According to a recent PwC report: “Experience is everything: here’s how to get it right“, around 75% of people believe that customer or user experience is a critical factor in their transaction decisions, but less than 50% of people are actually satisfied with that experience. Businesses need to get better at managing their feedback loop, from collection to closure, so they can collect actionable insights that allow them to optimize the experience for their users and maximize both growth and retention.
When it comes to initiating the user feedback loop, you need to utilize the right collection methods and tools to ensure that your product is receiving the real-time feedback it needs to stay competitive in today’s ever-evolving marketplace.
Power up your feedback loop with The Ultimate Guide to User Feedback for Product Managers
Before you get started on this article about ways to collect user feedback, you might want to download The Ultimate Guide to User Feedback Management. From collection to closure, this comprehensive eBook highlights what you can be doing to streamline your user feedback processes and better understand what your users need in order to deliver the features they want, faster!
User Acceptance Testing (also called “UAT” or “UAT Testing”) is one of the most common forms of collection for feedback loops. It’s an essential part of the product development cycle, allowing you to observe how real users interact with your product and identify areas to improve, optimize… or remove!
Before you launch your SaaS platform, web application or website — or hand it over to a client — it must undergo a final round of UAT testing. This phase is often referred to as “beta testing”, “end-user testing”, or “final testing”.
Whatever you call it, UAT testing can help to supercharge your product development lifecyscle and feedback loop by allowing you to:
- See how users navigate through the experience;
- Better understand user behavior and make informed decisions;
- Ensure that the final product actually does what it should and meets the end user’s requirements;
- Confirm that the product meets the specific work requirements;
- Identify any problems that might have been missed or overlooked by you or your team;
- Determine if the product is actually ready to be launched into the market;
- Highlights any potential issues that may arise following launch Identifies any additional work required to complete the project;
UAT testing is a complex and iterative process that requires discipline, unless you want to go live with errors! Whether the people in your UAT testing program are external or within your organization, it’s best to automate as much of the workflow as possible because emails, spreadsheets, pen and paper won’t cut it. Capturing visual and contextual feedback can significantly accelerate the entire feedback loop process as your developers can immediately access all the information they need to make updates.
Learn more about User Acceptance Testing (UAT testing) here.
Surveys allow you to gather valuable insights into how customers feel about your product, including their opinions on features, usability and satisfaction. This can help you identify areas for improvement and better tailor your product offerings to meet user needs.
You can also use surveys to gauge user loyalty. By asking users to rate their level of satisfaction with a product, you can gain insights into how likely they are to remain loyal to your brand in the future. You can use this information to reward customers who are especially satisfied with your product, or take steps to improve customer retention if you notice a decrease in satisfaction.
Surveys are also a great way to track customer behavior over time. By asking users the same questions each month or quarter, you can gain an understanding of how their opinions and preferences are changing.
Adding this data to your feedback loop can can help to inform product development and marketing strategies, allowing you to stay competitive.
With A/B tests you can compare two different versions of the same product feature or page to see which performs better.
You can measure the success of your tests with quantitative user feedback, such as session data and clicks, or you can conduct surveys or interviews with users to capture qualitative data.
Adding A/B testing to your feedback loop highlights what works and what doesn’t, allowing you to make informed product decisions that will benefit their users. The key is to make sure you’re collecting enough data and analyzing it thoroughly to make sure your product is as user-friendly and effective as possible.
But A/B testing doesn’t stop there! You can continue to monitor and evaluate product performance after a test and regularly review the user feedback loop to see if product improvements are making a positive impact or if any new issues are arising.
Observation & heat mapping
Adding observation methodologies, like heat mapping, to the feedback loop can give product managers insights into user behavior, showing you how users are interacting with the interface and what areas of the page they are most interested in. It enables you to pinpoint areas that are confusing or difficult to use, so you can make tweaks and improvements accordingly.
In addition to heat mapping you should also consider other forms of observation to get an even more complete view of how people use your web application, giving you the best opportunity to create the best product possible.
For example, observe how experienced and novice users complete tasks and tasks or observe UAT sessions to get a more in-depth look at user behavior and how people interact with your product.
Regularly adding online reviews of your web application or website to your feedback loop can provide invaluable third-party perspectives. These can help you to see the level of trust people have for your product, along with general sentiment and how you stack up against your competitors.
This is a true picture of what people think and can really highlight both the features that people love along with where your functionality may be missing the mark.
Online product reviews also provide you with a platform to respond to feedback that may be inaccurate and to announce new features and functionality that may address any issues raised.
Communities and forums
People often ‘talk’ differently when they are talking to their peers rather than providing direct feedback, so when you review the conversations and content that people are having about your product on communities and forums you can get richer and often unexpected insight and understanding of user pain points, feature requirements and current trends in the how your product is perceived and used.
For example, if users on a community forum are discussing how it’s difficult to find or use a specific feature within the product, you can use this information to craft a better user experience.
Content and conversations on community forums can also help you to keep up to date with general user sentiment, industry trends, competitor activity and how you can make your product stand out to provide users with greater value and build competitive advantage and long term loyalty and customer value.
When used correctly — like communities and forums — social media is a powerful tool for product managers, especially in understanding the needs of their customers.
By monitoring social media feedback, you can quickly pick up patterns of customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction and make adjustments accordingly. Furthermore, social media feedback provides a deeper insight into customers’ experiences than traditional user feedback methods, such as surveys and focus groups.
Additionally, social media presents you with the opportunity to respond to feedback both personally and publicly either to:
- Highlight that feedback may be inaccurate; or
- Acknowledge feedback and how you propose to address any issues or concerns raised; or
- Thank users for positive feedback and reinforce future plans to build on popular features and functionality to make your product even better.
You are also engaging users on their preferred channels of communication – meeting them on their turf and on their terms, helping to build greater trust and brand loyalty provided you engage with empathy and respect.
Interviews, panels & focus groups
When you directly engage your users you can get a different firsthand perspective on their thoughts, opinions, needs and wants. You can also ask them to expand on their comments and establish a real-time two way dialogue.
Interviews are a great way to have a one-on-one conversation with their customers, allowing you to get a better understanding of the users’ experiences with the product, and any issues they may have had.
Panels are a great option when it comes to getting feedback from multiple customers at the same time, providing a wider perspective and allowing you to compare opinions and experiences on a larger scale. You may also see how users defend or complain about features and functionality in a public setting.
Focus groups give you deeper insight into user experiences. By allowing you to ask questions, listen and provide your own feedback in a guided conversation with your users.
Customer service teams
Operating on the frontline of user engagement, your customer service and customer success teams can be invaluable sources of actionable user feedback by providing insights about where people need the greatest support when it comes to using your web application or website.
You can use information from these teams to make and prioritize product decisions that:
- Create a better experience for users;
- Reduce the workload for your customer service team;
- Ensure that issues can be resolved with greater speed and efficiency;
- Predict and minimize the impact of potential issues.
And it’s a two-way street! Your customer service and customer success teams can use the other types of user feedback collected to develop resolution strategies, which can help prevent customer churn and drive adoption of new features.
It may sound obvious, but identifying and resolving bugs is a critical part of the continuous product development lifecycle for any SaaS platform, web application or website.
As a product manager, you need to manage the reporting and resolution of bugs efficiently so that your team can do their job effectively. Without proper bug tracking, your software team has no way of locating, tracking and fixing issues.
Incorrect or incomplete information means your developers may find themselves spending lots of time going back and forth with customers trying to track down a bug. Not only is this time consuming, but it’s also wasted time that could be better spent on other tasks that add value. Additionally, it can lead to negative experiences for developers and users alike, impacting NPS and CSAT scores plus diluting brand loyalty.
When it’s done well, bug reporting allows you to:
- Rapidly identify, assess, prioritize and resolve issues accurately;
- Reduce developer frustration and improving customer satisfaction.
It’s important to streamline your bug tracking process and automate as much of the workflow as possible so your team can keep up with any bug-related tasks.
Feature requests provide valuable insight into what users, customers and stakeholders want from your product, what they need and how they expect to be able to use your product.
PRO TIP: How you manage feature requests presents an opportunity to build stronger relationships with users, customers and stakeholders by showing them their feedback is being taken seriously. Knowing their opinions are being heard and that their requests are being considered builds trust and can ultimately lead to higher user satisfaction and customer retention.
Having a clear workflow to manage feature requests is an essential part of the product manager role that can’t be overlooked because it helps you to:
- Identify which features are most valuable;
- Prioritize what should be built next;
- Ensure customer needs remain at the heart of product decisions;
- Identify trends and opportunities;
- Spot new markets;
- Uncover customer pain points;
- Discover possibilities for growth.
This data can then be used to develop feature roadmaps that are tailored to customer needs.
General user feedback comments are a great way to capture sentiment and suggestions outside of the structured approaches outlined above.
KEY LEARNING FROM OUR OWN EXPERIENCE: If you haven’t realized it already, your users are often more in tune with what’s required from your product than you are, so it’s important to give them an avenue to provide feedback that you may not have thought about — and they may not have seen how to submit their comments via any of the other channels.
Ideas and feedback portal
As a product manager, it’s important to be able to efficiently collect and manage user feedback and user generated ideas in a single, centralized location, like a Feedback and Ideas Portal!
You can let users to vote on ideas and proposed features, submit their own ideas and express the needs of the community in a clear and organized manner. All this feedback helps to give you a better understanding of what to include in your product roadmap and what to prioritize.
In addition users can use the portal to exchange ideas with one another, build relationships and foster collaboration within the community. This helps to shape a collective vision for the product and ensure that the users’ needs are met.
Ultimately, by having a Feedback and Ideas Portal in place, product managers can make decisions that are informed by the community and create a product that is tailored to their users’ needs.
In-app user feedback tools
Installing a frictionless in-app feedback tool or widget, like Userback, allows you to capture visual and contextual user feedback without interrupting their experience.
Users can simply click a ‘feedback’ button to provide bug reports, feature requests, general comments and other feedback. You can also initiate feedback collection through triggered in-app surveys and other forms that provide valuable real-time customer input, insight and analytics that allow you to identify areas of concern or potential improvements.
In-app user feedback tools also provide a way to track user adoption, usage trends and other key metrics for measuring customer satisfaction. By understanding how your customers interact with your product, you can make informed decisions to continuously improve the user experience.
Net Promoter Score®, Customer Satisfaction and Customer Effort Score
And finally, you really can’t talk about user feedback without talking about Net Promoter Scores (NPS), Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)and Customer Effort Score (CES). These three measure how users feel about the products and services you provide:
- NPS measures customer loyalty;
- CSAT measures customer satisfaction;
- CES is a user feedback survey that measures the ease of a task a user has just completed.
These metrics can be incorporated into a web application or website to help product managers gain insight into how their users are responding to the products and services they offer.
NPS and CSAT simply provide a broad overview of user sentiment. If you require more detail or greater insight you need to use other forms of feedback to gain a deeper understanding of users’ needs and experiences.
NPS and CSAT are essential metrics for a product manager to take into account when assessing user feedback and guiding product development. By collecting and analyzing user feedback, product managers can ensure they are providing the best products and services to their users.
Customer Effort Score (CES) is a metric that helps product managers to measure the amount of effort a customer has to expend to get their needs met. It’s an important tool for helping PMs understand how efficiently customers can use the product, and whether further improvements should be made. By understanding where the pain points are in terms of customer effort, PMs can make the necessary changes to improve the user experience. Therefore, tracking Customer Effort Score is a crucial part of a product manager’s role in order to develop products that are both efficient and satisfying for customers.
Furthermore, knowing how much effort it takes customers to get their needs met also helps provide insight into customer loyalty and satisfaction. By tracking CES, PMs can understand how successful their product is at meeting customers’ expectations and keeping them engaged. This data provides valuable feedback to use in developing new features or even marketing strategies that keep customers coming back for more.
In short, Customer Effort Score is an essential metric for product managers to track and understand. It helps them identify customer pain points, optimize the user experience and improve customer loyalty. All this leads to a better product overall and increased success for your platform, web application or website.
“Net Promoter®, NPS®, NPS Prism®, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld. Net Promoter Score℠ and Net Promoter System℠ are service marks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.”
So there you have it, from UAT Testing to NPS, these are 15 of the most common ways to collect user feedback and power up your feedback loop with actionable user insights. When you truly understand what your users need from your product, you can focus on building more of what they love, faster. But collecting feedback is just the beginning — you need to be able to manage that feedback efficiently and effectively… that’s where a platform like Userback can really help, and and we’ll cover that off in a future article.
In the meantime, if you haven’t done so it’s worth taking a look at our article “3 fundamentals of user feedback explained” that outlines the three categories of user feedback based on:
Userback is a market-leading user feedback platform helping 20,000+ software teams to understand what customers need so they can build better web applications, faster.
Userback streamlines and automates the realtime in-app collection, evaluation and management of visual feedback and contextual surveys. Userback can be used standalone or seamlessly integrated into existing business workflows to allow product managers and developers to validate ideas, optimize product-market fit, refine roadmaps, prioritize features, fix bugs and deliver value with greater insight, impact and efficiency.
Founded in Australia in 2016, Userback is backed by Craft Ventures.
Power up your feedback loop for free at userback.io/signup