Top 5 feedback challenges for product teams (how to tackle them!)

5 feedback challenges teams

When it comes to user feedback, most decisions are made across the board: “Let’s collect customer feedback from our marketing channels, then figure out what we’ll do with them.”

Or, “Let’s get NPS scores from customers, and then take up some feedback requests based on the numbers we get.”

While it’s great that you’re mapping out your user feedback journey and looking into ways to effectively collect and manage user feedback, it’s possible that you may run into some challenges.

As a product manager, you’re switching between different roles at lightning speeds. Product managers need to manage customer feedback, guide different teams with the next steps forward, build a product roadmap – all while maintaining efficiency and quality.

At Upvoty, we spend a lot of time with product managers, customer teams, and marketing heads from SaaS companies to understand their challenges and help them manage a seemingly endless flow of unstructured customer feedback.

In this article, we’ll share the most common and pressing challenges that companies face while dealing with user feedback, and also share how you can overcome them.

User feedback is really about streamlining processes and understanding what truly matters – for both your customers and your business. We’ll talk more about this in the upcoming sections and show you exactly how you can do it.

The 5 Most Pressing User Feedback Challenges

1. User Feedback Is Not Aligned…Mostly

Different teams, channels, customer groups, feedback, and feature requests can make your team go in a whirlwind. There’s incoming data from several streams of communications and it’s a common scenario when your product team might prioritize one feature request and your customer success team focuses on another feedback.

How can you solve this?

Every team operates differently with their own preferred channel. Let’s say the customer success team collects user feedback via Spreadsheets or Google forms. The marketing team might utilize surveys, newsletters, or in-app reviews.

As a product manager, it’s crucial to understand how to effectively collect user feedback and make sense of it.

effectively gather user feedback

  • Build a single source of truth that you can trust. Make sure you communicate the process to all your team members.
  • Integrate this SSoT into your existing channels. Oftentimes, product managers go out of their way to centralize data into a single dashboard, but there are adoption issues. So, instead of pushing teams to adopt a new method altogether, look for a way you can integrate SSoT into your existing channels.

2. Cross-Team Communication Is Often Slow, Inefficient

Whether you’re a SaaS company or an eCommerce enterprise, it’s a common sight when companies struggle with organizational communication. And this plays a large part in creating bottlenecks in the user feedback journey. Creating seamless cross-team communication is essential to support your user feedback cycle, as well as the growth spurts of the company.

How can you solve this?

With a cross-functional mix of product managers, engineers, architects, UX designers, and quality assurance team members, you need to build a seamless communication workflow. By this, the PM teams can align user feedback with overall business growth goals, and work continuously on building a product that your audience really needs.

  • Start by sharing objectives that your team understands. When communicating user feedback, show them the process, tell them why you need to bring a change, and set achievable milestones.
  • Establish one channel of communication dedicated to user feedback. Have open discussions, collect inputs, make both quantitative and qualitative assessments on the user feedbacks your teams collect. Also, make sure the conversations are user-feedback-centric, and you’re not discussing the product development journey in this channel.
  • Share the numbers you collect from user feedback. Every team values customer inputs and satisfaction in one way or another. Showing your team the “why” behind a discussion can help set the tone of the discussion right. It’s also a good way to show them how these stats fit into your product goals and into another team’s goals.

3. Lack Of Qualitative Data and Context

Validating your user feedback is difficult because it’s very subjective and sometimes, even lacks context. Especially when you collect customer feedback primarily via surveys that don’t include open-ended responses, it’s nearly impossible to get the context right and evaluate the right issues.

How can you solve this?

When you’re building a product, you want to make sure that this is what the market truly needs. For this, you need to adopt an easy-to-follow process that empowers teams to gather insights, extract qualitative data and context, and then prioritize feedback.

feedback board to solve Lack Of Qualitative Data

  • Use a tool that’s backed up by the latest technologies like machine learning, AI algorithms, and intelligent automation to help you declutter the feedback and extract qualitative information better.
  • Use the COPE method to organize and standardize your user feedback process.
  • Balance different kinds of user feedback methods. Add an open-ended comment section along with your NPS survey. Have your customer success team host meetings with your most valuable customers to gather more qualitative data.

4. Using a traditional feedback collection system

As an early-stage startup, companies often rely on in-house tools or spreadsheets to manage their user feedback. But as your company grows and you scale your user feedback efforts, it’s important to make the switch to a product feedback tool to encourage cross-functional collaboration, knowledge sharing, and faster turnarounds. Primarily, the challenges with adopting a product feedback tool are often linked to poor adoption rates, complex features, and inefficient workflows.

How can you solve this?

To accommodate a product feedback tool in your tech stack, you need to make sure that first, it has all the features you need, second, it’s making the process of feedback management easier for your teams. For example, your product feedback tool should offer integrations with popular platforms such as Slack, Asana, Jira, Pipedrive, Zapier, and HubSpot.

  • Look for a tool that offers advanced features like the ability to create custom statuses, add multiple columns to your product roadmap, assign team members, and notify users. Small automations go a long way to save time and effort your team would otherwise spend in manually doing things.
  • Offer helpful resources to your teams to ensure they have a smooth onboarding process and know exactly how to use the tool from the get-go. Tailor your training plan to individual needs and ask employees how they learn best, what’s the easiest way to adopt a new tool – and adapt wherever needed.
  • Dig deeper with qualitative tools. Upvoty offers an easy single sign-on feature so users can easily access the feedback board, share requests, and feedback quickly. This helps PM teams go beyond just measuring the feedback they receive from multiple channels and empathize with users’ feedback in real-time.

*Upvoty offers a free 14-day trial to users to check out the tool’s functionalities.

5. Closing the customer feedback loop

A key driver of effective customer feedback is closing the loop. Imagine this. Your team sends out messages requesting users to share their feedback, some even host 1-1 meetings with their most profitable customers to gather data on what features they’re looking for next. After a week, none of your customers know what really happened with their feedback, whether it’s being considered, or what are the next product updates they should be looking for?

How can you solve this?

It’s critical to close the feedback loop and communicate back to your users. Think of this as an opportunity for your organization to build trust, nurture relationships, and make your users feel heard.

how to close feedback loop

  • You can use tools like Upvoty to remove friction and make it easy for your team members to communicate with users on the go.
  • Think of user experience as a product. All PMs know the best way to attract and retain customers is to continuously deliver on their needs. Work on streamlining your communication with users to make them feel valued, satisfied, and empowered.

Cutting Through The Noise Of User Feedback With Upvoty

Upvoty is a product feedback tool that gives you a centralized dashboard and an ecosystem to collect and manage user feedback through tools like feedback boards, roadmap, changelog, and widgets. Upvoty is an easy-to-use platform that combines streamlined product feedback journeys and cross-functional team collaboration to help you connect the dots between what your users want, why users want it, and how it aligns with your business goals.

If you’re a product owner at a startup or an SMB, you’ll probably value any tool that:

  • Helps you standardize user feedback process
  • Is easy to use and has higher user adoption rates
  • Gives you clear contextual information about why users need specific features
  • Helps you centralize all your user feedback in a single dashboard
  • Integrates well with the tools you currently use (Slack, Intercom, Zapier, etc.)

Upvoty helps you bring radical transparency in your product feedback journey for both your team and customers. You can easily share what you’re currently working on, which bugs have been fixed already, and what are the latest updates.

The key takeaway?

Taking action on user feedback requests is the first step toward building a stronger relationship and improving their experience with your product.

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