Software integrations have become the ‘topic de jour’ amongst today’s software teams and users.
Software teams already utilize various tools and platforms that facilitate work beyond the individual function of user feedback and action. It’s nothing new as probably every job requires software tools, and today there’s never been so many tools on offer able to power the development cycle. With that said, it stands to reason that integrating the individual function of feedback into existing tools leads to some serious benefits.
Why you should integrate feedback
As user feedback platforms have become more popular, the need for integrations has also increased. Integrations allow user feedback to be distributed to the right people and systems, and they also help to collect action feedback.
In a well formed and managed feedback loop consists of 5 major stages that software teams need to manage in order to succeed:
- Submission insights
The most straightforward idea is collection, modern tools allow Product Managers and software teams to collect feedback directly within the platform, but other options also exist. Email requests, surveys and small user groups can create temporal feedback for teams to gain insight into product fit. But from this initial step, integrations and capabilities behind your collection mechanism of choice start to become more critical for successfully creating that feedback loop.
Once collected, screening and prioritization take center stage, should a team choose the manual methods of email, survey or user groups (or commonly a combination of the three to ensure feedback volume is meaningful) information is likely to reside in disparate systems requiring standardization and consolidation. Moving user feedback data between systems is manual, time-consuming, ineffective, and unproductive. It raises risk of human error in transfer and slows the information flow and overall adoption of feedback adding to development cost. To get off on the right foot and optimize the initial stages, integrations can assist in the delivery of feedback collected into the communication platform of choice before being moved into the next stages. For example, user feedback collected via integrations should be delivered directly into Slack, for one click screening before another API integration pushes approved suggestions on.
By utilizing integrations here, manual error is eliminated, feedback is actioned faster and its delivery is consistent as it flows from user to feedback lead and on to developer for action.
Where integrations really play a pivotal role, is in the distribution of approved feedback for action. Once user feedback has been recognized as legitimate and valuable, the information needs to be delivered to those who have the power to action it, be it UX, bug fix, feature request or something else entirely, feedback without action is useless. We opened this blog with reference to the myriad of tools already in operation for software development teams today, those tools that are already part of today’s workflows need to be at the forefront of how user feedback is consumed and ingested into the development process. If developer teams are using Jira, Asana, Basecamp, Monday or any other tool for project management in an effort to track their production tasks and remain aligned with development roadmaps and timeframes, user feedback MUST be delivered to that location.
A user feedback platform with integrations connecting to the software you use delivers three key benefits amongst a raft of others.
Delivery consistency is maximized when integrations can take the manual workload out of feedback ingestion, pushing approved feedback into existing workflows where developers focus on daily tasks. This reduces orphaned feedback and missed actions as a result of feedback not being delivered into the daily tools in use. Integrations have the power here to take the thought out of feedback for developer action, and let teams focus on activity to maximize productivity.
Integrations automate feedback processing within feedback platforms creating faster business processes. As development cycles speed with the adoption of devops and agile development methodologies, complimentary business processes also need to increase pace. Integrations allow for this faster business process relating to the feedback function, instantly pushing information from feedback to screening and into development workflows seamlessly. By utilizing the integrations available to software teams, this reduces ‘drag’ caused by slow feedback processes in a high speed environment and reduces the development cycle allowing releases and fixes to be delivered more frequently.
As things become faster to process with manual steps being eliminated, and friction with other processes is reduced, organizations gain stand to gain efficiencies across development which ultimately result in cost savings associated with the expedited processing of feedback, the focus of developers working on high priority projects and the cost associated with running multiple tools when one will do when utilizing well thought out integrations.
Overall, integrations are a powerful tool that can help user feedback platforms to be more effective and efficient. They can help to ensure that feedback is distributed to the right people and systems, and they can also help to automate processes. As user feedback platforms continue to grow in popularity, integrations will become increasingly important. If your platform of choice doesn’t have the integration you need, test their own feedback capability and make the submission for the integration directly.