Read by Zach Meissner
Are you about to release a new product or selling an existing product? Times have changed since the “launch it and they will come” or “advertise again” mindset. People are smarter, tighter or have higher expectations before spending money on a product.
Building excitement in a product happens months before a product is launched and social media makes it possible for customers to be part of a products evolution before it is released. Being able to contact a vendor and have input into a new product as a consumer is very exciting but what happens when you fail to deliver and how can that impact your brand?
Obtaining feedback at all stages of your product cycle is important, don’t seek feedback at times that only fit you. Receiving negative feedback is more important than positive feedback. Ignoring or hiding feedback that does not fit your plan will not allow you to improve things and build advocates that promote your brand.
Feedback needs to be tagged with attributes like return on investment, customer need/value, business risk, potential cost, supports growth, supports retention etc. All feedback needs to be archived, reviewed and graphed to reveal spikes in similar feedback items around growth and customer value. 1 person may want feature X now but 100 people may want the same thing and 1,000 may want it in 2 months. Unsolicited feedback is quite often an indicator of wider similar needs.
If you have multiple feedback channels it is near impossible to combine and focus on what to improve, you will quickly stumble over endless possibilities. Making feedback options publically available and allowing customer to respond and keep track of the outcomes is one way to force change and know you are validating needed changes. A customer sitting on the fence about a product or service can become an advocate if they feel their feedback was addressed. A customer who has feedback ignored or rejected may be turned away from further sales.
Atlassian Jira is a great software package for allowing software users and developers to add feedback and prioritise software changes. Many feedback mechanisms can be developed or implemented for little to no cost but the real value comes from capturing all data and looking at the data in with no assumptions and focusing on value to the customer. Acting on feedback as quickly as possible is also key, make changes based on feedback frequently and listen to customers.
With little risk comes little reward.