May 5, 2019

How importantly do you take customer suggestions for your product?


e.g. "I think you should break process X into a 2 page process"

  1. How valuable is this information to you
  2. What is the process for your customers to provide this sort of suggestion at the moment
  3. If there was a quick JS copy & paste solution to collect this, would you find value in it?
  1. 3

    I take customer suggestions very seriously. If it's a bug or error it'll take top priority for my next release (usually within 24 hours). If it's a feature request, I will send it to the top of my todo list assuming it's a fair request or if I've received the same request from multiple customers. In the early stages, I almost always end up pivoting based on customer suggestions/feedback.

    FYI: I use the free version of Drift ( It lets my website visitors open a chat dialogue with me; forwards their inquiry as an email if I am unable to respond immediately.

  2. 2

    Read this:

    Long story short.

    • find out what customer profiles you're serving
    • find out if the person reporting the feedback VALUES your product
    • priorities feedback from people who value your product

    Flat out ignore feedback from people who hate your product. You won't make them happy.

    This way you can make it better for people who already love it and find a minimally viable product for people that like what you're doing.

    Prioritize even higher for paying customers as you know this demographic actually pays.

  3. 2

    Way too seriously...

    I am rather obsessive and will start making changes to the product even based on one user's suggestions (if they match with my own conviction; otherwise I will probably move to a more healthy number of at least n number of users).

    I need to learn to lay down the code every once in a while and only start changing things after I truly have enough data points.

  4. 2

    Great topic.
    Sometimes I ignore the customer voice when we had a conflict with the data or our value.

  5. 1

    Customers will always suggest a solution based on their experience and skills - ex. "Implement X, Y, Z as an Excel spreadsheet" is a suggestion I hear often.

    What matters is to uncover the problem(s) customers are trying to solve through their suggestion of a solution.

    Otherwise, the actual question in this post is "Would something like the Stripe on-page feedback function be valuable to your product?". Answer is yes. Like contact us pages, Drift and other communication tools, the easier it is establish a dialog with a customer, the better.

  6. 1

    Customer suggestions are important. But they are important if the customer distinctly knows what your product is about and suggests something that is real and implementable.
    However, you need to know where to draw the line between suggestions regarding the concept of the product, its improvements, or just fixing plain bugs/errors.
    Only value the suggestions if they don't contradict you, and give you a way to expand your product with a new perspective. After all, customers are using your product and they would definitely be able to suggest a valuable thing or two.

  7. 1

    Is the customer giving you feedback to improve their experience using your product, or are they giving you strategic feedback for the direction of your company? I'd be much 100x more likely to listen to the former than the latter. For example, I'm more likely to listen to IHers who say, "You should change feature X because it's frustrating to use on my phone," than to IHers who say, "You should build feature Y in order to grow, or you should focus on direction Z as a company."

    The reason is simple. It's the same reason you should take all advice from even mentors and gurus with a grain of salt: nobody knows the ins and outs of your business as well as you do. They don't know the constraints, the goals, the resources, the market, etc. that you're working with. They have a very simplified model of what's going on with your particular situation, but (like all humans do) will treat that model as 100% accurate. So you need to filter things through that lens.

    That said, nobody knows what it's like to use your product better than your customers do. They know more about the common user experience than you do. So you're better off listening to what they say there, and ignoring them at your peril.

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