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Illustration by Agnieszka Wawro

User feedback can help you develop product ideas and improvements when well analyzed and managed. These insights come from real customers who know first-hand how well your product does what it promises to do.

The user feedback-gathering process does not have to be difficult if you use the right tools. In this guide, we’ll go through the benefits of collecting user feedback and some best practices that can help you boost customer satisfaction, increase loyalty, and reduce customer churn.

Table of contents

What is user feedback?

User feedback is qualitative or quantitative information about 

  • What impressions customers have after using your product
  • How your company, product, service, or website has helped a user
  • When or how it has caused issues
  • Whether your users are satisfied with your service
  • Or why they are not satisfied

This data comes directly from your customers. It helps you understand what users think and feel about a product. It answers questions like “How satisfied are you with this product/feature?”

User feedback can be collected with tools like surveys, particularly user satisfaction metrics like the Net Promoter Score (NPS) or the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT).

Types of user feedback

There are two types of user feedback. 

It can be proactive, meaning you solicit information from users. This can be a survey, website pop-up or widget, a phone call, and so on. 

But user feedback can also be reactive. This is when information users send you is unprompted. The users may open up a chatbox with your support staff or leave a review on a third party website.

The best way to obtain user feedback is in-app (for contextual purposes).

User feedback concerns satisfaction, feature requests, struggles encountered while using your product, or release input.

Satisfaction

We recommend you gather user satisfaction data through surveys. Well-designed surveys are unobtrusive and leave room for users to give feedback they want to give, rather than being forced to do so.

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is the most popular customer satisfaction metric.

NPS is a metric that sorts customers into promoters (the most satisfied users), passives, and detractors (least satisfied). This is based on a 0-10 rating scale to answer the question, “How likely are you to recommend this product to a friend or colleague?”.

The second most popular user satisfaction metric is the CSAT score.

This kind of survey is usually transactional. It is triggered by interactions with support staff or a completed purchase. It gives a general overview of customers’ satisfaction.

And lastly, you can measure your customers' satisfaction with the Customer Effort Score survey.

CES is a highly transactional metric which lets you collect feedback on working or faulty business areas. Use the collected data in this user feedback survey to get quick wins that can boost your customer satisfaction.

Feature requests

Users are often happy to provide insights into features they most need from your product. This feedback is highly actionable for product managers, who can prioritize features to prevent customer churn and competitor gain.

Use a feature prioritization survey to assess your users' needs for enhancements or desired functionality.

Release feedback 

When the product team releases a new product or feature, you need to learn whether the offering hit the mark or if any adjustments are still required. This is an excellent opportunity to gather user feedback, as customers will want a say in whether the update meets their needs.

Use these insights to perfect your new release or to feed future optimization processes.

Why is collecting user feedback important?

User feedback is the best way to ensure your product meets actual needs. It can be challenging for product managers to be objective when it comes to their work. Actual users are the best place to look for experience insights.

Let’s look at the most prominent benefits you can gain from collecting, analyzing, and using this kind of feedback.

Continuous improvement

Your users will be happy to tell you what you are doing wrong. Many points of struggle cannot be easily found by just looking at statistics and analytical data. Plus, getting information upfront means saving time and resources.

Design issues are often invisible to those on the back end who don’t use the product for its intended purposes. Users see these things instantly. 

Customer loyalty boost

Asking customers for input on the ins and outs of your product and their satisfaction with it gives them a sense of importance. Customers want to feel valued and listened to. When you do that, customer loyalty increases.

Moreover, when you take advantage of personalized recommendations, you will likely get word-of-mouth advertisements. Customers who feel taken care of are more willing to recommend a brand.

Source of personalization and innovative ideas

Collecting user feedback can help you develop innovative ideas and stay ahead of the competition. Like with feature prioritization, you should base business decisions on your customers' experience to avoid always staying one step behind. 

What’s more, your customers choose you over competitors for a reason; it doesn’t always make sense to copy other strategies. The more personal your approach, the more loyal your customers will be.

User feedback helps build a product that answers real user needs, not just meets theoretical benchmarks. Analyze user feedback responses to create targeted content and services.

Process optimization

Product research and gathering and analyzing user feedback can help you refine and design more optimal processes. For instance, if you continually find similar issues in new product releases, you can easily find the point of struggle.

Some market benchmarks like delivery, pricing, or product ideation can, to some extent, be guided by competitors. Other aspects of your business, like support help, website navigation, or your USP, must be refined based on customer feedback.

Better segmentation

User feedback can help divide users into segments. The biggest advantage of this is opening up to new markets and customizing your strategy to better fit market needs. You’ll also be able to cater more personally to specific personas.

When to collect user feedback

Collect user feedback throughout the product lifecycle. To get a constant stream of requests and ideas for your roadmap, use tools and processes to capture both active and passive feedback.

Ideation

Product research is an essential first step in developing any product. Potential users can give you great ideas during the ideation phase to ensure your product will meet market demand. 

You’ll also learn how users intend to use your product and what they may be missing among your competitors. This means critical features and functionalities that can make your product better than anything else available.

Development

Suppose you already have a group of candidates who agreed to participate in product ideation research. In that case, you could ask them for input when conducting usability or A/B testing of particular features. 

This is where you start collecting feedback from real users, not just potential ones.

User onboarding

Asking new users and even staff how easy it was for them to begin understanding how the product works is a goldmine of information. 

You want user onboarding to be as simple a process as possible. Otherwise, you may drive users away while they’re still trying and testing your product!

Of course, specific products require a level of sophistication from the start, but more often than not, you can expect new users to have that skillset and knowledge. They are the perfect subjects to tell you how well your product works in the business.

Try to find out

  • What new users found confusing
  • Where they got stuck
  • When they needed additional guidance
  • How did they receive that guidance, or when did they expect support when there was none

This information will help you improve the setup process for future new users.

Established products

For brands with established products, you’ll be looking for feedback on issues that only become apparent in real-life use. Use customer surveys like NPS for this task.

Product managers can pick up ideas about new features and bug fixes that your users desire. Then, use that knowledge to prioritize features and add them to the roadmap.

It’s also a good idea to automate your product research by returning to the ideation stage of user feedback gathering when implementing product improvements.

Transactional surveys

After customers complete a task like reaching out to customer service or completing a purchase, send them a transactional survey like CSAT or CES. Responses about their experience will let you know how well these processes work.

Another good moment to conduct a transactional survey is after a user upgrades or downgrades their subscription. Understanding why they did so will let you know whether they have new things they want to do with your product or whether you have set up your pricing plans correctly.

User exit

Solicit feedback when users aren’t using features or when they simply decide to leave. 

Especially the customer exit survey will let you know what changes you can make to prevent customer churn.

User feedback collection best practices

Segmentation

Segment your users so you can send them appropriate feedback requests. For example, don’t ask lower-pricing tier customers to comment on advanced features that require a higher plan. 

Segmentation will also keep your feedback organized, making it easier to manage and respond.

Automate your feedback requests

Make sure you are sending feedback requests at appropriate times.

For instance, there are different approaches to conducting NPS campaigns. At Survicate, we recommend automating your NPS surveys.

That means setting up the NPS survey so that it goes out to your users at the right time in the user journey thanks to advanced targeting and choosing an appropriate frequency. This is usually once every six months. Thanks to this, you receive NPS all the time and you have continuous user feedback, but your customers only fill out the NPS twice a year.

On the other hand, you should tie transactional surveys like CSAT and CES to user interactions with your company.

Lastly, website feedback should always happen on your domain to keep responses contextual.

Close the loop with your users

Then, remember to close the feedback loop. Collecting responses is pointless if you don’t use them to improve your product. Ensure data reaches the right teams and set up processes to ensure customer insights are fed into your product roadmap.

Use a great user feedback tool

Organize your user insight collection by using a customer feedback tool like Survicate

We help automate your feedback collection, prepare ready-to-send templates, and provide integrations with your favorite tools. What's more, you can export data in CSV or Excel form or export individual charts to make data sharing easy across your team.

User feedback collection process with Survicate

Surveys are one of the best ways of collecting user feedback. Users have the opportunity to speak their minds and have a real influence on the product. Brands can use this information to continually grow customer satisfaction and get an influx of product ideas.

Survicate is a user feedback tool that makes sending surveys and analyzing results a breeze. Let’s look at a few templates that will come in handy when collecting user feedback.

In-app surveys

In-app surveys show up right inside your product. They let you capture the real-time, contextual sentiment. 

Set up a widget or feedback button by logging into your Survicate account and installing the tracking code on your website or app.

Analysis of qualitative and quantitative feedback can be coupled with session recordings and heatmaps made possible with Survicate integrations with tools like Smartlook, SessionCam and Fullstory.

Pulse surveys

You can send pulse surveys via email, social media, and other platforms your customers use. The NPS survey is the most popular one, which you should send at consistent intervals. Simply create a link survey in our dashboard and track sentiment over time.

Chatbot surveys

Survicate integrations with tools like Intercom and HubSpot are excellent at ensuring your customers are happy with your support staff. Simply enable a chatbot survey after each customer service interaction to ensure your reach-out processes are running smoothly.

User feedback analysis

Survicate has an intuitive yet sophisticated reporting tab where all your results will generate in real-time. Visual representations of customer data will appear immediately, letting you know things like

All within the Survicate feedback hub.

Sample results for a Survicate NPS survey
Sample results for an NPS survey conducted in Survicate

You can pair Survicate with your team management system (TMS), like Slack or Microsoft Teams, to feed the data into your communication channels. Tune your TMS channels to ensure all interested teams are notified when positive or negative feedback is received.

How to use user feedback?

Closing the feedback loop is a crucial stage of any insight collection. You are wasting resources and money if you don’t follow up with your respondents and analyze their provided data. 

What’s more, you’re risking frustrating the users who provided feedback, never heard back, or never saw any changes implemented.

With Survicate, you can make acting on user feedback easier by triggering follow-up campaigns with 23 one-click, native integrations. Identify respondents and set up email and Slack notifications to ensure your team responds as fast as possible.

Once you receive enough responses, analyze closed and open-ended survey questions and answers to find out what you can do to improve your product or service experience

Remember, data will likely be incomplete or inconsistent. It may even be contradictory, depending on each user’s experience. Segment your audience and organize the responses to ensure you see all sides of the story.

Check out Survicate today.

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