Having issues and friction points is a normal part of any business. However, those that put the longevity or financial security of the company at risk are considered business-critical. These aren't the day-to-day bumps and challenges; these are the problems that could derail the business.
Capturing product feedback is essential for many reasons. Here's how you can implement a feedback process and use this information to solve business-critical issues.
Develop a Structured Product Feedback Strategy
Developing a structured feedback collection strategy is a must when operating a product-based business. While many businesses have a basic collection process in place, it's easy to miss the mark. Having a single feedback request survey after a transaction isn't sufficient for capturing information to help solve business-critical issues; you need data capture points throughout the process.
Incorporating several feedback points should be a core part of your digital customer experience management strategy. Consider how customers navigate your website or product. What are the key stages of the journey?
Incorporating unintrusive pop-up feedback requests throughout the customer journey using a product feedback tool can help you identify any friction points that are causing customers to bounce or drop your product. These requests should be a simple, "did you find what you were looking for?" with a yes or no option. It's also important to incorporate a text feedback area for customers to share their challenges.
For example, maybe your customer isn't sure where they should navigate to complete their purchase due to a flawed navigation UX. Their experience could be impacted by loading times, an undetected bug that empties their cart, or a lack of CTA buttons on your sales page.
Rather than focusing on how a customer feels after they've converted, create a strategy to collect feedback at every step of the sales funnel. This process could have a significant impact on your revenue.
Put a Review Process in Place
It's also important to consider what you're doing with product feedback when it's received. Reviewing feedback is often rolled into broader meetings and conversations rather than being a focal point.
Consider putting a review process in place to present product feedback to key stakeholders in your business. Look for overarching themes throughout the feedback. For example, has positive feedback improved since your last product update? Conversely, could your last update have created an issue that's leading to customer friction?
Creating a structured review process will help your business turn information into action. This data should be at the core of business improvement strategies for each sprint, month, or quarter.
Find the Root Cause
As your team collects insights using a product or in-app feedback tool, do a deep dive to find the root cause. What business-critical issue is it impacting or impacted by? Some notable focal points include:
- Finances and revenue
- Supply chain
- Project and team management
- Human resources
Understanding how product or in-app feedback aligns with business-critical issues will help your team identify how to solve the core problem rather than fixing a symptom.
Set Debugging Priorities
Determining the root cause of a problem as it pertains to business-critical concerns will also help your team set debugging or improvement priorities.
When evaluating product feedback, consider how it ties into business-critical activities, like revenue generation. If you determine that a product flaw or bug isn't directly related to business-critical issues, it should be deprioritized.
It's common for product development teams to address small issues as they arise. While this shows great initiative and care for the overall customer experience, it also derails focus from core improvements and priorities. The "it will only take a minute" mentality could be putting your business at risk.
If product feedback can't be related to a business-critical issue, it should be deprioritized until all other issues are dealt with. For example, if customers report that a certain feature would improve the user experience of your product, that's important; but it's not critical. If your product is broken and customers are asking for a refund, that's critical as it puts your finances (and reputation) at risk.
Consider Feature Requests
While feature adoption and improvement requests get deprioritized, they should remain on your company's radar. This type of SaaS product feedback may not have the urgency of a bug or issue, but it could impact the long-term success of your business.
Feature requests indicate a problem your customers are experiencing that you have the opportunity to solve. Solving these issues could improve customer retention and conversions. For example, if you notice a theme of potential customers saying, "this product would be perfect if it had X," then you should implement that improvement. This product improvement will ultimately impact revenue.
It's also important to assess the risk of not acting on product improvement feedback. This inaction leaves a gap for the competition to come in and solve the problem for your customers, putting your revenue at risk.
Assessing Your Resources
Falling into routine and complacency is a business killer. Product feedback provides an opportunity to challenge the status quo and re-evaluate your resources.
As you define how feedback themes align with business-critical issues, determine what internal solutions you should consider improving your systems. Assess your resources and determine whether you have the right tools and people in the right processes and roles. For example, if you're struggling to attract team members who could dramatically improve your product, consider what organizational changes should take place to correct that issue.
Building Customer Relationships
As you collect product feedback, you may determine the product itself isn't the issue; the brand story and customer relationships are. This issue typically presents as struggling to attract new customers but receiving positive product feedback from existing customers.
You can use that product feedback to help establish trust and attract new customers. Highlight positive feedback on your website and social media channels as a form of social proof. You can also work with customers who leave positive feedback to create a referral network for popular brands or affiliate program.
Failing to attract new clients and grow is a business-critical issue. Rather than focusing solely on how you can use product feedback to improve your offering, consider how you can use it to improve your brand.
Putting a feedback collection and review strategy in place are top priorities when using product feedback to solve business-critical issues. Take a 30,000-foot view to clarify how everything relates to your business before diving in and tackling issues, then use structure, systems, and processes to get the job done.