This can be new feature requests, bug reports, or just feedback in general. But how do you make sure you please your customers’ expectations while holding on to your products’ vision?
There’s one golden rule in SaaS bootstrapping: Don’t under-promise & over-deliver!
Listen to your customers
Getting feedback from your users is one of the most valuable things, so you really should take it seriously. Most of the time companies tend to say “thanks for your feedback, we will look into it” but in fact mean “thanks for your feedback, we will do nothing with it”. That’s a bad idea. Your customers are left to assume you take them seriously, while in fact, you don’t. They will feel it later on, and so do you. Because in SaaS startups, there are two ways to grow:
You acquire more customers.
You deliver more value to existing customers.
Although you might think these two are completely different, they’re not. Both are linked to one thing: your startup delivering value for your customer needs.
How do you handle this? By listening to your customers. They are the ones that are using our product every day. They see opportunity. And they are willing to help to make the product better and better. Why on earth does anybody want to block this?
Finding the why in customer feedback
The most important thing with feedback is “the why”. We often forget that there’s always a reason on why a user requests a certain feature. It almost always is a solution to a “problem” or “need” of the user. The best thing you can do is to ask yourself why the user wants the feature in the first place because chances are there’s already an existing solution to it. Sometimes, a user just thinks differently about the process or possibilities within your SaaS product and you just need to give them a hand to help them get the results they’re craving for.
Here’s a simple infographic on how we ask our users why.
Don’t under-promise & over-deliver
Put simply, be straightforward and transparent. When your user shares an idea, they really want to know: Does this idea fit the vision of the product? The answer to this can be a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. As long as it’s one of those, you’re fine. But it’s painful to leave the user in the middle of it.
Here’s a simple infographic on how we handle new requests that we consider developing.
Track customer feedback
You should always take user feedback seriously and track it. Based on the above infographics you can determine the ‘why’ of the user needs and if it fits your company’s product vision. If it does, you need a way to manage this feedback. Hint: you can use Upvoty to get exactly this job done! With the easy to install feedback boards, you can easily track all of your feedback in one place. Other users can upvote on each other’s feedback and voila: you’re all set!
By tracking user feedback this way, you’ll accomplish a lot of good stuff:
- The user feels appreciated
- You are closing a feedback loop (once it’s on a public feedback board, users will start to engage over here)
- You’ll drive adoption for the new request
- Users will know what’s next and are more likely to wait instead of churn
- Users are more likely to share their feedback which makes your product even better
- The best thing? You don’t have to answer the user right away if you’re building it or not. You can always say: I think it’s a really good idea. Let’s track it in the feedback boards and see how other users feel about it.
Share your product roadmap
Now that you’ve tracked feedback, one of the best ways to communicate the progress is to use a product roadmap. This is good for two things:
#1: It will show your users what’s next.
This way, users that are thinking about leaving you (because they’re craving certain features you don’t have at the moment) can see that things will improve soon. They’ll be more likely to stick with you.
#2: It will improve the engagement with your product and startup.
When users see you are taking their feedback seriously and you are working (with your users) on improving the product, they will feel appreciated and part of the proverbial “family”. This will make them more loyal to your brand and more eager to help you grow your product. Creating, engaging, and sustaining a community focused on your startup is a surefire way to build long-lasting bonds with your customers.
Big takeaway: build features that make an impact!
How do you decide what feature request to build next? Well, when you collect user feedback and collate it on a central feedback board (like Upvoty), you’ll know exactly what to build next. The more upvotes on a feedback request, the more users you will please. This is good for two reasons:
It will make a lot of customers happy
It will make sure you are spending your time on the things that make customers happy (and thus, increase customer happiness and sales)
Win-win, huh? 🙌
So, one last time: Don’t ever under-promise & over-deliver. Listen to customer feedback. Be smart about how you explore that feedback. Your customers are worth more than silence.