submit their ideas and requests. hellonext.co can handle collecting, categorizing and responding to all the feature requests. This also makes it easy for the customer to send the feature requests, where other users can comment and vote on the requests.
3. Respond to the feature requests – personally, promptly and honestly
A customer really gets frustrated when their feature request gets ignored or not receive a standard email in reply. Actually, it's worth investing the time in responding personally, instead of using automatic replies. Your customer will feel much happier using your product when you let them know that you are interested in their opinion.
On the other hand, an honest response is also important. It is not advised to respond to the customer's feature request that, 'you will consider them' if you have no intention to actually do so. It's also better to convey that it doesn’t fit directly into your strategy and plan and let them know the direction you are taking them in. Customers mostly respond positively to an honest response.
4. Categorize and Prioritize the feature requests
It is essential to categorize the feature requests when you're going to manage a large volume of them. hellonext.co makes it easy to label and categorize the requests and ideas. Category levels such as “Critical” or “Nice to have” will let you choose which of the suggestions to consider turning into practical features. Following which, you can prioritize – add the features you plan to develop into the backlog and put the list in order of priority. hellonext.co's feature list is entirely editable and interactive so you can add as many custom fields as you like and sort or filter the list by these fields.
Categorize and prioritize the feature requests depending upon the impact that feature will have on users. Whether it solves a problem that the users are currently experiencing or will it encourage more users to sign up and use the product? In addition, you should verify the request against the goals and initiatives in your roadmap. Whether it fits with the strategy you have put in place?
5. Review the requests with your colleagues and other customers
Being the product manager, you'll make the final decision on which feature gets developed and which doesn’t. But, it's always important to get alternative viewpoints, even when you believe some features will be of enormous benefit. So always discuss the requests with your colleagues and gauge the opinion of other customers before going ahead with development. Consider it win, when other customers love the idea, but if most people reject it then you should consider discarding it and moving on to another feature request.
Manage your feature requests with hellonext.co - get a Free-Trial
hellonext.co's Feedback Management Platform has been specifically designed to help product managers plan their features and make better product decisions. Manage your feature request on hellonext.co with a 14-day free trial or watch the demo.