It’s no secret that product success depends on your ability to prioritize your project goals and implement customer feedback into the final version of your product – which is exactly why the results of your Customer Validation efforts are so critical to improving user experience. But recognizing the value of customer feedback and having reliable methods for collecting, measuring, and implementing that feedback are two different things. For many Customer Validation professionals, just learning how to identify which type of user feedback to focus on is a big challenge in running effective Alpha, Beta, and Field Tests.
That’s where feedback scoring comes in. By setting up measurable criteria before the test begins, you’ll take the guesswork out of categorizing and prioritizing your feedback. Scoring feedback based on these criteria as it comes in allows the issues that matter most to both your stakeholders and your customer-testers to rise to the top of the heap. This makes it easier to streamline your team’s workflows, and gives you the exact feedback you need to improve your product and the customer experience.
When giving incoming feedback a score, it’s important to consider both your project goals and other defining characteristics of the submission, like the popularity and severity of the issues captured in the feedback you’re reviewing.
Scoring feedback based on its relation to your project objectives helps your team focus their time and energy on the insights that will actually move you closer to achieving those goals.
For example, when Alpha Testing a completely new product with a few unfinished features, you can use feedback scoring to draw out feedback on specific features or components you set out to evaluate, and prevent your team from getting weighed down by feedback about low-priority issues. If you are Beta Testing a new version of an existing product, you might not necessarily need feedback on unchanged features that you’ve evaluated in previous Beta Tests. Instead, you might be more interested in gathering insights on your customers’ attitudes towards specific new or updated features, so you’ll put more emphasis on the feedback from those topics.
Popularity and Severity
Of course, your project objectives won’t necessarily account for the unexpected issues and suggestions that come up during your Customer Validation test, but that doesn’t mean these topics are any less valuable. That’s why, when devising a feedback scoring system, it’s crucial to consider additional characteristics of user-submitted feedback, such as how many unique times an issue occurred, the importance of the product area it affected, how many other testers encountered something similar, and how much it affected the user’s overall experience. If, for example, a major bug affected one user, but a minor bug affected twenty, their scores will reflect that, which allows your team to then decide how to prioritize each of these bugs.
By using feedback scoring to sort and score submissions based on their importance to your stakeholders as well as your future customers, your team can more quickly and easily identify and prioritize the issues that need to be addressed before launch. If your project tools have specific automation for feedback scoring, the scoring process will be even easier. Either way, feedback scoring will prevent you from sinking valuable time and resources into feedback that is either not relevant to your goals or will not have a huge impact on product success.
With this in mind, using tester input to guide your team’s focus and make sure you address issues or suggestions ultimately means that when your product goes to market, your customers will have a more seamless experience. Even if you can’t fix everything your testers have suggested, you can give your Support team line-of-sight into any potential challenges your customers could face, which helps them get your customers the answers they need more quickly. What’s more, you’ll already know what to prioritize for your first product update.
Ready to learn more about boosting the impact of your customers’ feedback on your product? Watch how Centercode’s Program Developer Jim Le implements automated feedback scoring with our on-demand webinar, “Leveraging Feedback Scoring!”