How to manage feature requests and product feedback from your customers
Feature requests are a great source of input for your product roadmap and an opportunity to build a great relationship with your customers. Read on for our tips on how to manage your incoming feature requests.
What are feature requests?
Feature requests are product ideas and suggestions that your customers share with you. They can be separated into:
- Suggestions for new features
- Improvements of existing features
Why are they important?
It is often said that "feedback is a gift" when it comes to receiving personal feedback. The same is definitely true for product feedback. When you receive product suggestions, it means that your customers care about your product and are willing to invest the time to let you know what they think. This is a great thing. Make sure that you make the most out of it by managing incoming product feedback well.
Tips to manage feature requests
1. Make it easy for your customers to give you feedback
The easier you make it for your customers to share their feedback with you, the more valuable data and input you will collect. Make sure your customers know that you want to receive their feedback and make it easy for them to give it to you. This could be as simple as having a feedback button in your product connected to a form or an email address for feedback that you share with your customers.
2. Gather all your feature requests in one place
Stay on top of all incoming requests by gathering them in one place. This allows you to organize the requests and add important information, such as who has requested it and how many customers have requested it. Ideally, you want to aggregate similar feedback and be able to notify your customers when you ship the feature.
3. Understand what your customers are asking for
It's important to understand what your customers are asking for with their feedback. Ask questions about their feedback and clarify any details. When you have a potential solution, ask them for their input again. Make sure you're on the same page and that your customers feel understood and involved. Take the opportunity to build a better product together with your customers.
According to a 280 group survey,
21% of products being delivered failed to meet customer needs
Make sure you're not part of that statistic.
4. Reply to all incoming feature requests
If your customer has taken the time and effort to send you feedback, make sure you respond. It can be as easy as letting them know that you have received the request and asking some follow-up questions to let them know that you care. This can be the start to building a great relationship with a customer. Also, if they are requesting a feature that you are not going to implement, tell them that and let them know why. They might be disappointed, but also happy that you are being open and letting them know your reasoning.
5. Prioritize the feedback
There are several popular frameworks for prioritizing product roadmaps, such as the RICE framework or the Value vs Effort matrix. Regardless of which framework you use, two important inputs that you should keep track of are:
- Who is requesting the feature? Are they a strategic and important customer?
- How many of your customers are requesting the same thing? (read more about feature voting)
Once you know "who" and "how many", you will have a pretty good idea of the importance of the feedback. Combine that with the other factors that you use to evaluate product ideas to make a prioritization.
6. Keep your customers in the loop on the feedback they give you
Once you have prioritized the feedback and decided next steps, let your customers know. Especially let them know if you have launched something that they have asked for. This is a great user experience! One way keeping your customers in the loop is with an open product roadmap, a more personal approach is to send them an email.
Also, collecting feature requests does not mean that you will build everything that your customers ask for. There can be many reasons not to build a feature. That's fine, just be upfront with your customer and let them know why.
To sum up
As your business grows, you will have increasing amounts of incoming feature requests. This is a great source of data and input to your product roadmap. It's also an opportunity to build a great relationship with your customers. If your customers invest time and effort to let you know what you think, make the most of it and use it to your advantage by managing their feedback well.
You can manage feature requests manually or use a tool like Convas to automate feature request tracking (Convas is a tool for tracking feature requests where you gather & prioritize all incoming requests in one place and communicate directly with your customers to ask questions and update them when you launch something they have asked for).
Plug: Convas, a feedback page for your company
Convas is a feedback page for your company. Gather all your feedback in one place, understand your customers and build the right products.
Your customers can share, discuss and upvote feedback in one organized place. Stay in control without messy spreadsheets, emails and Slack notifications.
Its a product manager's best friend. Try it for free.