- Malarvizhi V
We all would have come across many articles describing the importance of customer feedback. We all know that companies that listen and value the customer’s opinion are growing faster and stronger!
But still, just knowing the facts will not help you find a way to develop a customer’s loveable product and take a stand in the market. So, what to do? First, you must know how to collect valuable feedback from customers “Efficiently” and utilize it precisely to enhance your growth.
If you have a lousy feedback tracking process, there are higher possibilities of making poor decisions in selecting the features and wasting your time and money on developing them.
When we collaborated with thousands of product managers and their team, surprisingly, we realized that a maximum of them are following poor customer feedback tracking processes.
Our conversations help us to know exactly where the things get falling through the crack, that is:
While analyzing, we can occasionally see that companies have a solid, well-designed platform that organizes feedback into valuable insights. Unfortunately, others used Google sheets or Trello, which is a great pain for everyone in the team to use those data in the right place.
The conclusion is that.
- Most companies don’t have the right platform for tracking customer feedback,
- Also, many companies utilize customer feedback less effectively.
Now, you’d probably think of what’s the solution? So we’d like to help you solve this.
Our real-time experiment with PMs helps us learn more things, and we can consolidate some solutions that help you create better feedback management. This article will help you to add more valuable insights on how to track customer feedback effortlessly. We’ll share an effective process that helps you to create an effective system for collecting, organizing, and utilizing customer feedback, a system that is effortless to use.
This article covers three main phases of the customer feedback system.
- In phase-1, Let’s see the most significant problems that make tracking customer feedback a daunting process.
- In phase-2, we’ll share a step-by-step process that you can use to develop an effective feedback gathering system that works.
- In phase-3, we’ll showcase the best way to utilize the feedback data that genuinely helps you improve your product and sales benefits.
Phase 1: The most significant problems make tracking customer feedback a daunting process (broad look at things you should avoid for effective feedback management).
We started from scratch, prepared a wholesome document of the conversations with experts in the feedback community, and analyzed the common pain points that stop creating an effective feedback management system. As a result, we can find some common flaws while conversing with experts in the feedback community, preventing them from making an effective feedback management system.
Have a keen look at the following pain points and evaluate yourself!
Failing to capture the feedback from the critical source- CUSTOMER-FACING TEAMS
Customer-facing teams are a critical source because they are the one who works with the customer every day. Therefore, it’s crucial to have all customer-facing teams connected and add insights to your feedback tracking system. It helps you find the most critical customer feedback and focus on feedback from various angles.
For example, your sales team will have insights about how pricing plans undergo with people’s decision on selecting your product. Also, they can suggest to you a better pricing plan structure that grabs more audience. Likewise, your customer-facing teams can showcase the challenges your existing customers could face while using the product.
Not using proper tools for integration.
When your customer-facing team understands why a prospect is flipping, that's essential information that needs to be fixed ASAP. But, the problem here is they don’t have a proper tool to record that information on their customer feedback system.
When you have a daunting feedback management system and more complex to use, the same problem will be a great barrier for your other teams and gets harder to track.
Missing the deep analysis of each feedback
Each feedback you get from the customer is an essential thing to address and analyze deeply. You can’t decide whether the received feedback is relevant or valuable just by reading the headlines. Maybe their deeper roots can be a game-changer for your product.
So, it’s always advisable to spend quality time researching your customer feedback or needs. And, track it properly. This not only helps you to understand your customer problem but also to make your platform more valuable.
Bad feedback design
Not all customers' feedback would make sense to your platform. Maybe you should avoid some requests that didn’t add value to the platform but only for one user. How can you prioritize the right feedback? An inefficient feedback management system will club all the feedback and not help you find the right one but a tremendous headache!
You should structure your customers' feedback efficiently and prioritize them based on your powerful customer’s needs; for example, customers on a paid plan are more powerful than focusing on the customers on a free plan. Also, you should analyze the reasons for your customer churns.
Analyzing which customers need and how certain features are essential for your product growth will help you improve rapidly. So to do this, you need to segment your customer data, and track each segment you categorized. It’s crucial to check whether your following feedback system should have this ability.
How Well-Structured (dedicated) platform works for these scenarios:
- Well-designed feedback systems will add all customer-facing teams to their research and ensure that their insights are more valuable.
- A good system has an easy-to-use interface, integrates with your existing tools in a blink, and has an easier way to track.
- Develop chances for analyzing feedback more deeply to find the real insights and prioritize the right features.
- Ability to segment customer feedback by key attributes like paying customers, trial customers, and churned customers.
Phase 2: A better way to track customer feedback- Guidelines
Our Phase 1 helps you recognize the top factors of bad customer feedback processes in your process, Now evaluate what’s wrong in your approach! If you’re in a refactoring process, your next question would be how to build a perfect feedback tracking system?
Here’s a step-by-step process for refactoring your customer feedback system effectively from scratch.
As I said before, a good system will track customer feedback, all valuable insights, categorize them, and utilize simple tools. So let’s see how we can build a system like that.
1: Analyse all your feedback resources
Let’s begin step one and list all the feedback resources where customer feedback is currently coming from. Also, analyze the team or individuals who receive the feedback and the tools that they utilize.
List all the resources; maybe it could be from your Salesforce or Quora, or many are from Slack conversations. Mention the type of feedback with it! Evaluate it.
2: Decide when and where you want to collect feedback
The entire journey with your customer probably has various concavity changes at which feedback could be more valuable.
Instead of collecting customer feedback on your every move, it would be more appreciable to get feedback only for the significant issues. For example, If you’re planning to change the UI in your product instead of asking customers which design they like, it would be easier for you to think and create a UI which they find easy to use. If any issues customer reports regarding the new UI, keep track of those feedback and work on it.
Valuable customer feedback scenarios, when you should ask for customer feedback:
- Try to gather feedback from customers on what problem they were having while using your platform.
- What are the pros and cons of their trial period?
- Why did they decide to subscribe to your product?
- How likely would they prefer your product to others?
- Why do they cancel their subscriptions and reasons?
- What features can be improved?
- How is the particular feature needful and valuable?
- What is the reason for their trial churns? What did they miss while testing your product?
This is the feedback you need to collect from your customers. Then, after ordering, analyze all the inflection points, and this will help you improve your product quickly without any mess.
3: Which feedback should be prioritized first!
A perfect feedback system will help you gather valuable information that you can use to prioritize your product decisions. So, now what to prioritize and how to do it will be a big confusing scenario!
Pro tip: Don’t worry! My previous blog on “What and when to build features” will help you find an adequate answer for this. Check it out.
It’s more crucial to ensure that you’re keeping track of all the feedback you get from your powerful customers(paid customers), prioritizing it, and building the valuable feature that helps both you and customer growth. On the other side, you should also track all the other feedback and keep it your second priority. Then, build only the features that make sense to your product.
So, while you begin categorizing feedback, pay attention to the submitter’s profile thoroughly and slice and dice the feedback data accordingly!
Doing it manually may be more daunting, but there are dedicated tools to filter all the user data perfectly in some matter of minutes like Hellonext! So take a trial plan and give it a try.
4: Select a hub to gather and manage all the customer feedback
The first problem we do is we collect all the feedback and raise it in the different tools we have in our system. Finally, we will search for all those, find only 50%, and start analyzing when categorizing them too. Here’s where all your crucial feedback was flipping through the cracks :(
So, always be aware of where to collect and save all your data, else choose one tool in which you can organize and manage all the feedback data. It needs to sync with the tools your teams are also working on. There are a bunch of options available that could fit into your workflow.
But, updating things manually will ruin your entire day! So, another option that most successful companies prefer is selecting a dedicated customer feedback tracking system like Hellonext. Hellonext integrates with many tools that you’re using already, like Zapier, Slack, Intercom, Jira, Zendesk, etc.
The dedicated platform covers the entire feedback cycle and makes all the work effortless and easier to manage.
Step 5: Create a Roadmap based on your builds and track your progress there
After analyzing and prioritizing all the feedback, you probably need to create a roadmap based on your upcoming feature decisions.
Pro tip: Here’s my article to guide “How to create a step by step process” Check it out.
Discuss all your decisions with your internal teams. Everyone should know what they’re building, why they’re building it and should be on track while developing. Gain more insights from them like, how long it will take to complete the feature and stuff. Create your roadmap based on it. As I said, Successful companies will have a customer success team with them while making decisions. After all the discussions, start your designing process together.
Now, You’re aiming to connect the dots from the steps mentioned above. You might be clear with
- Where and who you’re collecting feedback from
- When to collect it
- How to collect it
- Where to save it
Now you just need to create a roadmap of your process from end to end. And assign all the feedback you decided to work to appropriate devs. And process according to your roadmap. If any change comes inside the building, don’t forget to update your roadmap. So that things will don’t fall through the cracks.
You can create a manual roadmap with spreadsheets, but you can do it much easier with dedicated tools!
After setting up your Roadmap, share it with your team and post it somewhere so that it will not be missed.
6: Ensure the designing process is consistent!
Once the discussion with team members and a roadmap was based on it, the next step would be to start the development. The development process should be smooth and on track. And everyone in the team should know the importance of creating the feature or improving a feature. They should take their responsibility seriously and complete it on the planned ETC.
This will raise the trust among your customers and build a strong relationship with them. In addition, a better customer feedback system will be valuable to all the teams; it will help the development team be on track. Also, the sales team closes more deals; it also allows your day to be more productive by reducing support calls.
I would like to summarize the action points of the previous six steps:
- First, collect all the feedback resources and tools your customers used to provide feedback and be thorough with it.
- Decide when and where to collect feedback that matters to you.
- After collecting all the feedback, prioritize the important one
- Select the right feedback collection tool that suits your firm and ensure it seamlessly integrates your team’s workflow.
- Create a roadmap with your team and progress accordingly
- Track your development progress and be consistent with it and deliver features on time.
Phase III: How to utilize the collected feedback data effectively
This is the critical phase of the customer feedback cycle. Now you've got everything handy and keeping on track, collected the right data, organized it in a single place, and made your team easy to access it whenever needed. Great job!
The next step is to utilize the collected data in the right way. Let’s see the brief steps on how to do it. After that, your focus should be on using that data to make effective product decisions.
1. Categorize the received data and take out the valuable insights
Once you receive the data from the customers, triage all of it and come up with better ideas to improve your product and most importantly track all those decisions you've planned to improve.
If you can’t understand the root cause of the feedback, don’t hesitate to clear them out by reaching customers by any source like email, social media, etc. On the other hand, if you feel the feedback received will help your product grow, then assign it for release after the development process is done.
2. Get the balance right
It is crucial to have the right balance between positive and negative feedback. Sometimes, you can get negative feedback, but here you shouldn’t get fed up. Stand firm and find where you’re lagging and get that done. Suppose you keep on getting positive feedback. Don’t stop trying to improve more.
Pro tip: Here’s an article on “How to manage negative feedback and bounce back.” Check it out
So, whatever the comments may be positive or negative, keep the balance.
3. Utilize the feedback to identify what you are going to develop
To track it in an easy way, divide the development time into two parts:
One way to categorize your development decisions is by spending some portion of your development effort days on each of:
- strategic features
- customer requests
For example, If you want to go one by one, you can finish strategic features first and then go to the customer requests part. Else, you prioritize it equally.
Another way is to follow your business goals and build feature accordingly:
For example, your company may have a set of things to stay focused on this quarter. For example, you might have previously decided to focus on reducing churn this quarter. If that’s the case, Just start prioritizing the feedback received from the churned customers alone.
Else, you’re aiming to improve upgrades to the “Enterprise” pricing plan. For example, the development team may opt to build some feature that makes that product add more value to the customers on your lower subscription levels.
Whatever your decision is, make sure that your decisions are informed and transparent to the customers.
4. Feedback will also help find feature requirements.
Yes, Probably after identifying what features to build and how to track it, you need to write the set of requirements. Your customer feedback will help you here as well. Ensure you add all the requirements based on your customer needs. Utilize their feedback as the spine of the feature requirements.
In the middle, if you feel you lost information or need more. Don’t hesitate to go for it. Use this as a chance to build relationships with your customers or prospects who have provided feedback. Reach out to them with their feedback for more information about what they want exactly.
5. Utilize your customer feedback in improving Marketing
After showcasing your customer feedback on your company website, you can also utilize that feedback in your marketing efforts. It’s not big stuff to do; Probably, you’ve already created a bunch of marketing content for your previous customers. Right? If so, you can easily add the feedback naturally into your marketing material.
You can put all your ideas together in a spreadsheet with the particular parts of the feedback you believe will be a smash hit for marketing. Then, you can add those specific parts of feedback in blog posts, customer emails, your product login pages, and show fliers. When you’ve decided to use feedback in this way, use only the catchy quotes highlighting the defining aspects of your product. Ensure this customer feedback expresses how you stand out.
Another suggestion, If you got any negative feedback on any specific aspect of a product that you offer, you could write a blog post addressing it. Write about how you have rectified the issue and what that feedback has spotted. You can also showcase what kind of changes you have executed as a direct result of that feedback.
Though you highlight feedback that does not put your product in the spotlight, you genuinely showcase, showcasing the care about developing what you have to offer to people. It is also visible to other potential customers who are a part of the customer feedback you receive. Remember, negative feedback doesn’t have to be taken as bad at all. Instead, turn them into the advantage of knowing your weak side and leveraging more sales.
6. Follow-up with customers to develop relationships and thrive sales.
Don’t forget to utilize your customer feedback data as a sales tool.
Complete the loop with customers, which means following up with your customers and keep them on track and informed when you start building a feature they asked for.
You can do this manually via email by adding customer emails, but the best way to do this is by changelog! Yes, feedback dedicated platforms will have this changelog option to keep your customers updated on your works.
Pro tip: Here's a blog that helps you with insights about “Changelog and why it is important for your product.” Check it out!
Ideally, this is a kind of collaboration that emphasizes you’re all ears. It’s an effective way to showcase your care. Keep them updated about everything. It makes them feel appreciable for your work and promotes them to provide more feedback.
Here are some tips for how to follow up with your customers
- If customers requested something, update them when you are building it and keep the conversations on track and respond as quickly as possible, but not too late, more than some months. This will gain trust among customers and build more commitment.
- If customers requested a particular feature, follow up and show them when you’re done; else, if you have any other similar workflow feature, explain to them you already have it; this may help you close the deal.
- If customers reported any serious issues while using your product, showcase to them you’re fixing that immediately. The best customer support you give to your customers will encourage them to stick with you.
Following up with customers and keeping them on track is a powerful way to intensify relationships, create trust with your customers, improve retention, and even recover your churned customers.
Let me summarize the goals for the previous six steps:
- First, make sure that feedback is categorized correctly so that you can develop a robust database.
- Take all the negative feedback as the step to improve your product
- Use feedback data to guide product and product decisions.
- Use the feedback and write the requirements based on the customer needs
- Use feedback data for driving Marketing values
- Create a strong relationship with your customers by keeping updating them.
Polish off: Feedback data is your friend:
- Utilize your feedback not just to find your customer’s needs but also to improve your product with better features
- Utilize your feedback and let your customer success team update about your builds that will raise retention.
- Showcase your customer’s that you’re prioritizing the biggest customer feedback first.
- Use the right feedback that helps sales reps do their job better and drive conversions.
If you improve yourself with facts about your customer needs, you not only place yourself in a position where you can crave a perfect product, but you’ll also take a stand in the market.
Pro tip: Here’s an article on “how to calculate your market fit.” Check it out for more insights on why you need to calculate it.
A good customer feedback system will help you thrive on a product that engages customers, decreases churn and drives sales. Do you have one for you?
Then create it, now you know how to do it! The hidden secret of successful customer feedback tracking is making it a major priority and then developing a good system.
Remember, the excellent customer feedback system should be:
- Collaborative with all the corners of your product team.
- Effortless and easy to use.
- Captures insightful data and prioritizes it accordingly.
- Use that feedback data for your product growth and create trust and strong relationships with your customers.
Building this system is not a child’s play; it will take time, but the output will be worth it.
Keep pushing :)