When it comes to soliciting pre-release customer feedback, most teams focus on one thing: bugs. Understandably so – a buggy product in a competitive marketplace is kryptonite to a successful launch.
But while the focus on bugs isn’t misplaced, you should know that your users – whether you’re soliciting customer feedback through surveys, crowdsourced testing, or Customer Validation – are pointing out more than bugs and defects. When you treat all customer feedback one way, you’re missing out on the full benefits of target market insights.
Here are the 3 critical things you should be looking for in your customer feedback.
Things to Fix
Product development teams are all too familiar with the importance of surfacing bugs, errors, and product issues. One area where they tend to struggle is anticipating when and how these issues will pop up in real-world environments, and how often they will occur. That’s why getting your product into the hands of a team of real users is so valuable.
Fixes are a primary indicator of stability and whether or not your product is performing to spec (PRD or SFS, for example). What bugs can’t tell you, however, is what your customers would like to see beyond a working product. That’s where improvements come in.
Examples of “Fix” Feedback:
- Not working as designed
- Manufacturing defects
- Unique environment issues
- User interaction problems
Areas to Improve
The ideas and suggestions that come from customer feedback help you measure customer acceptance. More than looking at where your product is right now, they show you what your market needs and how your target audience wants your product to evolve. It’s this kind of feedback that will take your product from a functional solution to a delightful everyday necessity.
Unlike bugs, improvements pertain less to stability and more to customer satisfaction. It’s enormously helpful in building out your product roadmap. It also helps you prioritize updates and new releases.
Examples of “Improve” feedback:
- Ideas for new features
- Suggestions to improve features
- New feature requests
- Requests for enhancement (RFEs)
Experiences to Promote
While the things that aren’t working drive product improvements, don’t discount the things that are working for you. Praise that comes through pre-release customer feedback illuminates what excites and delights your target audience.
Positive feedback on features highlights what you should be doing more of. Passing the message on to your product and dev teams shows the impact of their work on customer satisfaction. You can send direct quotes from customers to marketing and sales for promotional materials, case studies, and testimonials. Finally, you can share that feedback with your executive team.
Beyond letting other teams know that their efforts are paying off, positive feedback serves as a word of caution – don’t break what your customers love. If there are plans to update an experience that people already really enjoy, consider those changes with care. Updates to other areas that could affect popular or beloved features merit the same considerations.
Examples of “Promote” Feedback
- Positive feedback
- Customer quotes
Getting the Most Out of Customer Feedback
When you start to think outside the “bug,” you’ll see these 3 types of feedback appearing in all of your customer feedback. The voice of the customer is a powerful tool, and you’ll want to use all of it to continually improve the product experience for your current customers and to draw in new customers.
To learn more about the three types of feedback and how to solicit it from your target audience, download our comprehensive whitepaper, The Feedback Playbook.