Best Practices to Gather Product Feedback and Build Something Customers Will Love

It’s not enough to build something and hope there will be a demand for it. You need to understand if demand for your product exists by understanding what customers are thinking and saying about it.

What do they like and dislike?

What new features are they looking for?

What are their problems and goals?

Does your product solve their problems and help them meet their goals?

The answers to these questions can help your product team build better products that match demand, sell well, garner customer loyalty, and reduce churn.

The best way to find these answers: ask customers for product feedback!

Below, we explore eight best practices to collect customer feedback. By leveraging these strategies, you can understand customers better, improve your products, enhance customer retention, and take business growth to the next level.

{{resources-component-1}}

What is product feedback?

Customer feedback is a good proxy for your product’s popularity and sales. By asking and understanding customers' opinions, sentiments, and complaints, you can identify improvement areas. More importantly, you can align improvement efforts with customer expectations and desired user experiences and take steps to enact positive change.

Here’s where customer feedback management comes in. A robust feedback process will also help you convert user feedback into actionable insights that can help you improve your products and match them with customers’ needs and wants.

  1. Ask customers for feedback
  2. Sort feedback into categories for easier interpretation
  3. Share feedback with relevant stakeholders
  4. Act on the feedback to initiate relevant improvements
  5. Follow-up with customers to assess the effectiveness of improvement efforts

How to collect product feedback from customers

There are two main types of feedback: solicited and unsolicited. When you specifically ask customers to provide feedback, say, via a survey or focus group, it is solicited or direct feedback. Unsolicited or indirect feedback is customer feedback that you didn’t ask for. It may come via social media posts, product returns, etc.

Here are three effective ways to collect customer feedback:

1. Customer surveys: NPS, CSAT, product-market fit

You can run many kinds of customer surveys to collect product feedback and inform your improvement efforts.

One is the Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey, which measures customer loyalty. NPS measures customer perception based on the question, “how likely are you to recommend this product to a friend or colleague?”

Depending on their responses, which range from 0 (not at all likely) to 10 (extremely likely), you can categorize customers into three key categories:

  • Promoters: Customers who have responded with a score of 9 or 10 and are highly loyal and enthusiastic about your product
  • Passives: Those who responded with a score of 7 or 8 and are satisfied with your product
  • Detractors: Customers who have responded with a score of 0 to 6 because they are unhappy and therefore unlikely to repurchase the product. They may even discourage others from buying the product.

A Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) feedback survey can help you understand how satisfied customers are with your products. It is a good way to gauge their needs and determine what they like about your offering.

The Product Market Fit (PMF) survey tests customer sentiment by asking them, “How would you feel if you could no longer continue to use this product?” The survey aims to measure product-market fit, i.e., whether you are in the right market with the right product.

It’s important to achieve PMF because it will tell you if your product satisfies the demands of your target market. It will also enable you to understand when to scale and what you need to do to maintain the product’s relevance.

2. Customer interviews and focus groups

Although surveys are useful to gauge customer sentiment, they have one drawback. Respondents don’t expand on their answers or provide detailed insights into their feelings or opinions.

To dig deeper into specifics, you need customer interviews and focus groups. Interviews are usually 1x1, whereas in focus groups, multiple people participate. Both methods are useful for discovering detailed customer opinions and feedback about a new product.

By interviewing customers, you can gather detailed accounts of their product interactions and experiences. Similarly, with focus groups, you can collect valuable information about a particular demographic’s product reviews. User testing is another method to gather solicited real-time feedback.

3. Review forums, communities, and social media

Social media posts and comments on forums and communities are indirect/unsolicited feedback. However, they can also be useful since they usually provide truthful and “no-holds-barred” feedback.

Additionally, there are several other sources of unsolicited feedback that can also help you gather valuable information, such as:

  • Customer support tickets
  • Third-party reviews
  • Live chat

All these channels provide qualitative feedback such as opinions and quantitative feedback like scores that can reveal:

  • What customers like and dislike
  • Which product features or functionality do they care about
  • Gaps between your products and competitors’ products

Best practices to optimize customer feedback

Let’s discuss ways to get more from your customer feedback management process.

Clearly define your objectives

Before collecting product feedback, identify what kind of information you want to gather. Are you collecting feedback for a specific product, a particular channel or touchpoint, or the entire customer experience?

It can be tempting to focus on collecting as much feedback as possible. But if you do, you will end up with random pieces of feedback without clear patterns or useful insights about product flaws or unmet expectations. To avoid going overboard, identify your needs, limit the number of surveys, and ask for feedback only when necessary.

Focus on metrics that align with your objectives

Whether you choose NPS, CSAT, or some other metric, make sure it aligns with your objectives. For example, to understand how enthusiastic customers are about your products and how likely they are to recommend you, choose NPS. But if you want to understand whether your product meets customer expectations, focus on CSAT.

Collect both solicited and unsolicited product feedback

One type of customer feedback or feedback from only one channel won’t be sufficient to make informed product decisions or quick improvements. Whenever possible, gather both solicited and unsolicited feedback using multiple channels, including:

  • In-app surveys
  • Interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Emails
  • Social media
  • Communities and forums

By doing this, you can gather more comprehensive customer insights to meet your objectives.

Analyze the collected feedback

Grouping feedback into categories will help you analyze the data and identify patterns for further analysis.

Also, follow these best practices:

  • If you manually tag feedback, keep track of all tags to avoid duplication.
  • Beware of introducing your own bias during the analysis process
  • Focus on what customers are saying about what matters to them

Tie feedback to specific actions

There’s no use collecting feedback if you won’t act on it. After categorizing feedback, determine priorities to address the critical concerns that impact user experiences and the company’s sales and profits.

Once the high-priority issues are out of the way, tackle the less pressing concerns voiced by customers. Whenever possible, look for opportunities to make quick adjustments that can reduce customer pain points and get you some easy victories.

After acting on the feedback, make sure to inform customers about the change. When you prioritize keeping them in the loop, they will feel valued and be more open to providing feedback in the future.

Track progress and success to optimize the feedback loop

Since CFM is an ongoing program, you must remain continually responsive to customer opinions and demands. This requires keeping track of the best times and channels to gather feedback and also:

  • Following up with customers to monitor their reactions to changes
  • Assessing which tools work best for the CFM program
  • Identifying opportunities to optimize feedback collection

Use feedback for internal discussions

In addition to informing product improvements and product roadmaps, customer feedback also helps develop an org-wide customer-centric culture. It will also enable you to stay on top of emerging trends and stay ahead of competitors.

Build great products with LaunchNotes customer feedback manager

Your customers likely have plenty to say about your products. Listen to their opinions and concerns with LaunchNotes’ Customer Feedback Manager. With LaunchNotes, you can give customers and users a chance to ask questions and express concerns about your products. Use their feedback to improve your product development lifecycle and build better products that please customers and benefit your business.

Schedule a demo to know more about LaunchNotes Customer Feedback Manager. Click here to learn more about us.