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How To Drive Product Innovation From Customer Feedback


Want To Drive Product Innovation? …

Want To Drive Product Innovation?
Incyte Research
Learn how to get the most from customer community feedback in this eBook!

Your customers use your product and services every day, and they have a lot to say about them! Don't let this great resource go to waste. Tap into your customers' feedback to:

Drive product innovation
Better meet your customer needs
And stay ahead of your competition

Check out the latest research now and download the latest eBook from Get Satisfaction!

Published in Business , Education
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  • 1. How To DriveProduct InnovationFrom Customer Feedback in Your Community a publication of
  • 2. How To Drive Product InnovationFrom Customer Feedback In Your CommunityAsk any product manager what drives product innovation, and they’re likely to give you allkinds of answers: market research, leadership direction, brainstorming processes, innatefeel for the market and space, the list goes on. ContentsNo matter the product or driving force behind it, the goal is ultimately to meet the needsand desires of your customers. It follows, then, that their feedback, communication, • How To Drive Product Innovation From Customer Feedback In Your Community......................................1and perspective should be taken into consideration along every step of the productdevelopment process, from brainstorming, to evaluating existing products, to examiningthose from your competition. • Asking For Feedback: How To (And How Not To)................................... 2We already released a white paper about how to solicit great feedback, but any feedback • Asking For Feedback In Your Customer Community........................ 4 • is only as good as what you do with it. Which brings us to the topic of this e-book: how to So You Have Feedback. drive product innovation from customer feedback you gather in your community. Now What?................................................. 5 • Closing The Feedback Loop............ 7 • Conclusion............................................... 9 How To Drive Product Innovation From Customer Feedback In Your Community 1
  • 3. Asking For Feedback: How To (And How Not To)Before we dive into what to do with your customer feedback once you have it, let’s take acrash course in asking for feedback. Follow these five tips to get started collecting great,actionable feedback:1 Define your goal FIRST. If you want clear feedback that you can base decisions on, you first have to define the decisions you’re trying to make with it. Do you want to improve conversions from your website? Create a more intuitive product? A more effective pricing structure? Clearly answer that question for yourself before turning it over to your customers, and be sure not to give them feedback-fatigue by asking about every goal you have all at once—a good feedback structure will bring you in constant, seamless contact with your customers. It allows you to ask different questions and receive different feedback regularly; it does not blast your customers with the burden of fulfilling all your feedback goals in one heavy-handed session.2 But leave room for open-ended responses. This tip may seem to contradict the first, but in reality it actually compliments it. You need to be specific with your customers to lead them in the direction you’re interested in, but you also want to provide them a with a place to tell you their open-ended thoughts, criticisms, and praise. You can’t know what you don’t know, so unless you encourage them to tell you anything else that might be on their mind, you could be missing some crucial feedback.3 Ask in a way that encourages customer conversation for exponentially more interesting feedback. It’s one thing to ask your customers what they think about your latest product and to listen to their unique responses one by one. But ask them in a community of customers, and you’re likely to notice something powerful emerge. One customer poses a product suggestion, for example, and their fellow customers jump in to agree, disagree, or piggy-back on top of the original idea to propose an even better one. Unleash the full potential of customer feedback by encouraging this conversation to unfold.4 Don’t expect your customers to come to you. Meet them where they are for the best feedback. Depending on who your customers are, you’re likely to encounter them in different places: on your Facebook wall, on your website, on Twitter, in search, or on their mobile devices. When you ask for feedback where they are (instead of expecting them to come to you, your survey link, or your phone call), you show that you really care about them. And isn’t that why you’re asking for feedback in the first place?5 Your feedback is only as good as what you do with it. Don’t forget to close the feedback loop. Are you considering suggestions proposed by your community? Let them know. Implemented a customer idea already? Sharing that is guaranteed to make your customers feel heard and appreciated—feelings they’ll How To Drive Product Innovation From Customer Feedback In Your Community 2
  • 4. remember when they’re choosing between you and your competition the next time around. What aboutsuggestions that don’t make sense or that you don’t have the resources for? Sharing this transparently(and tactfully) will make your customers feel heard, respected, and will encourage them to come back toyou with all of their feedback in the future. How To Drive Product Innovation From Customer Feedback In Your Community 3
  • 5. Asking For Feedback In Your Customer CommunityThere are a number of ways you can solicit this feedback, but it should be a regular partof you business. Branded customer communities give you a place to be in constant,seamless contact with your customers, asking them for feedback Anywhere they are—on your website, ecommerce product pages, social networks, in search, and on mobile.In addition, customer communities foster conversation between your customers whilemaking it easy for you to jump in to moderate, contribute, or inform the conversation withthe latest information.These rich community discussions can provide you with invaluable insight into whatyour customers think, expect, and want from you. In many ways this ebook is specific tofeedback gathered from customer communities, but many of the tips and suggestionspresented here can be widely applied to feedback collected from in person conversations,online surveys, phone polling, etc. TechSmith Launches a New Product While Driving Down Cost By Crowdsourcing To Their Community TechSmith is the world’s leading screen capture and recording software company, providing services for individuals and professionals in more than 50 countries. Originally, TechSmith almost exclusively developed products for Windows users, but as its popularity grew, the firm decided to develop a version of its popular product, Snagit, for Mac users. Over the ten-month public beta process, more than 100,000 people downloaded Snagit on Mac, over 445,000 people engaged in dialogues on their Get Satisfaction community, and about 1,200 unique topics were generated by users. The customer community allowed TechSmith to engage its entire user base to play an active role in the product innovation process. In addition to producing a better product, TechSmith saved $500,000 by crowdsourcing to the Get Satisfaction community. TechSmith hasn’t needed to hire a technical support person, for example, because members of the community answer questions daily, and customers can self-serve by seeing if their problem or question has already been addressed. Furthermore, the marketing team uses Get Satisfaction to test and refine marketing messages before taking them public. As a result, going into the official product launch, they were more confident in their feature set, messaging, usability, and software stability. How To Drive Product Innovation From Customer Feedback In Your Community 4
  • 6. So You Have Feedback. Now What?First things first: prioritize, prioritize, prioritize!Odds are, your customers have a lot to say, all of which is valuable and should be listened Timbuk2’s Communityand responded to. But even the biggest, most successful companies have limited Suggests A Greatresources, so you have to be strategic and selective when it comes to acting upon that New Productfeedback. There are a couple ways you can get started narrowing down the most urgent, Timbuk2 started out as a one-actionable feedback you find in your community: person messenger bag company1 Stats. This useful section of your dashboard will help you get a good sense of the priorities of your in 1989 in San Francisco, where community, identify your most active members, and gauge the overall sentiment they have towards they still do much of their you and your products. Scroll down to the Active Topics section to see which topics have the most manufacturing today. As the engagement in your community. This is a good place to get a sense of what your customers view as the years have passed, the firm most pressing issues, praise worthy features, or improvable aspects of your product. Click on each topic has expanded into several new in this view to see the conversation surrounding it specifically. product lines, some of which have been driven by customer and2 Management view. This view allows you to see the most recently posted feedback, to give you a real time view of what your customers are thinking and feeling about your brand. It also allows you to filter by tag, community feedback. comment type, status, emotion, and product type. Back in 2007, a customer posted Filter by product type to see product-specific feedback, which will help guide you when you’re focusing on the company’s Get Satisfaction on specific topics. You can also use the tag system to allocate responsibility to different teams or people, customer community site asking or filter by Sentiment to get a sense of which parts of your business are causing the most unsatisfied about Timbuk2 diaper bags. customers. Diaper bags were not, at that time, a part of Timbuk2’s productDive Into Your Topics, Sherlock roadmap, but the idea got lots of response from communityNow that you’ve examined popular topics in Active Topics and gotten a more specific members. Less than a yearperspective with the Management View, it’s time to dig a little deeper and start making after the enquiry, a prototypesense of what you’re seeing. It’s not enough to know what topics your community is of the diaper bag was made andtalking about. You’re going to want to put on your detective hat, and analyze the feedback ultimately launched as a new product, delighting customers andbefore taking action. Timbuk2 employees alike. How To Drive Product Innovation From Customer Feedback In Your Community 5
  • 7. There are two kinds of data you want to pay attention to:Quantitative. How many people have commented on the topic in question? How manyemployees responded? How many of each of the four Sentiments has any given topicbeen tagged with? Topics with the most community engagement are probably gainingtraction for a reason, so it’s important to have a good sense of which they are. The ActiveTopics section will be helpful in defining this.Qualitative. Just because there are a lot of comments on a product suggestion, for example,doesn’t mean it’s popular in your community—in fact, it might mean exactly the opposite!You’re going to have to get in there and actually read the comments if you want to developa true sense for what your customers are asking you for. You can also pay attention tothe sentiment indicators on the left side of your dashboard to get a sense of the mood ofcommunity members talking about various topics.You have Feedback. Now what?Your feedback is only as good as the people who see it, so you want to make sure that youget it in front of the right eyes. All moderators in a Get Satisfaction paid community havethe option to share a topic with employees. Just scroll down the page to the “Share withemployees” function located on the right side of the page, select the employees who youthink should be notified about the feedback, and they will receive an email with an optionalnote—if you choose to write one. From there they can document, consider, and reply tothe feedback.To incorporate more accountability in the Share function (when counting on differentteams to reply to different feedback, for example) you can tag the topic with anemployee’s name, so it’s visible. Standard plans have the option to tag this publically, soall community members can see the tag. Enterprise communities can tag these privately,so only internal community members can see it. How To Drive Product Innovation From Customer Feedback In Your Community 6
  • 8. Closing The Feedback LoopFeedback in your Get Satisfaction community comes as one of four categories:Questions, Ideas, Problems, and Praise. All should be responded to, though it’s importantto prioritize your replies in order of most urgent: Problems, Questions, Ideas, and thenPraise.It’s important to reply to feedback to let your customers know how much you appreciatethe time they spent telling you how they feel. You can also set the status on each topic toindicate whether a suggestion is active, pending, rejected, or complete. These categorieshelp you to organize internally and make it quick and easy for your customers to keep upwith the status of various product innovations.Once you implement a feature update or product suggestion that was requested by yourcustomers, be sure to post a community update letting them know and thanking themfor the suggestion. That simple post will go a long way towards fostering warm, fuzzycustomer feelings.What If It’s Negative?This is a fear we hear often in this industry: “what if my customers express negativefeedback in my community or social media?” It can be scary to open yourself up to publiccriticism, but in this social age your customers are talking about you publically whetheryou condone it or not. They are Tweeting about their experiences with your customerservice representatives, posting on Facebook about your newest product, and bloggingabout how you compare to your competition.By providing them with an open, transparent place to provide you with their observations,thoughts, and feelings about your brand, you’re fostering their trust and giving yourselfinvaluable access to great information. By definition it is more fun to receive Praise How To Drive Product Innovation From Customer Feedback In Your Community 7
  • 9. than hear Problems or negative feedback—but don’t forget, the latter tend to be morebeneficial for driving product innovation and company direction.There is another benefit to asking for this feedback in your public community. Most ofus have experienced the sting of criticism that comes over online channels. It often feelsharsher and less tactful than feedback that would be delivered in person. By showingup and proactively engaging your customers before they have a major issue with yourproduct, you’re humanizing yourself, your business, and your brand. That doesn’t meanyou won’t still receive negative feedback, but it will make most people think twice beforeunleashing an entire year’s worth of pent-up frustration out on you. How To Drive Product Innovation From Customer Feedback In Your Community 8
  • 10. ConclusionYour customers are having conversations about your product all the time, whether you’repaying attention or not. A Get Satisfaction community brings those conversations tothe center of your attention. Asking your customers for feedback regularly, making surethat feedback gets to the right teams and people, analyzing it carefully, and keeping yourcommunity up to date about the status of their suggestions, will allow you to developtransparent conversations and loyal relationships with your customers. By engagingin regular conversations in your community, you can leverage your customers tocontinuously improve your business. After all, who knows your product better than the Have questions?people who use it every day? Feel free to email Try a Demo! or, you can call 877-339-3997 and talk to a real human. How To Drive Product Innovation From Customer Feedback In Your Community 9