Gathering user feedback is one of the most essential approaches to creating a product the users and market will love.
Fortunately, most of the product development methodologies allow for doing at early development stages – starting from your idea validation and ending with real-life testing of your MVP. What’s more, collecting customer feedback is a never-ending process for product teams since their preferences may change but your solution still has to be competitive.
In this article, we’ll take a look at tried and tested methods and feedback gathering and management tools to help you find out what users think about your product.
What is User Feedback?
User feedback is not a customer satisfaction survey or a user experience research. User feedback is any information – positive or negative experience – collected directly from users about their experience using our products or services. We collect this feedback via many different channels including, but not limited to, live chat, email, phone calls, and more.
We use user feedback to help us understand what we are doing well and where we can make improvements in our digital products. We take action based on the positive or negative user feedback we receive.
Why Is User Feedback Important?
Before starting to collect user feedback, may sure you have clarified the following parameters.
- Your goal. What exactly do you want to find out? It can be design aesthetics, usability, user engagement, market demand, users’ preferences, and so on.
- Your tools. Next, prepare a list of tools that will be helpful for reaching out to your customers and getting to know their opinions.
- Your metrics. As the last step, define the clear and measurable metrics that will allow you to conclude on achieving your goal.
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How To Collect User Feedback
Start with finding out your customers’ impressions and opinions by using the following strategies.
1. Interviews, Polls, and User Surveys
There are several types of user feedback collection. The best way to get an answer is to ask a direct, simple question. Interviews, polls, and surveys are leading strategies for customer feedback gathering. However, you should be smart with these three approaches.
- Interviews are good at the idea validation stage. Since the answers to interview questions are difficult to predict, you may use the obtained insights in the next development stages.
- Surveys are good when you already have something to show your users but are still unsure what of the options work best. For example, you may use surveys at the stage of Proof of Concept and prototype testing.
- Polls, in turn, can be used for MVP testing. As well as interviews may enrich you with unexpected points of view.
To streamline the process of collecting user feedback following these approaches, you may various tools such as SurveyMonkey, Zoom, Typeform, etc. for getting to know your customers and their opinions.
2. Focus Groups
A focus group survey is a very powerful approach that can be used at the stage of your idea validation, Proof of Concept, prototype, and MVP testing.
The advantage of this method is the opportunity to get in touch with real users and find out their impressions firsthand. It also allows for getting valuable, actionable insights since you may ask your users to suggest the ideas that seem better for them and use this information in the next development stage.
3. User Forums
User forums like Reddit and Quora can also be useful resources for customer experiences. On these platforms, they often share their experiences and ask questions about how to use specific features. Make sure to use them to find out the ways your app works for its users and what pitfalls they may have.
Also, make use of the power of other social media to come up with a holistic picture and attract new customers. Most popular apps have social media profiles where they share engaging content and motivate users to write reviews and testimonials, ask questions and talk about use cases.
To get done with this task, use social listening tools that allow for tracking your brand mentions and evaluating users’ sentiments.
4. In-app User Feedback
This is quite an obvious tip, however, considering the number of negative reviews in directories where users can access your product, it may seem that very few product managers had a look at what is going on on their official pages. But in fact, the reviews of your users shared in official app markets should be the primary source of information for gathering their feedback and finding out the strong and weak points of the product.
Make sure to check these reviews quite frequently, and what’s more important, communicate with your users via official stores. It will contribute to building your brand loyalty. Even if there is negative user feedback, you still may show that it matters for the app creators, and report on the progress toward improving the flaw.
5. Analytics may also be a source of user feedback
Gathering your customers’ feedback would be useless without analysis and reporting. What’s more, the results you expect to get should be carefully tailored to your goals and metrics. For example, let’s suggest you have submitted a sponsored blog post. How will you evaluate the effectiveness of this venture?
There are several options:
- Monitor the number of users who jumped to your website after reading a post.
- Evaluate the number of likes and shares to get an impression of users’ engagement and the value they get.
- Track SEO results and monitor the position of the post on Google search results.
All of these metrics can state your efforts are paying off, however, each of them corresponds to different goals. Therefore, before you start the analytics, you should set it up so that you can see and evaluate only the most important parameters.
6. A/B testing
A/B testing is one of the best approaches to test user acceptance, engagement, journeys, and the decisions they made while using an app. This method is suitable when you are not sure how certain details will work. For example, your designers may argue about the color of the “Get Started” button, and the best way to find out whose idea is better is to test both of the options with your users.
In this case, you should also be quite clear with the thing you need to test, the result you want to get, and the success metric.
7. Ideas Portal
The ideas portal is one more method for getting customer feedback. It is especially useful at the first development stages when you need to brainstorm creative ideas but still be guided by your users’ preferences and expectations. An ideas portal is a perfect tool to gather some creative ideas, should those be UI/UX ideas, feature ideas, or anything else in one place, and let the users vote for the best choice.
However, don’t use an idea portal as the only tool for user feedback management. It may work well for the idea validation stage of product management, but use some more methods to make sure that the idea is winning.
However, don’t use an ideas portal as the only tool for getting user feedback. It may work well for the idea validation stage but use some more methods to make sure that the idea is winning.
8. Usability Tests
Testing your usability is one of the most important strategies after your MVP is launched. You may do it by mapping user stories with the help of StoriesOnBoard, and then find out whether the planned stories coincide with the ones your users follow.
Also, you may use HotJar to find out the behavior patterns of your users in real-time. The advantage of the tool is a top-notch visualization which allows for avoiding numbers-powered analytics and finding out how your users behave. Use both of these tools in conjunction with analytics to come up with a holistic picture and make sure that your app is on the right track.
Having user feedback is an essential step in lean development. This is the only way to make sure that your future solution will fit your users’ expectations and take a place under the sun in the market you are going to enter. Use the mix of the strategies above to lead your product along the path to success.
About the author: Diana is a journalist, freelance writer, and editor at Adsy. She has worked for many major publications, but she also ambitiously pursues challenging freelance projects. Her love for traveling motivates her to explore the world. Diana wants to inspire people to follow their dreams by sharing her experiences online.