How to Track Product Suggestions from Your Customers [A Guide]
Your product ultimately needs to solve problems for your customers.
How do you know what problems your customers have? By listening to them when they tell you.
You’re almost certainly getting feedback about it. Your customer requests and product suggestions may be coming to you through your Customer Success team, your Sales team, your feedback board, or a variety of other channels.
The trick is capturing those requests, and then organizing them so that you can use them to make better product decisions. How can you best do that?
In this article, we give you a step-by-step guide on how to do that, together with examples.
1. Identify the sources of your product suggestions
The first step is to identify your primary sources of requests for new features—where your feedback is coming from.
This could be from your customer support team through tools like Intercom, Zendesk, or Help Scout; your sales team through Salesforce or Hubspot; Slack; email; web widgets; your mobile app; a feature request board, or even through social media. Your task is to make a list of these places where your support primarily comes from.
For example: We get most of our customer product suggestions and feature requests through Intercom. We also receive a significant amount through direct emails, and also when we reach out to our customers on calls.
2. Centralize your product feedback in one place
Next, you want to pipe the feedback that you’re getting from those sources into a single customer feedback tool.
That could be in Trello or a spreadsheet, but we don’t recommend it. As useful as Microsoft Excel can be, its ideal use case is not handling customer feature requests. Copying and pasting feedback into excel would be a manual process and very labour intensive. And, spreadsheets are limited in how easily you can slice and dice your data to see what different segments of your customers really want. While these tools might work okay at first, they will become cumbersome and ineffective as soon as you start to get a healthy flow of user feedback.
Instead, we recommend managing feature requests with a purpose-built feature request software tool like Savio. Savio helps you not just keep all your feedback in one spot, but also helps you filter to see the product suggestions most popular among different segments. It empowers you to obtain useful insights and make thoughtful product decisions.
For example: Imagine you receive feedback through Zendesk. You can use Savio’s Zendesk integration to pull that feedback into your feedback vault automatically.
You can then easily attach it to a feature request.
Note: Savio lets you do this with a bunch of tools beyond Zendesk, too. Our integrations include Help Scout, Intercom, Hubspot, Salesforce, and Slack among others. If you use a tool that we don’t currently have an integration for, you can use the Chrome extension: it helps you easily pull in feedback from any web tool. And our API can handle anything else.
3. Attach feedback to feature requests
Once you’ve sent your user feedback to your feedback management tool, you can attach it to feature requests and add any other additional information that might be useful. We call this process “triaging” feedback. It involves answering three questions:
Can you imagine solving the problem described in the feedback one day? If not, delete it.
Does the feedback make sense? If not, ask the person who submitted it to Savio (or the customer) for clarification.
Which feature request does the feedback relate to? Link the Feedback to an existing Feature Request, or create a new one.
For example: You can easily link product feedback to customer feature requests in Savio.
You can also add other important attributes, like where in the lifecycle the requesting customer is (an active customer, a prospect, a churned customer, etc.) and any relevant tags.
4. You can prioritize by the number of requests or other attributes
The next step is to use your product suggestions to influence the product roadmap. You can prioritize new features and functionality based on a number of factors:
Popularity: You might choose to build the new features that are most popular among all your customers.
By customer segment: You might prioritize those that have the most requests or upvotes from a particular group of customers—say, those on your enterprise plan.
By MRR: Many SaaS companies prioritize features that have the most total MRR associated with them.
Recency: You might choose to build features that have been in the backlog for the longest time or those that have been most popular recently.
There are a number of different ways you might choose to prioritize feature requests to build a better product. The trick is that you collect customer attributes so that you can slice and dice your feedback in the way that makes the most sense for you.
For example: Imagine your primary business goal this quarter is to reduce product churn. Your product managers could therefore decide that they are going to focus on your churned customer needs. Your product team could do that by reviewing the list of features that are under consideration.
Then, filter for the ones that are most popular among churned customers.
Then, give the features that are the most popular among churned customers priority in your roadmap.
5. Track features through the product development process
Those features will get assigned to your development team and get built. But you’ll still want to keep track of the features through that process so that you can update the changelog, create marketing materials, and let stakeholders know when the feature is built.
There are a number of ways that you can keep updated on a feature status. The simplest but most labour intensive is to ask your Dev team to email you status updates. An alternative is to set up an automated system that sends notifications as the feature moves through the development team’s workflow.
… it will automatically update in Savio, too.
This lets you easily see when Dev has finished working on a feature and you can start to market it.
6. Close the feedback loop with customers
The last piece is to close the feedback loop. That means letting customers who asked for a feature know that you built it. This is a relatively simple action that can be a powerful way to improve customer experience, build loyalty, and reduce churn.
For example: In Savio, you can easily select all the customers that asked for a given feature request.
Then, draft an email letting them know that you built the feature.
Track product suggestions to build a better product
Feature request tracking is one of the most effective ways to build a product your customers want to buy. It helps you nail market fit and ensure your product provides a satisfying user experience.
Tracking feature requests isn’t complicated, but it can get unwieldy if you don’t set up a system that works. Savio makes it easy to keep your product suggestions organized and gives you the insights you need to confidently build your product roadmap.
Sign up for a Savio trial and we'll help you get started tracking your product suggestions.Last Updated: 13-04-2022
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.