A Product Feedback Strategy That’s Key to Product Success

A Product Feedback Strategy That’s Key to Product Success

It’s no secret that insights from customer feedback can drive product success.

But when faced with mountains of incoming product feedback where do you even begin when it comes to collecting, analyzing, and interpreting that data?

It’s likely you have a product feedback strategy in place, but it’s not leading to product decisions that have a big impact on customer happiness.

So, we're here to tell you that you need to dig deeper into your product feedback to find out what customers really need.

In this post, we’ll reveal where to collect product feedback, why it’s important, and the product feedback tools you can use to make it easier to keep on top of your product feedback.

What Is Product Feedback?

Product feedback is opinions about your product, both postive and negative, shared by anyone who uses your product.

This type of feedback can be collected in various ways – online customer reviews, in-app surveys, interviews, customer support tickets, and more.

Solicited product feedback is often focused on a particular apsect, such as a new feature, a product launch, upgrades, etc., and helps product teams hone in on improvements they need to make.

Why Is Collecting Product Feedback Important?

Product feedback might be requested before a product launch to help develop a product, or after a product launch while a customer is experiencing the product.

It can focus on specific product features, or the overall product experience, and helps improve a product over time.

Every product decision you make should reflect your customers’ needs, and collecting product feedback can help you understand what those needs are.

Once you’re able to put yourself in your customers’ shoes, you can:

1. Improve your products

By collecting product feedback regularly and over time, you’ll be able to pinpoint exactly what your customers need, and what they like or dislike about your products.

If you want to know whether you should update an existing feature, improve the user experience, or even launch a new product, you’ll need to dig in deep with product feedback tools for the answers.

Advanced AI techniques, like sentiment analysis, can be a great starting point to quickly detect what your customers love or hate about a product or feature, and deliver granular insights that are often missed through manual analysis.

2. Let customers know you’re listening

Once you’ve collected product feedback and implemented changes, it’s important that you close the product feedback loop, to let customers know you’re listening, but also to encourage them to spread the word about your brand.

3. Go above and beyond your competition

Collecting and analyzing customer feedback about your products will help you respond directly to your customers' needs and put you one step ahead of your competitors.

But you can go even further to collect customer feedback about your competition from public sources, like online review sites, social media platforms, and more. That way you can identify gaps in your competitors’ product offerings and use them to your advantage.

4. Acquire new customers and prevent churn

Collecting product feedback won’t just help you improve products, it will also lead to higher customer satisfaction, increased customer acquisition, lower customer churn and, ultimately, higher revenue.

Establishing A Product Feedback Loop

To help you make the most of your product feedback, you’ll need to establish a well-rounded feedback loop, which will essentially be your product strategy.

A product feedback loop: collect feedback, analyze feedback, act upon feedback, and inform customers about product changes.

A feedback loop is a framework that enables product teams to regularly collect customer feedback and translate that feedback into product improvements.

It’s a non-stop process or ‘loop’ that helps align your teams, processes, and technology so that you’re able to respond effectively to your customers' needs.

In the next section, we'll discuss how to create a product feedback loop by going over how to collect, analyze, act upon, and share product feedback, so that you and your product team can make customer-driven decisions.

1. Collecting Product Feedback

Customers’ needs change over time so you’ll have to collect product feedback periodically to keep up with your customers.

Let’s go over these top types of product feedback you can gather:

  • Customer Surveys
  • Customer Collaboration Platforms
  • Product Curation Websites
  • Online Customer Reviews
  • Customer Support Tickets

Customer Surveys

You can only find out what customers think about your product once they’ve experienced it. Asking for product feedback immediately post-launch is a crucial step in your product development process. But you’ll also need to gather feedback during different stages of the product experience because customers' needs and expectations evolve over time.

A great way to ask for product feedback at every stage of the customer’s journey is through surveys.

Surveys can be really quick and simple, containing just one close-ended and one open-ended question, a format that has been popularized by some of the most well-known customer satisfaction surveys:

Collecting product feedback from your target customers post-launch helps you quickly gauge what is working well and what should be done to make their experience better.

You can send product satisfaction surveys, or use multivariate user testing to collect behavioral data. This will help you easily validate particular aspects of a product, but you might still want to back up this data with qualitative insights.

Qualitative customer feedback, like open-ended responses, social media comments, and customer service feedback, often provide deeper insights, and can tell you exactly why a customer likes or dislikes a feature, and what they’d like to see improved.

Customer Collaboration Platforms

Co-creating products has proven to be a successful strategy for collecting product feedback in the past, and one that should be replicated in a post-pandemic world.

Collaborating with customers might involve sending out customer surveys to get quantitative and qualitative product feedback, or engaging with customers in messaging apps, Slack communities, and on social media.

Some companies, like Ikea and Lego have gone a step further and created co-creation platforms and reward incentives to encourage customers to get involved with product ideation and creation.

This approach to product creation puts the customer at the center of your business, and helps engage them in new ways, improve the customer experience, and reassures customers that you’re listening.

Product Curation Websites

In uncertain times, you might decide to launch a minimum viable product (MVP) – a product with just enough features to satisfy early adopters – on product curation websites, like ProductHunt.

This is a particularly useful, learn-by-doing strategy, often adopted by software companies, because it’s expensive to launch a new product with multiple features.

By collecting valuable user feedback early on, product teams can make sure they are meeting the needs of their customers, and reduce the risk of launching a product that fails.

Online Reviews

Surveys are great for collecting product feedback about specific topics. But it’s also important to monitor unsolicited product feedback in real time, like social media comments, online reviews, and chats.

Product reviews on sites like AppStore, Trustpilot, G2Crowd, and Capterra often provide in-depth positive and negative product feedback that provides teams with a wide range of insights about topics you may not have even considered.

Reviews give you an overview of what customers think about your products and they tell you why. This feedback is valuable because customers leave their honest opinions about your products – without you having to ask.

Online review sites are also a great place to do an analysis of your competitor reviews. Perhaps there’s an opportunity to add a new feature that your competitor doesn’t have and customers are asking for, or improvements that you can make to your product to convince your competitors’ customers to switch over to your product.

Customer Support Tickets

Customer support tickets are mostly negative since customers primarily reach out to you when they’re faced with an issue. Often, it’s a product issue like a bug that needs fixing.

This product feedback should be collected in real-time, so you can keep on top of urgent product issues when they arise. If there is a recurring product issue that needs a big fix then you’ll want to prioritize it in your product roadmap. Customer support issues might even flag certain aspects a new feature is lacking, and compel you to update the new feature so that it aligns better with your customers’ needs.

2. Improve Your Product Strategy

It’s likely that your product strategy needs a refresh.

Do any of these sound familiar?

  • You haven’t set up a system for collecting feedback.
  • The unsolicited feedback you get… who knows where all that information goes?
  • Teams are focused on the numbers and not so much on all that qualitative data. We get it; It’s hard to analyze.

So, below, we’ve outlined two ways to improve your product strategy that can be used to improve how you collect and analyze quantitative product information, so you can achieve the short- and long-term goals for your product.

Let’s dive into them.

Choose the right tools to analyze your product feedback

Most teams collect their product feedback in a spreadsheet, like Excel or Airtable.

Others use data warehouses, large organized data storage spaces that make it easy to organize your data for reporting, analysis, and BI functions.

The problem is that:

  1. Most companies tag their feedback by hand
  2. Most of the feedback collected is solicited, feedback from surveys, interviews, calls and so on.

So what happens to all the unsolicited feedback?

Unsolicited product feedback can be some of your most valuable feedback. You can find it on online review sites, like TrustPilot and the App store, and in your support tickets.

But collecting product feedback from all these different sources, and storing it in one place, is no easy feat. And that’s only the beginning.

Next, you need to analyze it. Maybe you have a team in place that already tags data by hand. But it’s incredibly time-consuming and you probably need to hire new data labelers as your data grows.

Not anymore.

Product feedback tools, like MonkeyLearn, can centralize your feedback (via integrations and an API) and analyze it using a series of advanced analysis techniques, like sentiment analysis and topic classification.

To get started you can use templates, like this app review analysis template. Just upload a csv with all your app reviews and your data will automatically be analyzed by sentiment and topic.

Finally, see your data in broad strokes and finite detail in a data visualization dashboard that can help you identify which product issues are receiving the most negative feedback.

Create a seamless product feedback loop

So, you have the right tools in place. But do you have an effective product feedback loop?

Earlier we talked about the types of customer feedback you should collect. But you also need to think about how you collect and integrate that feedback.

Ask yourself, which customer feedback tools will help me achieve my goals, and which ones integrate with the tools I already use.

It’s a good idea to set up a system that collects both solicited and unsolicited product feedback on a regular basis.

Once you know which tools you’re using to gather product feedback, you can connect them to analysis tools, via APIs or integrations. Finally, you’ll need to act on product feedback and let customers know that you are listening to them.

Outline how you want to inform customers about changes. Will you make an announcement on social media or will you inform your customers via a personalized email?

Customers that are informed about updates are more likely to remain loyal to your brand and share their positive experiences, so closing your product feedback loop should not be overlooked.

3. Analyze Product Feedback: Make the Most of Your Product Feedback

Collecting product feedback is only the beginning.

You’ll need to implement a solid product feedback loop that enables you to perform in-depth analysis on your customer data, take action, and close the loop.

Accurately analyzed product feedback can drive good product decisions and development and help businesses engage with customers on a new level.

Product managers, in particular, will need to effectively manage customer feedback, so that they’re able to adapt to changing needs and validate their product decisions and ideas before and after a product launch.

It’s important to choose an agile strategy for collecting product feedback, so that businesses can quickly respond to changing needs and create products that their customers love. And collecting both quantitative and qualitative product feedback on the go, and at different stages of the product journey, will help you fully understand what those needs are.

Quantitative product feedback is straightforward to collect, and feedback tools like Net Promoter Score (NPS) and CSAT surveys provide quick and comprehensive visuals of your data. However, they don’t analyze the qualitative feedback found in open-ended questions.

To analyze this data, whether social media comments, open-ended responses, or online reviews, you’ll need to tune into advanced AI tools.

AI tools, like MonkeyLearn can constantly monitor, analyze, and interpret product feedback, so you can quickly innovate and respond to real-time feedback on the go.

Named entity recognition (NER), for example, can be trained to recognize your product name, so you’ll be alerted and the related data collected, every time it’s mentioned across the internet.

Combining NER with topic classification can discover specific product features that your customers mention. Then, using sentiment analysis, you’ll be able to instantly detect which aspects of your business are seen as positive and which negative.

Clearly, the features that your customers dislike will be the ones you prioritize.

Visualize Product Feedback, Starting Today

MonkeyLearn’s tools transform qualitative data into quantitative data, so you can get detailed insights about why customer feedback is negative or positive.

Take a look at this data visualization dashboard, which sorts product reviews by topic and sentiment. On the left-hand side, you can also filter by rating, focus on one specific topic or keyword, and more.

Need to share with your team? Hit the ‘share’ button on the right-hand side and collaborate with other teams to keep everyone up to date about product decisions.

dashboard with a word cloud showing trending words in open-ended NPS responses, alongside sentiment and topic graphs.

Schedule a demo today, to see how MonkeyLearn can help you analyze huge amounts of product feedback and deliver insights that will ensure you create the right products for your customers.

Rachel Wolff

February 4th, 2021

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