How Often Should You Seek Customer Feedback for Software Products?

You gather customer feedback so that you can align your product and business with customer expectations.

That goal should inform your feedback frequency. You need to think about what you’re trying to learn from your feedback, and then ask for it often enough to do that learning.

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

Below, we give you some baseline time ranges based on our own experience and best practices. But remember that it depends to some extent on your product, goals, audience, and more.

Ongoing feedback collection

In general, you should always be collecting some feedback by using automated or manual asks baked into your process. Ask for feedback at every stage of the customer journey.

Ongoing automated feedback can include:

  • Prospecting feedback. Automate messages to request feedback from the prospects who are considering your product.

  • Trial motivation. Send automated feedback requests to new free trial signups to ask why they signed up for a trial.

  • Trial satisfaction. Ask how the free trial is going and how satisfied trialers are with the product.

  • Conversion reason. Send a trigger email to ask why a customer decided to pay for your product when the trial ended.

  • Lost deal reason. Schedule an email to ask why a customer decided NOT to pay for your product when the trial ended.

  • Customer experience. Schedule regular customer feedback surveys, like net promoter score (NPS), customer satisfaction (CSAT), and customer effort score (CES).

  • Churn reason. Ask why a paying customer decided to cancel your service to find out what customer needs weren’t met.

  • Feature requests. Create ongoing opportunities for tracking customer product suggestions and feature requests, like through a feature voting board (although make sure you avoid voting board pitfalls).

Not sure what to ask? Here are 55+ examples of how other SaaS companies do that.

How often should you send onboarding surveys?

An onboarding survey gives you a sense of how new customers like your app. New customers are the ones most at risk of churn, so you’re looking to make sure these people understand how to use your app, see its value, are accessing relevant features, and so on.

Onboarding surveys can include a customer satisfaction survey (NPS, CSAT or CES) during the onboarding process. It can also include a survey about the onboarding experience after onboarding is completed. It might even just be a single question about why they signed up:

You can also ask for specific feedback for particular onboarding steps. For example, HubSpot gathers feedback with a single-question pop-up survey when you skip a tutorial step:

How often should you send satisfaction surveys?

Satisfaction surveys, like NPS, CSAT, CES surveys, are quick and can provide you with a rough quantitative look at your customer base’s satisfaction. We recommend triggering NPS or other relationship surveys:

  • During onboarding

  • After the customer engages in a key action or changes their account

  • After the first three months of service

  • Every six months after that

You can also include it all the time in an in-app feedback widget, like Xero does:

How often should you ask for feedback from churned customers?

Ideally, you’ll ask why a user cancels their subscription. We recommend asking for feedback every time a customer churns so you can get really solid customer retention insights. Here’s a template of what our churn feedback email looks like:

If we don’t hear back in a few days, we send a follow-up:

The questions we ask during the call are:

  1. What was the key problem you were trying to solve when you signed up?

  2. Why was our product not a good fit?

  3. What alternative did you end up using to solve your problem, and why?

In our experience, these generate incredibly useful customer insights and actionable feedback that we use to inform our product roadmap and onboarding.

How often should you collect in-app user behavior feedback?

In general, it’s good practice to be constantly collecting it. You may only review the data a few times a year or when you notice your relevant metrics doing weird things… but collect it regularly.

If you’re trying to understand something specific, like why purchases are down or why there’s limited uptake on a particular feature, then you can also collect that specific feedback at the moment you need to.

For example, when Zapier introduced a new look and feel for their Zap editor, they asked for feedback from anyone who switched back to the classic version:

How often should you conduct usability tests?

Usability testing is an approach to product testing where you see how real users actually use a feature in real-time. They are one of the most effective ways to identify bugs and customer interaction pain points that can cause unhappy customers.

You should conduct usability tests:

  • Every time you launch a new feature

  • When you have specific concepts to test

Tools like Poll the People or others let you do this quickly and easily.

How often should you collect customer feedback on your website?

It’s good practice to have a way for users to leave feedback anytime they like. At Savio, we do that with a feedback board. As another example, Bitbucket has a prominent "Give Feedback" button on every page in their app:

In addition to that, it’s a good idea to get specific feedback any time you launch new sections. Again, you can use usability testing tools, or ask explicit questions like Calendly did when they launched their “schedules” feature:

How often should you conduct exploratory customer interviews?

Customer interviews give you a ton of rich, detailed information. They’re best for understanding a customer’s problem, how your customers solve that problem today, and what kinds of tools or features you could offer that solve it better.

User interviews are especially useful anytime you’re building a new product or feature. Conduct them as often as you need to clearly understand what to build.

How often should you do Focus Groups or Research panels?

Focus groups and research panels are a way of collecting data about what your audience or customers need. They’re like group interviews—you ask open-ended questions to a group of individuals and take notes on their responses. You might also give them surveys.

Focus groups usually generate a lot of qualitative data and are best for doing market research.  They can tell you how receptive the market will be.

Typically you will do these relatively rarely—when you’re thinking about launching a new product or service, or you need a lot of input for a big feature.

Note that one downside of focus groups is that respondents can influence the feedback of others in the group. Also, people are often less likely to share negative feedback in focus groups. Keep these drawbacks in mind when you’re trying to decide which feedback method is most appropriate for your needs.

How often should you monitor social media and public reviews

Social media isn’t just for sharing branded messaging—it also gives you a sense of what your audience thinks of your products. Some customers will even leave feature requests via social media.

Online reviews provide a wealth of feedback too. It’s not just the number of stars your app gets that’s useful, but the comments can often tell you a lot about what your customers are trying to do with your product and the barriers they face.

Monitor social media and review sites on an ongoing basis. And make sure your marketing team has a way of sending any feedback they see via social media or via online reviews to your product team (for example, using a chrome extension).

I’m getting feedback—now what?

Once you actually ask for feedback, what do you do with it?

We have a full guide on how to handle customer feature requests, but very briefly:

  • Collect it in one place. You want to centralize your feedback from all the places you get it into a single customer feedback analysis tool.

  • Review it regularly. We recommend reviewing your feedback at least as often as you plan your roadmap—usually somewhere between every two weeks and once a quarter.

  • Identify feature requests. Separate out your feature requests from the other feedback—like customer service and pricing—and keep them in a list.

  • Act on your feedback. Consider customer attributes to identify and prioritize the highest-impact features.

  • Close the feedback loop. Once you build a feature that a customer asks for, tell them. They’ll know you’re listening and you’ll cultivate customer loyalty. Plus, it encourages them to leave more feedback.

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

Article: How to Prioritize Feature Requests and Build a Product Your Customers Actually Want

Get the right tech

Collecting feedback is a breeze with the right product feedback software tool.

Savio gives you a flexible way to centralize feedback from all the places you get it—your customer support tool, your CRM, email, Slack, and any other customer-facing team touchpoints.

Then, organize each piece of feedback into feature requests so you can quickly see which features are most popular. Better yet, slice and dice your feedback to find the highest-impact features—which have the highest cumulative MRR, which your enterprise customers want most, etc.

Finally, once you build the new functionality, easily follow up by closing the loop.

Savio is a lightweight but powerful way to turn voice-of-the-customer feedback into actionable insights.

Start a free trial to see what it can do.

Last Updated: 08-12-2022

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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Contents

Start Tracking Feature Requests Today

  • Centralize product feedback from your voting board, Help Scout, Intercom, Zendesk, HubSpot, Slack, or any other tool with Zapier or our Chrome Extension
  • Prioritize feature requests by number of votes or total MRR, or for specific customer segments (like all customers on the "Pro" plan)
  • Share customer verbatims with your product and dev teams
  • Track Feature Request status as your dev team works on them
  • And close the loop with customers

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