Finally, A Customer Feedback Tool Product Managers Want

Last week, we made our first entry into the world of customer feedback with our new Customer Feedback Portal. It’s gotten quite the welcome!

Until now, we’ve been hacking away on product planning tools for product managers: Build a product roadmap! Organize your product backlog! Find your priorities! That sort of thing. But a customer customer feedback tool was never really part of our plan.

“There are lots of tools out on the market,” we told customers who were requesting it. “The world doesn’t need us to make another customer feedback tool.”

But still, our customers kept turning up a few weeks later to ask for the exact same thing.

Why? Once we dug in, we realized the product managers we were talking to had exactly the right instinct. These tools weren’t made for them.

Even at $500 a month, not one of them is designed to help answer the most important question in the product management process: “What should we work on next?”

Prioritization is what keeps product managers up at night – and it’s exactly where every customer feedback tool we’ve seen comes to a dead end.

A quick review of how customer feedback tools have failed product managers

The customer feedback tools we’ve seen are minefields for product managers.

Voting systems are a meaningless popularity contest

You see a voting system, product managers see systemic bias.

User Forum Fail

Mob rule.

 

Voting systems play out the classic Pareto principle outcome that no product manager wants: ideas at the top of the list get more votes just because they’re more visible. No one really looks at the rest of the list, so other potentially great ideas get pushed to the bottom.

User forums air your embarrassing dirty laundry

Entrepreneur Dan Martell called it out awhile ago: User forums are the perfect place to spy on the competition.

dropbox user forum

Where do you think Dropbox was hanging out in the early days?

User forums are fertile ground for your competitors to freely mine for clues on what your customers aren’t happy about. If your customers start more threads than you can keep up with, you may also put off potential customers who think you aren’t making much progress even if you have.

Oof. Not the kind of transparency you want.

User communities are high maintenance, unpredictable

Customer Feedback User Forums

But where are the peeple?

 

User communities take time, TLC and a good deal of community management, and that still doesn’t guarantee anything.

If you your community becomes dominated by loud, angry customers who go after you in all-caps yelling stuff like, “YOU’VE HAD PLENTY OF TIME TO BUILD MY PET FEATURE, YOU’RE SO DUMB,” it makes you look inept.

Asking customers what they want publicly and then not giving it to them is tricky business.

Meet The Customer Feedback Portal by ProdPad

As product managers ourselves, we know how important customer feedback is to the product management process. So we decided the world does need another feedback tool: Meet the Customer Feedback Portal.

The Customer Feedback Portal offers you unlimited customer feedback and basic product backlog management so you can figure out the answer to your burning question:

“What do I do with all this feedback!?”

Here’s what you can do with it.

Collect customer feedback anywhere via website and widget

Let’s get the basics out of the way. The Customer Feedback Portal is a simple, elegant portal that your customers can visit to drop comments, feature requests, suggestions – they’re sent privately to you.

Our in-app widget is 100% customizable and you can edit the CSS to fit with your current branding. ??

Get feedback on product ideas before you start working on them

What if you could get that feedback while you’re still thinking about how you might tackle a problem area? We know many product managers wish they could get their hands on customer feedback BEFORE they start building.

That’s what makes this an extra special feature of the Portal: You can roll out a handful of ideas (up to 9) from your product backlog and ask your customers what they think.

Use it to validate your thinking. Use it to learn that you need to pivot your idea entirely. Use it to take the unpredictability out of launching something new. Do all this without spending expensive time and resources building things people don’t want.

Link customer feedback directly to ideas in your backlog

Here’s where things gets interesting. When you get customer feedback, you can tag it and link it up to an idea (or multiple ideas) in your backlog.

As you get more feedback, you can use it to help you develop ideas into product specs. Customer feedback usually gets separated by the time the specs are being written, but this way you can refer back to your stack original customer comments as you spec out a solution.

Filter for insights to help you prioritize your backlog

Feedback filtering is incredibly powerful on the Customer Feedback Portal because you can use it to find opportunities in your product backlog based on customer feedback.

If you’ve aspired to have customer feedback drive your product roadmap, now you can do it. There are so many creative ways to tag, group and filter your feedback, don’t let me limit you.

Here are some of the questions you can ask and get answers for using filters:

Filter by customer name, idea

  • What have customers been saying about Idea X?
  • What kind of feedback has a specific customer been giving us?

Group similar comments together

  • How many customers are saying similar things about a particular feature or area?
  • Which customers feel the same way about a feature or area?

If you’re getting a lot of similar comments, you can group them together or link them to the same idea. If feedback is piling up for an idea that spurs you to action, then you can notify the entire group of the change you’ve made from them.

Identify both high impact and highly wanted ideas

The Customer Feedback Portal includes our Priority Chart tool, which helps you identify potentially high impact ideas.

  • Is one particular idea getting more attention than the others?
  • Are we getting a lot of feedback for something in our backlog that we can fix quickly?

Label incoming feedback by source 

If you get feedback from multiple sources, you might want to know which channel it’s coming through. To help you do that automatically, you can set up a zap to label feedback source as it comes in.

For example:

  • Feedback via Portal as “portal”
  • Feedback via Widget as “mobile app”
  • Feedback via Desktop as “web app”

Next steps 

So what do you think? Try the Customer Feedback Portal – it’s lean, beautiful, 100% free and made by product managers like you.

Get the Customer Feedback Portal for free

Meet the ProdPadder

Andrea Saez
Andrea is a Product Support and Management expert, technical writer, and social network monkey. An undercover geek with a passion for music, animals, and avid unicorn rights activist, she's always up for a challenge.