Creating a product that your customers love requires actually talking to those customers and listening to what they have to say: the good, the bad, and the ugly. By listening to your users, you can begin improving your product and prioritizing the features that are going to have the biggest impact on your business. But who should you be listening to and which feedback is most important? It can be hard to tell if you don’t have a defined process for categorizing your feedback. In this post, we’re covering what user feedback is, different types of user feedback, as well as some best practices for addressing each of those user needs. Let’s dig in!

What is User Feedback?

User feedback is any information collected from users or customers about their experience using your product or service. Feedback can come from many different channels and in many different forms (e.g. Slack, email, live chat, Zoom calls, product surveys, and more). After collecting feedback, it’s then used by various teams to improve the user or customer experience.

Why is User Feedback Critical for SaaS Businesses?

With the market for SaaS products more competitive than ever, your prospects and customers have many alternatives to using your software. So how do you attract new customers and ensure that your existing customers are happy with your product? One of the most effective strategies is to constantly improve your customers’ experiences by making the most of the user feedback that they provide. By properly managing user feedback you can understand what your customers think of your product, find workflows that might be causing friction, identify new features that matter to your users, and better prioritize product updates based on current user needs.

User Feedback Types

Users are constantly submitting information to different teams across the company. Whether they’re asking for new features, have questions about how to use the product, or notice something not working right, it’s important to understand which category a piece of feedback falls into so that your team can properly address and prioritize the needs of those users. In Parlor, we use five different categories: Feature, Insight, Friction, Praise, and Bug. We recommend using these categories as a starting point for building your own feedback categorization process.

Feature

What is it: A Feature is a type of feedback that indicates that a user has explicitly asked for something. They could be asking for an entirely new feature, something to be improved upon with an existing feature, or even something to be changed/removed from the product.

Why it’s important: It’s important to track the various feature requests coming from your users so you can address the most urgent needs. If a user can’t complete a key action, like scheduling a meeting, without a new feature being released, it may be more difficult for them to get value from your product, causing them to churn.

Example: “I would like to be able to integrate my Google calendar with your product, so my clients can more easily book meetings with me.”

How to address: As you collect more feedback and categorize them, you can quickly see which requests have the highest urgency, revenue, and the number of users associated with them. As your team begins working on product updates, you can close the loop with users to let them know when their needs are actively being addressed.

Insight

What is it: An Insight is a type of feedback that — while not an explicit request for something — still provides interesting or helpful learnings about a related user need.

Why it’s important: While insights aren’t direct feature requests, they can provide some useful details that may influence later product decisions.

Example: “It would be helpful to have a task view so I can see what everyone on my team still needs to work on.”

How to address: Make sure to thank the user for their feedback so they know your team is listening and open to new ideas. If one particular piece of feedback stands out to your team as interesting, consider running the insight by your customer or research council to see if a larger portion of your customer base also shares the same interest.

Friction

What it is: Friction is feedback that implies a part of the product experience is confusing or frustrating, preventing a user from adoption or growth. Perhaps a part of the product isn’t sufficiently compelling, requires significant effort, or poses some UX concerns.

Why it’s important: Identifying points of friction is important because it prevents customers from adopting your product and getting the most value out of your service.

Example: “This field loads too slowly and makes it nearly impossible to do what I need to do on your platform.”

How to address: Friction is another feedback category that may require more direct action from your product team. As customers experience points of friction, it slows their product adoption process and, in extreme cases, can lead to customer churn. This is another reason why documenting the feedback’s urgency helps your team make priority decisions. If a group of customers are experiencing a point of high urgency friction, like a field loading too slowly, it’s a signal for your product team to start taking action to address the problem. In cases where friction may pertain to an entire workflow, consider usability testing or running to better understand the needs of your users.

Praise

What is it: The most rewarding kind of feedback! Praise is compliment to your product or service. It comes in many forms like positive App Store reviews, or compliments on your latest feature release.

Why it’s important: It’s important to document this feedback so your team knows what to do more of and what’s resonating with customers.

Example: “I really love this update! It’s helped me reduce the amount of time required to complete my tasks by 10%.”

How to address: Categorizing praise isn’t going to require a much more immediate response than thanking your users, but it is important to have on hand when your team is looking for customer references or upsell opportunities. Praise is also a great opportunity to help your Success and Marketing teams make the most out of your current customer feedback. It helps them identify product champions and can be used to create customer testimonials.

Bug

What is it: A bug is a coding error that makes a program act differently than expected.

Why it’s important: Small errors can be indicative of larger problems so it’s important that your team is collecting and correcting the bugs that customers report. These errors can be as seemingly insignificant as a misaligned image on a landing page or can lead to your mobile app crashing and your customers losing important data.

Example: “When I try to click settings it gives me an error message.”

How to address: We make a point of differentiating bugs from friction since there’s normally a time sensitive component of ensuring your product is working as expected for customers. By creating a bug category, your engineering team can better focus on the items of direct action that pertain to them. Teams can triage bugs (using type, urgency, number of affected users, etc.) to determine the priority of which bugs receive engineering’s sought after time. Not only will this ensure your product stays up and running properly, but it also provides a better customer experience.

Conclusion

Product feedback is almost constantly pouring into companies. Properly managing and categorizing those individual pieces of feedback is essential to creating a system of record that your team can use to validate your product efforts. Parlor makes this process easy for you by creating a single system of record for all your customer feedback. We’ve built out platform so that your team has more flexibility for organizing and prioritizing the actionable feedback your receive on a daily basis. As customers dive deeper into your product, you can report on long-term behaviors and send additional product surveys to key user personas, using their feedback to guide product development. By curating a culture of collaboration with your users, you’ll be sure to delight and increase the customer lifetime value for your business.