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Ensure a Longer Life for Your Digital Product by Implementing Channels for Feedback

Ensure a Longer Life for Your Digital Product by Implementing Channels for Feedback

  • Product Design /
  • Product Strategy /

Customer feedback is critical to the long-term success of both your product and business. But without proper acknowledgement, response, and action, your customers may question whether or not you’re listening. As part of Emerge’s continuing series around CX best practices, this month we focus not only on the essential business value provided by feedback, but the channels by which you can create feedback loops

A loop is actualized once your business has begun to acknowledge and process this feedback. The loop is completed when you respond to your customers; apprising them of the remedies that are being created for pain points and what steps are being taken to make the experience more engaging. Doing so will assure your customers that you value creating moments of delight in their user experience. 

In this article, we’ll look at three channels for collecting feedback that will enable you to respond in kind and form a feedback loop. You’ll also learn how to use this data to stay ahead of the curve for many years to come, ensuring your product and business can remain relevant to your most important audiences.

1. Implement Feedback Modules

Feedback modules are an oft-missed opportunity for direct, in-platform customer feedback. There are two primary ways they can be deployed within your digital product: contextually and non-contextually. 

Contextual feedback modules provide the means to directly engage with customers and garner definitive, detailed feedback. These modules typically follow a sequence of steps that a customer must take to fulfill an action or a task at hand. 

One example is an onboarding sequence. This is commonly employed in digital products to educate users on the possibilities and capabilities of the platform or service they are going to begin using. Asking simple questions along the way can help provide better data about your customers, and deliver them a more personalized experience.

Venmo utilizes specific questions during onboarding to ensure users get the right experience

Another more commonly seen contextual feedback module example is when a customer navigates through a specific sequence to resolve a pain point. Getting feedback after this sequence can be exceptionally insightful in gauging how your customer is feeling about both your business and the product they’re using.

When questions don’t get answers, PayPal seeks to know what customers would do next

If your digital product already exists in the wild, verify how it is synthesizing these scenarios. If your product will be something new to market, it is evident how valuable this type of feedback can be.

Non-contextual feedback, on the other hand, is less specific and more broadly focused. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked when it comes to implementing a way for customers to provide helpful feedback. Fortunately, it is easy to implement a means to accommodate this feedback. Use-cases will undoubtedly vary. Providing a gateway for general, broad-gauged initiatives can help inspire feedback. Whether it is positive, neutral, or negative, you may be surprised by the data that emerges.

Confluence has an easily found ‘Give Feedback’ link right under the Help Menu

2. Conduct User Testing

Another way to assemble customer feedback is by tapping directly into your audience to acquire their thoughts and opinions. The two primary methods of gathering this kind of user feedback are by way of unmoderated and moderated user testing. Unmoderated user testing is more broad, easily put into play, and more cost-effective. Moderated user testing will provide much more powerful information to act upon. Ultimately, moderated user testing requires a greater investment from your resource allocation.

While both moderated and unmoderated testing are equally viable in many project circumstances, it is prudent to be aware of your project budget status and timeline parameters. With thoughtful planning prior to execution, timelines can be managed to run unmoderated testing and gather significant insights that lead to successful outcomes. An increase in project budgets to run moderated testing can prove to be more challenging, but will provide considerably more valuable and substantial information.

3. Poll With Surveys

Feedback modules tend to be succinct requests for customer feedback. User testing seeks to assemble information directly from users in a more detailed and appreciated approach. Surveys can provide your business with a vast breadth of information about customer preferences. Simply prepare and email your customers the survey for completion.

SurveyMonkey is probably one of the better known subscription options that can accommodate highly complex survey scenarios. But if you’re just testing the waters, or need a cost-effective start to surveying, Google Forms is easy to use (and free).

Google provides a free tool to generate surveys and collect user feedback

Now that We Have All This Data, What Do We Do With It?

Regardless of how you collected feedback, you first need to acknowledge to your customers that you’ve received it. Send respondents a thank you message displayed after a form or survey submission, or thank them directly after concluding the user testing process. This may sound like common sense, but the more empathetic you are with your customers, the more trust and loyalty they will have in your business and brand.

Next, it’s time to process this data and look for patterns. This is where feedback modules shine. All of the data can be sorted, labeled, categorized, and filed in the background as part of the technical integration process. This process can potentially prove to be longer with user testing. If you are going to implement moderated user testing, you will need someone to comb through the testing data to find patterns and assemble a report. Some unmoderated user testing platforms can assemble automated reports, but it’s always best to verify if it will meet your requirements for pattern collection.

Once you’ve assembled the patterns, we’ve often found it’s critically helpful to create a service blueprint. If you want to make meaningful changes to your business and product that will accommodate your customers, it is imperative that you understand every aspect of your business in direct correlation to your customers. A service blueprint will reveal the chronological actions your customers take while detailing the business operations that correspond with each action. Further, it will unveil what your business or organization must provide to continue delivering an optimal customer experience.

Service blueprinting tracks business operations according to customer steps

Once you’ve completed a service blueprint, you’ll have an enlightening, visualized view and understanding of where the patterns lie. You will discover what you can do to preserve points of positive feedback, streamline areas that are creating neutral feedback, and address the critical points of negative feedback. 

The action you take will vary depending on the severity and nature of the patterns you’re seeing, but the best way to start moving the stake forward is to build or refine your product road map. Incrementally, you will be able to start making progress and acquire an understanding of the timeline that will be required to propel forward.

Finally, but most importantly – you will need to communicate with your customers about how you are addressing their feedback. It goes without saying that negative feedback will likely take priority over neutral feedback. However, it is essential for those customers providing positive feedback to know that their opinions and contributions to making the platform a positive experience for everyone is greatly valued. If your business has a marketing or PR team, this is an exceptional opportunity for them to engage directly with your customers. If your business is just getting started, it is always advantageous for the primary stakeholders to reach out to customers directly and begin cultivating those relationships.

Customer Feedback is How Modern Businesses Evolve and Survive

The long-term survival of all digital products are contingent on gathering and accommodating customer feedback. What may have once been considered CX best practices, have now scaled significantly, becoming a core requirement for your business and product success. At Emerge, we understand that depending on the size and composition of your team, this may be a substantial undertaking. If you’d like assistance or a consultation on assembling customer feedback, and/or service blueprinting, our creative team is here to help you. Reach out to us today to schedule a time for us to dialogue.

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