In the latest episode of #BiteSize, Laura Klein of Users Know shares the steps to filter useful customer feedback.
Laura has spent 20 years as an engineer, product manager and designer in Silicon Valley. Her goal is to help startups learn about their customers so that they can build better products faster. She is the author of UX for Lean Startups and Voice Interface Design, and her new book, Build Better Products is coming out later this year.
There are few elements to figuring out what kind of customer feedback to actually take. First of all, you need to make sure you are asking the right customers. Not all of your customers are going to be equally important to you. That is just how the world works.
Often the ones who have paid you are more important than the ones who are using your product for free.
There are going to be groups of people that will be more likely to be more valuable to you as a company, not by demographics but by certain patterns of use.
I remember I was working with one company that was doing something for small businesses and they decided not to just focus on small businesses. They started to get very different feedback, some of the feedback was from people who have small businesses like me, like a consulting business. The others had small businesses where they sold things, like actual products, they sold on Ebay or Etsy.
So, the company got really different feedback from those two groups and they just couldn’t make something that was necessarily right for both of those groups.
So, they had to pick the one that they thought would be more valuable to them. That’s the first step.
You take customer feedback from customers that you want. Lots of people don’t think in those terms. The other thing is, you are almost never just taking feedback. You are sharing customer’s problems, issues, and suggestions, and then you are trying to cause this and see patterns.
So, if somebody says, “Hey I really want a button so that I can hit that and recommend it to all my friends.”
That’s a feature request. A lot of people would say “Great, we have added the button that lets you do that thing.”
That’s not the kind of feedback you take. You ask, “Why do you want that button? What will that do for you? What are you trying to accomplish?”
And then if you find out other people were also trying to accomplish that same thing, or they are making a request that indicates they also want that certain thing.
Then you find something, it doesn’t have to be that button, that solves the problem for a large number of people. Again, a large number of people that you would want.
Make sure you have the right users, make sure you actually understand the problem that you are dealing with and also make sure you are collecting feedback correctly.
A lot of people are very passive about feedback collection, so they just get bug reports. If you are more methodical about going out and finding the right people that you want feedback from, asking them for feedback, asking them the right questions, you just going to get the feedback that you can take and that will be helpful in building patterns much more easily. It’s not that kind of information is bad, it’s just that it’s not complete.