Gathering customer feedback and requests are important when it comes to building the right features.
If your answer is complete and then move on, we would understand. You’re done with building and time to move on to the next thing!
But, we would show you that there’s a better way, that one can share crucial information with your user base and allows you to highlight the hard work you’re doing by developing your product.
The final part of the solution is? A changelog tool.
Does the changelog tool refer to?
Ideally, a changelog tool is a file where product changes or versions are indexed sequentially. It’s just a record of changes in your product.
But, the type of changelog we’re exploring here is public-changelog and intended for users who use your product.
Now, relying on your customer base, they might be somewhat technical. Or, they might not be. Logically, the types of details you add, and how technical you make your changelog, will vary relying on your customer base.
A CHANGELOG TOOL IS THAT YOU SHARE THE CHANGE WITH THE WORLD WILL NOTIFY:
- A list of feature updates
- When new releases of your product have been updated
- Bug fixes updates
- New integrations are released
And so on…
Why is it necessary to use a changelog tool?Why should you use a changelog?And, why is it necessary to display it publicly? Let's see...
1. CHANGELOG STORES ALL UPDATES IN SINGLE PLACE
Not only a changelog tool, but you also have a couple of options to share updates with your customers.
You can either:
- Email users, or in some other way reach out with direct communication.
- Publish updates on your social media channels or write a blog about it.
- Send notifications within your product or some other in-app, one-time update.
- Don’t reveal it at all, ever.
The first three options, don’t make it simple for customers to look back on recent updates or find everything in one place.
If your product updates are messed with your regular blog posts, they’re not super easy to find out; it makes it daunting. And, most of us don’t prefer emails indefinitely.
So, customers might miss your updates if they’re just scrolling in a blog post or via email. They won’t have a way to simply find all the recent updates at a later date. And, if you’re sharing updates that include information on how to fix or use certain features, having to search through an inbox or blog isn’t enough.
If you’re going to share changes and updates with customers, it makes sense to share them in a unique permanent place.
And, while the last option is available to you, we’d suggest you reveal to users when you’ve changed something about your product. We’ll touch upon that in this article.
2. A CHANGELOG TOOL ENDS THE FEEDBACK CURVE ON FEATURE REQUESTS
If we had to spotlight the most crucial thing about using a changelog tool, it would be this:
A changelog can close the loop from customer feedback to execution.
Gathering feedback is the starting of this process. You need to figure out what your users have to say, what they need from your tool/product, and what’s working and what isn’t and need to be fixed in your tool.
From there, you would start to build your public roadmap as a next step, taking those feedback that makes sense for your business and your tool, along with additional things you’ve decided as a major priority.
Finally, you’re all set for release updates, including new features, bugs fixes, and what needs fixing for your tool.
However, your feedback loop process would be collecting feedback >>>>>build roadmap>>>>> share updates to users>>>>> from there again starts from collecting feedback. This is the major working process of most of the feedback tools.
A changelog is a viewable climax of this work. It’s a direction to record what you did and express users about it. They can see what you’re executed on feedback that was given from them.
This is crucial when it comes to having existing users trust your tool, and in terms of grabbing potential customers.
3. CHANGELOG IS THE IDEAL PLACE FOR DOCUMENTATION
If you’ve published a new feature, you’ll mostly need to explain to customers how to use it or fix it up.
Your changelog tool is the ideal place to do this. You can explain to customers how to use or how to fix up a new feature, link to a help article/blog, or include screenshots and demo videos.
This will also sort out the amount of outreach your users have to do. If a new feature has been set to reality and users are struggling to set it up, they’ll contact you. Or, they will not just use the feature at all; not great.
That means the overall time spent on their end reaching out, and time invested by your Customer Success team following up ends in vain.
Having a changelog tool gives you a “storage home” for all updates for your product, and the documentation that goes with them. It makes it simple to know about the new features to their associated documentation from the get-go.
4. CHANGELOG HELPS SERVES AS WIDE ANNOUNCEMENT AND RECORD OF DELIVERABLES.
Your changelog tool is a place to showcase your new features updates and give them a chance to shine. After all, our hard work in releasing the new feature is to shine one day. Rather than expecting a day, give it a chance.
The changelog is your opportunity to spotlight the great new things you’ve published. Rather than just silently delivering updates, you can also share what you’ve been working on for your next release here, and keep your customers excited about the releases.
It also acts as a tool to showcase that you reacted to the feature requests from your customers with meaningful changes and deliver what you’ve promised.
And, it’s not just crucial to customers: Your sales team can get valuable by using your changelog as a sales tool with prospects.
Your changelog shows that you gathered and act on customer insights, and are constantly working to build something better for your users. This is crucial to potential new users, as well as your existing customers.
How we use a changelog at Hellonext
Look at an image of how you can use it: We recently introduced our roadmap feature also. you can also find that top of our changelog page:
WITH THE HELP OF CHANGELOG UPDATE, WE CAN ABLE TO:
- Explain to customers about our product new releases and integrations
- Showcase and highlight how it works
- Link to the help article about the new feature
- Notify customers have been waiting for the integration to be released
- And more...all in one place.
How to fix a public changelog to your product/tool?
Logically, your changelog can hold whatever form is most crucial for your team, your company, and the type of product you build.
You can fix a blog-style page, with articles on every change. An extreme MVP version of a changelog could even be a recurrently-updated Google doc.
*Pro tip: Neither of these options is uniquely organized. And, they consume more effort on your part than using a tool with a changelog feature. But, it’ll be better than nothing.*
Hellonext has a changelog feature built-in default, which is simple to fix a changelog for your software/tool and close the curve from feedback to feature. The changelog product widget gives customers updates while they’re within your product/tool. And, users can click through to see your full changelog, read related help documentation, and more.
You can learn more about the Hellonext Changelog here, and learn more about why keeping a changelog is valuable.
Ultimately, it’s super smart to use a changelog, regardless of how you fix up or what tool you use. It closes the feedback curve, shows that you deliver on your plans, and allows you to showcase your hard work.