How to Include Client Feedback in Your Product Roadmap

All companies, big and small, need feedback from customers to develop and improve their products and services. Companies have external customers who are buying from the company or internal customers like other departments requesting the product. Whether your customers are internal or external, finding out what they want and including it will make for a better result.

Let’s talk about how you can include client feedback in your product roadmap to create products customers will be delighted with.

Everything should start with feedback

Based your product roadmap on customer feedback. In fact, successful companies use feedback as their roadmap to help them complete a project on time and on budget. Use your statement of deliverables to figure out the necessary direction and your client feedback to navigate your way along the roadmap.

Consider how well equipped your team is to create your next product. They have the right experience and expertise and work well together. But without customer feedback, even the best team will only come up with an approximation based on assumptions of what customers want.

If your team runs on agile methodologies, feedback is necessary in a customer-centric environment like agile. But regardless of your management style, integrating feedback is an essential piece of your product roadmap.

Make sure you get the right feedback.

Your feedback must have useful and actionable information. Otherwise, it’s just a waste of time for both you and the customer. How you collect this information is another decision process that includes sales, marketing, customer service, etc., but you should definitely make sure they collect the right information.

For client feedback to be useful, try to source your feedback. If feedback comes from large B2B clients, try to collect more information because there are many departments and moving pieces in an enterprise sized organization.

Finally, pull the feedback and document it in an easy-to-track way. This will look different for each company, but you might sort them by topic or category. This also helps you prioritize your responses based on number or source of complaints.

Consider including quantifiable client feedback.

You can use metrics and other methods of quantifying your client feedback. When you quantify your feedback, you’ll more quickly set goals for improvement and be able to track problems against client satisfaction. It will also help keep client requests from falling through the cracks.

Some companies use micro feedback surveys. For example, they will ask “How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or co-worker?” Then they quantify the range of answers, making it easier to track and measure results.

Use your feedback to improve processes.

Besides improving your product with client feedback, use the same feedback to improve your processes. What seemed to work in the past, you can improve when taking client feedback into consideration. It will help you understand how clients view your company and internal processes.

When your clients understand how your company works, it opens the door to more valuable feedback. Feedback will contain more and better details of what they do and don’t like. You and your team can better narrow down the source of any product problems, saving you both time and money.

 

Final thoughts.

If you haven’t been including client feedback in your product roadmap, it may take a few iterations to hone your process. It takes time to realize what feedback is useful and actionable. And you also must learn to prioritize and share the feedback with the rest of your company. Analyzing and acting on client feedback can help your next product roadmap achieve outstanding results.

When it comes to creating product roadmaps, Hutwork is the leading platform that allows you to easily create amazing roadmaps anyone can understand. Collaborate, plan, communicate, track, manage, and report on your business initiatives from a single dashboard.

 

Danny Ball

Co-founder & CEO at Hutwork. I’m working hard every day to ensure visual planning is at the forefront of today’s fascinating ideas. Click here to check us out on twitter.

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