How To Use Customer Feedback To Improve Your Product


How Can Customer Feedback Improve a Product?

Customer feedback is essential to improving the quality of your product. It can help you learn what customers want, how they use your product, and what could be improved. Effective product managers use customer feedback to make changes to the product that will make it more enjoyable and successful for your customers.

We'll discuss how to improve your product using customer feedback. Through this process, you'll also reap benefits like:

  • Optimize your conversion path
  • Prevent customer churn
  • Provide amazing customer service
  • Improve customer satisfaction

Let's get started!

The Product Feedback Loop

Voice of the customer (VOC) data is essential to understanding how customers interact with a product or service, and is critical to creating a successful product. It can help identify problem areas and opportunities for improvement. VOC data should be used to improve the customer experience via an effective feedback loop.  Without a feedback loop, you may not be aware of what your customers want or need, and you may not be able to make the necessary changes to keep them happy.

Your feedback loop should include several different steps. First, you need to collect user feedback. This data can come from surveys, focus groups, interviews, or social media posts. Next, you need to analyze user feedback and figure out what it means. Then, you need to decide what changes or improvements to make to the product. Finally, you need to implement those changes and follow up with the customer.

Collect Customer Feedback, and Measure It!

Collecting feedback is the first step in the product feedback loop. By understanding how users interact with your product, you can measure the success of your product and make necessary changes to improve the user experience.

Feedback should be collected in a way that is measurable and provides sufficient target objectives. This allows you to track progress and make decisions based on data rather than opinion.  Some common metrics to use are Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), and Customer Effort Score (CES).

You also need qualitative feedback in order to understand the customer’s pain points and how your product can them achieve their goals in the best way. Without this information, you may be making assumptions about what your customers want and need.

If possible, a good way to get qualitative feedback is to talk to your customers one-on-one. This allows you to ask them specific questions about their experience with your product, and ask follow up questions in real time.

You can also augment your survey data with specific, open-ended questions in order to get contextual information. This can help you understand what you are doing right, and what you are doing wrong.

Regardless of how you get your feedback, it's a good idea to reach out to the user with follow up questions, if you need more context around the feedback they gave. An engaged user is usually pretty eager to give more feedback. They want to see the product or service improve and are more likely to take the time to provide detailed feedback, you just need to ask! 

Analyze Customer Feedback

It's important to organize customer feedback so that you can effectively review and analyze it. This includes segmenting your users and grouping the feedback into categories. This will help you see where the majority of the feedback is coming from, and whether there are any patterns.

Segment Your Users

Segmenting your user base is essential to understanding how your product is being used and to getting feedback. 

Breaking your user base into groups can help you identify trends in your data, and if desired, tailor improvements towards a specific segment.. For example, let's say your overall average NPS score is an 8.  On its own, this doesn't tell you very much. If you looked at your NPS score by each segment and saw that "Segment A" had an average score of 6 and "Segment B" had an NPS score of 10, you would want to look why those two groups have such different experiences.

There are a number of different ways to segment your user base, but the most common are by demographics (age, gender, location) and behavior (how often they use the product, how engaged they are). You can also group users by their level of satisfaction, how much money they've spent on your product, or how long they have been a customer.

Summarize and Group Feedback

It is important to break down your feedback into manageable topics. Doing so will help you keep track of the feedback, and also make it easier to identify key areas that need improvement. When summarizing key areas, make sure to link back to relevant text from the source feedback and which user it came from. This can help provide context and color if and when you decide to take action on the topic at hand.

Categorize and Cluster Themes

Categorize and cluster topics to analyze feedback to make product decisions. Doing this helps identify themes in the feedback and product areas that need improvement. For example, one theme might be creating more intuitive designs and another might be improving communication with customers. Once these themes are identified, take a quick overview of each theme, for example - how many topics are in each theme, and how many responses fall into each topic and theme.

It will also be helpful to categorize the themes for sorting and reviewing later on. Here are some examples of how you could categorize:

  • Product area (app front end, app back end, API, integrations)
  • Effort (High vs low)
  • Type of topic (feature request, bug, problem)
  • Objective (improve engagement, increase trial to paid, ensure compliance)

Acting On Customer Feedback

Now that we have taken the steps to organize user feedback, let's see how we can act on it.

Identify and Prioritize Pain Points and Product Improvement Areas

When it comes to analyzing customer feedback, there are a few key methods to ensure success. Try not to focus on negative feedback, but rather, the pain points the customer had. What are customers not happy with? What are they struggling with? Once these issues have been identified, the next step is to determine what the product's goal is and what solutions can be offered in order to address these pain points.

Remember when we talked about segmenting earlier? This is where having to ability to slice your feedback really shines. By looking at different segments, you'll be able to get a better understanding of who is voicing their opinions and why. This will help product owners better target their efforts when addressing customer complaints and suggestions.

Cross check the most frequently occurring themes against your business objectives and your most valuable segments. You'll want to balance user satisfaction against your product vision when deciding what to look at. Decide on the topics that you want to make improvements to. Your team's bandwidth and the amount of time you have between release cycles will influence how many improvements you will undertake during this feedback loop.

Brainstorm Solutions to Pain Points

Once these pain points are identified, brainstorm solutions that can address them. For example, if users cannot find how to access a certain features, possible solutions could include:

  • Creating documentation or videos that show how to access the feature
  • Changing the location of the button that leads to the feature
  • Changing the text, color, or icon of the button that leads to the feature
  • Overhauling the layout of the entire application to better showcase the feature
  • Highlighting the feature during onboarding

As you can see, these potential solutions span across different functional teams. As well, the scope ranges from minor to very large. The development time, resources required, and actual impact of each solution need to be considered carefully to ensure that the best fit is found.  This is also where the value of the qualitative feedback comes in.  The voice of the customer will help to provide actionable insights and help determine which of the potential solutions will best alleviate the pain that the user experienced.

Delivering Improvements with the Help of a Product Roadmap

When it comes to product development, having a clear roadmap is essential for success. A roadmap helps you prioritize your work and solve pain points so that you can deliver value to your customers. It also provides a framework for measuring development progress and ensuring that everyone is on the same page.

Creating a product roadmap is not always easy, but it's worth the effort. The first step is to understand your customers and their needs. If you've been organizing your feedback as described in this article, this should already be done!  Next, you need to identify which features or improvements will address those needs, and then figure out the best way to deliver them. You also need to be realistic about what you can accomplish given your resources and timeline.

The final step is to communicate your roadmap to everyone involved in product development. This includes stakeholders, team members, and even customers if possible. Keeping everyone aligned and focused on the same goal is critical for success. The product roadmap also improves communication between stakeholders, team members, and customers by showing dependencies and timelines.

Clarify Documentation

If you're getting feedback that something in your documentation was lacking or completely missing, there are a few things you can do to improve it. First, make sure you're using clear and concise language. Be specific about what you want the reader to do, and avoid using jargon or technical terms that people may not be familiar with. You can also improve clarity by providing examples and screenshots, and by breaking down complex steps into smaller, more manageable chunks. And finally, always be willing to listen to feedback and make changes based on what your readers are telling you.

Following Up on Feedback - Let Customers Know They’ve Been Heard

Notifying customers when their feedback has been heard and acted upon is a great way to show that you're listening and that you care about their experience. It also helps build trust and strengthens the relationship between company and customer.

There are a few ways to notify customers about changes made as a result of their feedback. One way is by responding directly to customer support emails. Another way is through a message within the app itself. As well, a product management software tool should be able to help you close the loop on user feedback by sending an email notification.

Here is a sample email informing that their feedback has been heard:


We've read through all of the feedback you've provided and are working on implementing the changes you've suggested. We wanted to let you know that we're working hard to improve the email experience for all of our users, and we appreciate your input.

Some of the changes we're making include: 
- Making it easier to unsubscribe from mailing lists 
- Updating the design of our emails 
- Making it easier to find past messages 

We hope these changes will make it easier for you to stay connected with us and improve your email experience. Thank you again for providing your feedback, and please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any additional suggestions.


Bonus: What's Working Well? Discover Potential Advocates and Nurture Them

After gathering feedback, be sure to take the time to identify your potential advocates. Thank them for their input and let them know you appreciate their help. Then, nurture these relationships by asking for reviews or referrals. These people can help spread the word about your business and boost your bottom line.

Once you have identified your advocates. you can also benefit from keeping them engaged. This can be done by providing exclusive offers, early access to new feature, or just thanking them for their support. Whatever the method, make sure you show your appreciation and keep the lines of communication open.

Keep Iterating!

In conclusion, feedback through the voice of the customer is essential to creating a successful user experience. By constantly iterating on designs and getting user feedback, you can create a product that your users will love.  This process must be repeated frequently in order to keep up with customer needs and keep the product improving.  So keep listening to your users, and keep iterating!

Embarkable: Turn feedback into action

Embarkable connects feedback to ideas so that you can build an informed roadmap.

Embarkable is a product management platform that connects customer feedback to product goals to help you decide what to build, and why. It lets you consolidate feedback from many different sources so that you'll have more confidence in what to build, and a stronger understanding of your customer needs. Spend less time searching for the right insight, more time building the feature that makes the customer happy, and drive your business forward.

In addition to building roadmaps and managing product launches, Embarkable allows you to monitor a single stream of incoming feedback to keep a pulse on what users are saying - something that would be much too time consuming to do manually. When you have different team members handling support or social media, Embarkable offers peace of mind because you'll know that critical feedback isn't falling through the cracks.

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