Tracking feature requests from customers is a blessing, and also a nightmare for Product Managers. You want to know the needs and new ideas from your customers. So you love hopping onto different pages to hunt them down, hitting F5 to refresh the list every hour. I’m only kidding.
This post is a walkthrough of how we’ve been tracking feature requests from our own customers in Slack.
First, you need a feature request channel
If you want your customers to give you feedback and suggestions, then you should probably start by asking for it. That’s easy enough to understand. But how to do that so that it’s frictionless for the users and manageable for you?
The Feature Request Project in Usersnap allows you to offer a dedicated channel for customers to submit ideas. You can install the widget on your website or app, or even embed it to a native button and trigger upon click to launch the request form.
By empowering your customers to share their feedback whenever they want in your product, you are creating a welcoming and collaborative environment, while also signaling trust to your users.
If you want to set up your feature request channel with Usersnap, you can try it for free in the first 15 days.
Why is tracking feature requests important?
Remember back in the 90s when people preferred cell phones to be as small as possible? Then games and emails on the phone became the trend; then, powerful camera capabilities and big storage were the main demands. In the recent 5 years, the iPhone plus series brought back big phones to relieve our eyeballs from the increased screen time.
The features customers need are constantly changing. Therefore you also need to keep up!
Drift’s co-founder and CTO Elias Torres stated in our e-book How To Turn Customer Feedback Into Product Value:
“Only our users are able to come up with improvements that can truly get their jobs done.”
If you’re not asking your customers what they want, you will not be able to build a product they love using.
If you’re on Slack, then your customer feature requests should be there too
When you start collecting feature requests, you should also tune your roadmap planning process slightly. You may want to set up a meeting for your team to go through those features. And then you can prioritize based on frequencies to select which to implement.
Simple. Now you’re hardcore customer-centric. Right?
Hey, if it’s that simple then AI would be taking over your job soon… Luckily it’s not.
The requests from your customers are no doubt what they want and need. But what is the pain point they want to solve with this new feature? That’s the question you need to answer. And a 30-minute meeting will not get you the resolution.
You should enable these feature requests to flow into your daily routine. Treat them like messages and conversations. If you’re on Slack, bring them onto Slack, if you’re using Microsoft teams, Chanty or other communication platforms, then bring them there.
For example, Usersnap’s integration with Slack allows each feedback item to appear in a group channel or as a direct message the instant a customer sends it in. The message can be customized to include the fields you need, such as the URL, screenshot, sender email, sender’s location… etc.
If you want to reply to the customer to perhaps get more information or thank them, you can open the link to the original feedback in Usersnap’s dashboard to respond.
Allowing yourself to read the requests conveniently and consistently, you will be way more sensitive to customers’ needs.
Complete guide on setting up Usersnap’s Feature Request integration with Slack
Now let’s see a real example of how to integrate a feature request project with Slack.
We are a company that uses our own tool because if we want you to love it, we need to love the heck out of it first! Below you can see how our product managers work with feature requests.
Step 1: Customize your feature request form
Usersnap’s feature request project allows you to easily configure the fields on the form. By default the first question is to ask what feature the customers think is missing, the second question is to dig a bit deeper into the reason. Getting some qualitative answers will help the product team understand why this need matters to begin with.
You should also ask the customer to leave their email, because you would want to follow up when the feature they requested is in development for a beta test or to notify and thank them when the feature is released.
For us, since we are using this form inside the app with logged in customers, we know their email already so there is no need to have this extra field. We just pull the user data – their email, subscription plan, signup date… etc. via the API. The custom data API feature is available for all project types on Usersnap.
Step 2: Embed it to your product
Next is going live with the project. The most popular ways to present the customer request form are:
- install Usersnap’s feedback widget to your page, when users click on the widget it will launch the form, or
- embed the form’s code to a native element and use click to trigger the form.
We are using both options currently. In Usersnap’s dashboard, you can see the feedback widget; as it opens up to our support and feedback menu, you can access our feature request form there. And if you want to set up such a menu widget with all your support and feedback channels available for your customers to pick from, check out the Routing Menu Project.
On certain pages where it’s too cluttered for a widget, we use a native button that looks like a regular element of the interface. And instead of adding the code on the page, just add it inside the element you want to set as the feedback button. (It’s not complicated: your developer would definitely know what this means. And it’s not extra work either.)
Step 3: Manage feature requests like a breeze
Now you have a streamlined way to collect feature requests, you can read, access and prioritize them all at once.
In your project’s feedback list, you are able to assign, label, add notes or files to each feedback item. Our product managers love using labels to categorize the requests, because this makes finding requests easier and (most importantly) they can easily get a good overview of what type of improvement is most needed.
Head over to the project’s statistics page, there’s a graph of the top 5 used labels. You can also filter by time to see the changes over time.
But if you have just too many projects on your hands, like some of our agency customers, you should make use of the Inbox – there you can view all your tickets from all projects in one place.
Another insider tip from our product managers is setting up integrations. We will talk about Slack very soon, but that couldn’t be the only project management and collaboration tool you’re using, right? We use Jira for managing development sprints, sending the requests over there as stories. And for pure tech tasks, we send it to GitHub to fix. And for features that need more investigation by customer support agents, we send it to Intercom.
Step 4: Staying up to date with Slack
The best way to really feel connected and bonded with customer requests is by setting up notifications on Slack.
Usersnap’s integration with Slack allows you to set it up within seconds. You can send it to your existing PM channel or create a new channel. Getting the feature requests live in your daily space is increasing awareness for the needs of the customers, which in turn can motivate your team to be more customer-centric.
The Slack message will automatically include the name of the feature request, sender’s email, screenshot if applicable, and other metadata as well as a link to the original message.
Step 5: Follow up with customers
The customers willing to write and share their thoughts are the unsung and invaluable assets to your business. According to research, 96% of unhappy customers don’t even bother to complain. But most of them will never reconsider your brand again. So for those who do give you feedback, cherish them!
So we make it a mission to always close the feedback loop. Meaning to respond to the customer to show our gratitude, and what we will do with their feature request. Even if we are not prioritizing a certain type of request, we will openly tell them the reason. Their reply after that is also a very interesting and important indicator for us to see how crucial the feature is to them.
In Usersnap’s dashboard you can send replies to customers directly, and this will show up as an email for the customer. We particularly love telling our customers about the new solutions we built based on their feedback. We would attach a screenshot of the feature to the message, like this:
You can also have internal discussions and mention your teammates in the comments section. With all the conversations and customer insights streamlined, you will increase efficiency in building features that solve customers’ needs.
Pumped to start collecting feature requests?
No matter how you set up your feature request form ultimately, we want to say “awesome!” You’re making a real difference for your customers by following a user-centered development approach.
If you do decide to try our recommendation, you can get a 15-days free trial with Usersnap. And if you want a more thorough demonstration, we’re happy to hop on a call and walk you through with a personalized example.