Radical transparency, agile improvement, and exponential growth are all possible thanks to user feedback. In the digital world, it’s impossible and inadvisable to ignore your users and what they have to say about your product. And although the customer is not always right, knowing how your users experience your platform, feedback is crucial for further upgrades. Moreover, the openness you manifest by collecting user feedback is a way of democratizing your product and involving a forever-growing digital brain to contribute to its development.
Nowadays, you only have access to two options: Ignore your users and watch your churn rate increasing; or pay attention to what people have to say about your product, and transform these insights into growth actions that will level up your SaaS company. And if you still doubt the importance of collecting user feedback, you’ll be surprised to discover the “feedback economy” term.
Feedback economy is the new norm
As SurveyMonkey notes, “Combine this transparency of the web and a higher bar for experiences with the age-old desire of humans to feel heard, and the result is what we call the Feedback Economy.”
The same article highlights, “This business intelligence is incredibly valuable when it comes to driving growth and innovation. It’s so valuable that feedback has become a new currency—an advantage that could end up tipping the market in favor of the companies that use it well. This Feedback Economy has already changed the way the world market functions and has major implications for organizations of every industry.”
As you can understand, collecting user feedback is not a fad, but becoming the industry norm, meaning you’ll lose competitive advantage if you ignore it. Collecting user feedback should be a by-default action incorporated into your company’s protocols and be as standard and normal as your weekly meetings.
And although there are no right or wrong ways of collecting people’s thoughts and suggestions regarding your product or software, there are certainly different practices that make the entire process easier and faster.
Implicit and explicit ways of collecting user feedback
But before we discuss different practices of collecting user feedback, let’s make a clear distinction between the implicit and explicit ways of doing it. According to Mark Silver, product manager at WalkMe, “Users might do things differently than they think or say. For this, a healthy dose of analytics can provide metrics.” And that’s implicit user feedback, meaning it’s something you’ve collected indirectly by observing the behavior of your users as opposed to talking to them. Explicit user feedback, on the other hand, is something you get by engaging with your users directly.
We can debate the best type of user feedback, but both methods provide valuable insights. So it would be a pity not to try both. After all, it’s one thing to talk to your users and get their honest opinion or suggestions regarding your platform, and another thing to observe their behavior, check the metrics and see how they’re using your software. So next, we’ll talk about both ways of collecting user feedback and highlight a few practices you can implement immediately.
How to collect implicit user feedback
The great thing about implicit user feedback is that you don’t have to depend on your users leaving their suggestions or comments about your product. You can simply analyze how they’re engaging daily with your product, or you can practice active listening by checking the comments people leave on different platforms and forums.
Here are some implicit user feedback practices you can try:
📌 Read the Capterra, TrustPilot, and G2 reviews
If you’re running a SaaS business, chances are you have an account on sites such as Capterra or G2. Your brand is probably also present on TrustPilot, a website where people can leave their positive or negative reviews. These portals are great for understanding your users. Those reviews aim or to entice others to try your product or to complain.
And although it may be unfortunate, you can learn a great deal about the user experience from these complaints. (Except if these reviews are left by your competitors. Kidding!) In any case, take a look at your profile on these websites and note everything you can use to improve your platform or your website.
📌 Check people’s comments on social media
In some cases, people will post a happy or angry comment on social media. Some will even tag your brand. For example, you often see people talking about their user experience on LinkedIn or Twitter.
You can also see professionals who are creating an entire teardown about your product. So pay attention to those posts, along with the comments that other people leave. That’s a great way to actively listen to what your audience has to say and take action by improving your product.
📌 Pay attention to the reactions to your product page on ProductHunt
Another great way to practice active listening is by launching your software on ProductHunt and reading the comments that will come afterward. You’re free to interact with those people who commented, but regardless, that’s an implicit way of gathering user feedback.
📌 Ask your customer success team to make a list of frequently asked questions
Your customer success team has direct access to your users, and you can talk to them when collecting explicit user feedback (more about that a bit later), but you can also schedule a meeting with them and walk through the frequently asked questions and identify some interesting insights that will help you improve your product.
📌 Talk to your sales team about the objections they hear from leads
Although we’re talking about collecting user feedback as in the feedback of those people who paid to use your product, it’s never wrong to pay attention to what your leads have to say. So make sure to schedule a meeting with your sales team and discuss the most common objections your high-quality leads have before purchasing your product.
📌 Analyze the questions your leads ask during webinars
Finally, since we’re talking about leads, be extra careful about the questions people ask during your demo or product webinars. This will give you an overall idea of the needs and possible comments they may have when trying your software.
How to collect explicit user feedback
Explicit user feedback is great because it’s not only helping you understand what people want and need from your product, but it’s also contributing to strengthening your business connection with your paying clients.
Think about it: When you ask your users to leave their feedback directly, and then transform this insight into action—fixing a bug, adding a new feature, or making an improvement, and then communicating the change back to your user—you’re stating your commitment and willingness to be of service.
Having this in mind, let’s discuss the most common ways of collecting explicit user feedback:
📌 Get your customer success (CX) team to be proactive and ask users for feedback
That’s the moment when you can work with your CX team and get them to engage with the accounts they’re serving and ask for feedback. This information will carry extra details, as there’s a real connection between your users and these team members.
📌 Use a powerful user feedback platform
The easier you make it for your paying customer to leave a comment or feedback, the greater the chance that they’ll leave one.
We at Upvoty believe that instant feedback leads to instant better products. Also, we advocate a seamless and frictionless way of collecting explicit user feedback. Our tool will help you keep your users engaged with optimizing your product based on real feedback—all done quickly and hassle-free.
📌 Conduct extensive user interviews
Another way you can collect explicit user feedback is by running interviews. This may feel a bit intrusive (as opposed to collecting user feedback inside the platform). Also, it requires a certain amount of hassle, as you need to convince some users to meet you and talk to you about your product. Not all users will want or have the time to do it. Plus, you need to come up with very specific questions that will help you reveal their real opinion about your product. However, it’s a legit technique you should use for an in-depth understanding of your users.
📌 Run user surveys
Finally, you can run user surveys. You can design a simple, yet comprehensive survey and send it via email. Besides, you can incentivize people to fill out the form by offering them Amazon on Starbucks coupons. It’s important to note that compared to extensive user interviews, user surveys will offer you quantitative data. However, that’s a good way to gain actionable insights on how to improve your product.
💡 Extra tip: Try to connect with those users who decided to quit your product. You can do that by email or phone. Don’t be too intrusive, though. Also, don’t make your ex-users feel guilty for leaving your platform. Otherwise, they won’t communicate with you. You can simply reach out and respectfully ask them to share the reasons why they decided to quit and some of the things you could improve about the platform. It’s harmless, so give it a try.
As you can see, there’s no shortage of ways to collect user feedback. Whether it’s implicit or explicit, every piece of information will help make your product better and keep your users engaged. Also, by putting more weight on user feedback, you’ll be able to build a real connection with your paying clients and leads and show your commitment to adding consistent value to their lives.
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