Customer Feedback Repository: Definition, Types, Tools, and How to Set One Up

Old letter boxes, representing a feedback repository systemA customer feedback repository is the place you keep all your feedback data. Here are examples, benefits, and how to set one up.

What is a customer feedback repository?

A feedback repository is a central location where product teams can collect and organize customer feedback. It can hold feedback from various sources such as customer support tickets, feature requests, surveys, reviews, and social media. By aggregating all of this feedback in one place, product teams can gain a holistic view of customer needs and pain points.

Product managers usually choose a tool or piece of software to act as a repository, but really a repository is anywhere you keep feedback—even if it’s on paper in a drawer.

What is the purpose of feedback repositories?

Gathering customer feedback is crucial for creating successful products. The challenge for PMs is managing that feedback. Feedback management means:

  1. Collecting feedback

  2. Centralizing it from the channels you receive it

  3. Analyzing it to draw insights

  4. Prioritizing feedback to act on

  5. Closing the feedback loop

The purpose of feedback repositories is to help PMs with that second piece: centralizing customer feedback. It’s the database where all the customer feedback data gets centralized to.

Benefits of a feedback repository

Why go to the trouble of setting up a feedback repository? The same reason you’d pan rivers in a Yukon stream: to generate gold. Collecting feedback offers a ton of benefits:

1. Better decision-making

A centralized location for feedback gives your product teams the power to make informed decisions about which features or improvements to prioritize. They can identify trends and patterns in customer feedback, helping to guide product development decisions.

Sure, they could do this without a repository, looking separately at the feedback they receive from Slack, Typeform, Help Scout, Gong, Twitter, and all the other apps where feedback sits. But if the feedback is siloed, it’s harder to draw accurate and actionable insights to inform their product strategy.

It’s much better to put all your user feedback in a single place and look at it together.

2. Increased collaboration

A feedback repository can encourage cross-functional collaboration across your company. Here’s who can be involved:

  • Product teams usually set up the feedback management system and use the resulting feedback data to prioritize features, write feature specifications, create wireframes, and prototyping.

  • Customer support and success teams usually collect feedback from customers and close the feedback loop when new features are built.

  • Sales teams usually collect feedback from prospects and might close the loop with prospects and sometimes even lost deals.

  • Marketing teams sometimes collect feedback from social media, and can also use feedback to sharpen their Sales copy.

  • Software development teams might be interested in seeing customer feedback to understand why they’re building one feature and not another.

With all feedback in one place, product managers, developers, customer success managers, salespeople, and designers can work together to address customer needs and pain points.

3. Improved customer satisfaction

Customers like it when their feedback is heard and acted upon. By collecting and addressing customer feedback, product teams can create products that better meet customer needs and ultimately lead to increased customer satisfaction.

That reduces risk. By addressing user experience feedback, product teams can minimize negative reviews, churn, and ultimately a failed product launch. Addressing customer needs and pain points can create a more positive customer experience and reduce the likelihood of customers switching to competitors.

In other words, applying insights from user feedback repositories better retention, and that means higher net revenue. Plus, when you build a better product, it’s easier to sell (which means that you also get better sales).

4. Better analytics capabilities

When you centralize your feedback in a repository, you’re able to bring together different types of data. For example, you’re able to enrich the feedback you get from Slack with customer plan or revenue data from your CRM or customer support tool.

Feedback that’s structured with customer data gives you more powerful ways to analyze it. You might slice and dice your feedback by customer revenue to find the feature requests that would have the highest impact on revenue.

![Screenshot of Savio with feature requests ordered by revenue so you can easily see which features have the highest impact]( class="caption">Here, feature requests are sorted by MRR so you can quickly see which features have the biggest impact.

Or, you might look to see what features your customers on the Enterprise plan want most and prioritize those.

However you want to slice it, feedback repositories let you segment your feedback so you can build evidence-based roadmaps and strategies.

Types of feedback repositories

The repository can take different forms depending on the needs of the team. It can be a simple spreadsheet or a more sophisticated product management software tool designed specifically for managing customer feedback.

Some popular feedback repository tools include spreadsheets, product development tools, project management tools, and purpose-built feedback repository tools.

Note: Savio helps B2B SaaS Customer Success, Product, and Sales teams organize and prioritize product feedback and feature requests. Learn more about Savio here.

Spreadsheets

Spreadsheet software can be a simple and cost-effective option for smaller product teams. Google Sheets, Excel, and Airtable are all commonly used to hold customer feedback.

Pros: Spreadsheets are useful because they’re cost-effective and can be easily shared between different team members. They are also quite flexible—​​they can be customized to suit a team's specific needs and can be easily updated and modified as those needs change.

Cons: On the other hand, spreadsheets often lack some of the advanced functionality of dedicated feedback repository tools, such as easily pulling together feedback and customer data, or connecting to product roadmapping tools.

They also are super manual—it’s difficult to automate your feedback process using spreadsheets. And as you scale, the manual nature of spreadsheets becomes an increasingly big barrier. In our experience and according to the product teams we’ve talked to, they frequently become leaky.

Product development and issue tracking tools

Dedicated product development tools like Jira and Shortcut can be powerful options for managing feedback repositories for SaaS companies.

Pros: Product development tools are built to be collaboration tools: Multiple team members can collaborate on a single project. That makes it easy to share feedback and analyze it together. It’s also a scalable solution—Jira, Shortcut, and other tools can handle large amounts of feedback and can be scaled up as a team grows and receives more feedback.

Cons: These tools have steep learning curves. These tools are also typically unable to integrate with and centralize feedback from your feedback channels like email, a feature voting board, or your support tool. They also aren’t able to connect to your customer data or help you close the feedback loop when you build a feature your customers ask for.

Read more: Should You Track Feature Requests in Jira (or Any Other Issue Tracker)?

Project management tools

Project management tools, like Asana, ClickUp, or Trello, can be used as feedback repositories by creating a specific board or project to collect and organize customer feedback.

Pros: Some of the advantages of these tools include that they’re collaborative and that they fit into your current workflows. They may offer a variety of styles for keeping feedback data, such as in a list or Kanban board. And they’re also typically easy to learn since you’ll usually choose a tool you’re already using.

Cons: On the other hand, project and task management tools are usually severely limited for collecting feedback. They don’t let you easily pipe feedback from your channels into them, or do advanced analysis on the resulting feedback data. They also usually don’t let you build visual product roadmaps to share with stakeholders or close the loop with customers.

Purpose-built feedback management tools

Finally, some tools—including Savio—are built specifically as a repository for feedback. They have features that let you collect feedback from anywhere, slice and dice your feedback data, prioritize features using data, build and share product roadmaps, and close the feedback loop.

Pros: You can automate feedback collection from your customer-facing teams with integrations to the apps they use. You can do powerful analytics and understand the voice of your customers. You can quickly find the highest-impact features and prioritize them. And some tools let you even send personalized close-the-loop messages so you can get credit when you listen to your customers.

Cons: On the other hand, feedback tools usually come with an additional cost (there are some free ones, but they have limited features). It’s one more tool your teams have to learn. And they can require significant training since many of your frontline employees might use them to collect feedback.

How to set up a feedback repository, step-by-step

Here is a step-by-step guide for setting up a feedback repository:

  1. Determine the scope: Define the scope of your feedback repository, including what types of feedback you will collect and how you will collect it. This could include feature requests, customer support tickets, surveys, user testing, or reviews.

  2. Choose a tool: Choose a tool to manage your feedback repository. As noted above, there are several options for tools. Savio is a powerful option, but here are a bunch more other feedback management tools if you want to check out some alternatives.

  3. Determine data fields: Determine what data fields you will need to collect, such as the date the feedback was received, the customer's name or username, and any relevant product details such as the new product feature being discussed. We also recommend collecting customer verbatims.

  4. Enrich feedback with customer data: Add customer attributes, like MRR, plan, type of customer, and more, to your feedback. This is optional—but strongly recommended—so that you can segment your data and distill powerful insights.

  5. Set up categories or tags: Create categories or tags to help categorize feedback, making it easier to search and analyze. For example, you could use tags like "bug," "feature request," or "usability issue."

  6. Integrate with other tools: Integrate your feedback repository with the tools your frontline teams use, such as customer support software or survey platforms, to streamline the feedback collection process.

  7. Share the repository: Share the repository with your product managers and other relevant teams, such as customer success, support, or marketing, so that they can access the feedback and contribute to the analysis.

  8. Review and update: Regularly review and update your feedback repository to ensure that it remains useful and relevant to your product team.

Customer feedback repository tools

Setting up a feedback repository? Simplify your life with a product management tool that’s designed specifically to manage feedback.

We love Savio (obviously), so feel free to take it for a free test drive.

Looking for another tools?

Check out these product feedback software tools for organizing feedback.

Read next: How to Track Customer Feedback: Your Guide to Designing a Killer System That Works

Last Updated: 2023-03-25

Kareem Mayan

Kareem is a co-founder at Savio. He's been prioritizing customer feedback professionally since 2001. He likes tea and tea snacks, and dislikes refraining from eating lots of tea snacks.

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