What is feedback management?
Feedback management collects user feedback to identify opportunities to improve a product or service.
Product teams who regularly listen to what users say about their pain points, needs, successes, failures, and wishes for future products or features can use that data to drive product decisions and prioritize the roadmap.
Why does feedback management matter?
When people feel like they’re being genuinely heard, they feel empowered, validated, and valued.
This is important for organizations to take seriously because listening to users improves customer satisfaction, reduces churn, and boosts revenue.
“Customer feedback is the easiest way to gain insights into things that matter to your business. … Getting feedback is simple, but how do you leverage it for business growth and customer satisfaction?”
Starting a conversation with users by actively listening to their feedback and paying attention to what they have to say is the first intentional step to building an effective customer feedback loop that helps product teams build products that matter in the world.
When and how should you gather input?
Sometimes user feedback leads to the genesis of a product. More often than not, however, product ideas take shape internally. As soon as a product team hits the ground developing a new product or feature, user input should be baked into the process.
From idea communities and focus groups to social media and websites, there is a multitude of channels that product teams can leverage to engage users and enable them to share experiences and insights.
“Because your users play an important role in determining whether or not your product succeeds, you need to speak with them on a regular basis. You need to learn about your users’ needs, goals, and frustrations. That’s the only way you’ll know the solution you’re building will hit the mark and make your customers’ jobs or lives better.” How User Feedback Should Influence Your Product Roadmap
User feedback plays a strategic role in product planning because it helps teams prioritize goals. Of course, not all customer feedback will make it into a product’s final cut. Managing expectations and maintaining transparency is key in ensuring users understand why some ideas are prioritized over others.
Remember to reach out beyond the most vocal of your current users. New customers navigating the onboarding process can be an incredibly rich group for soliciting feedback, as can churning customers. When gathering feedback, think broadly and look for opportunities that provide perspectives that tend to be overlooked.
Learn how to supercharge your roadmap with customer feedback.
How do teams manage the feedback management process?
A customer feedback management process generally involves requesting feedback, collecting that feedback, analyzing it, and then taking action.
An effective system ensures that everyone knows how feedback is collected, why it’s collected, and any actions derived from it.
Gathering feedback is certainly not a new concept. Most organizations have channels in place where users can share input. But feedback without a feedback management process in place provides very little value to products, organizations, or users.
Here are some questions to keep in mind as you formalize your own feedback management process:
- What are your objectives? Talk to your product team, product ops team (if you have one), and any other stakeholders to align goals.
- What type of feedback are you looking for? Are you looking to gather feedback around user complaints and bug reports or one-on-one interviews with key users?
- What are your methods of gathering feedback? Will you rely on forms or emails that enable users to come to you? Or will you conduct interviews that more directly connect you with key users?
- How will you organize feedback? What will you do with feedback once you’ve collected it? (Hint: Burying it on a spreadsheet is not the right answer.)
- What are the actions you’ll take? Without a plan, feedback will stagnate. A dedicated product ops team often takes on the strategic role of gathering user feedback and establishing a workflow.
- How will you reconnect with customers who provide feedback? Feedback management isn’t complete until you circle back to users who initially shared input.
How do you know when to say enough is enough—it’s time to move forward? Here are five solid reasons to stop gathering data and make a decision.