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What is a Feature Request
A good chunk of success in product development can be chalked up to effective feature request management. But what exactly is a feature request?
A feature request is a suggestion made by customers for a new functionality or improvement in an existing product or service.
It's an invaluable tool for gaining actionable insights towards making your product more user-friendly and efficient. In this article, we'll guide you on how to collect these feature requests effectively and share 10 useful tips to manage them.
"Handling feature requests is not just about addition, it's a strategic tool that involves selection, prioritization, and execution for enhancing the overall user experience and product value."
Collecting feature requests is the first step in this process. There are several ways to do this, allowing for user feedback to be continuously captured and organized. Many companies use online contact forms, feedback forums, and even social media platforms to make it easy for users to voice their ideas and opinions. By having a robust system in place for collecting these requests, you can start building an effective roadmap for future product improvements.
What Are Feature Requests?
Feature requests are valuable suggestions made by users about how a product or service could be improved or made more efficient. These insights play a critical role in driving software development and upgrading services to better fulfill user needs. Notably, they reflect users' desires and expectations, turning users into active contributors to your product's evolution.
Feature requests are a crucial source of innovative ideas for improvement. They provide precise user feedback, helping to identify potential blind spots in a product or service. Moreover, handling these requests effectively can significantly enhance customer satisfaction, fostering loyalty and longer-term relationships with your customers.
How to Collect Feature Requests
Collecting feature requests is pivotal for effective product management. Here are some useful methods for all the product managers :
- Customer Support: Customer support interactions are a goldmine for product feature requests. Users who encounter issues or seek enhancements often communicate their needs first to support personnel.
- Online Communities: Online forums, social media, and community discussion platforms are great places to gather user feedback regarding desired features.
- Surveys & Feedback Forms: Conducting regular surveys and providing feedback forms/ feature request form on your website or app allows users to voice their ideas at their convenience.
- User Interviews: A personal one-on-one interview can give a deep insight into what a user wants from your product or service.
10 Useful Tips to Manage Feature Requests
Managing actual customer feature requests effectively can positively impact your user satisfaction and product development process.
- Define clear criteria for evaluating incoming requests.
- Organize requests efficiently - categorize them, tag them, and prioritize them based on their potential value.
- Ensure you communicate effectively with the requesters - let them know the status of their requests.
- Don't ignore 'small' improvements - often tiny changes can provide huge value.
- Establish a process of reviewing and implementing requests within your development cycle.
- Make it easy for users to submit feature requests.
- Consider each incoming request seriously, even if it sounds trivial initially.
- Balance between requests from power users and 'average' users.
- Use feature requests to guide your product roadmap.
- Stay flexible and open to change - Adapt your product based on user needs, not the other way round.
Types of Feature Requests
In the B2B realm, understanding feature requests helps your entire team to shape and optimize your product. Here are eight common types of feature requests:
- Usability Requests: These suggestions improve the usability of your product. They can include improving navigation, decluttering interfaces, and enhancing accessibility.
- Performance Requests: Ideas to enhance software's speed, reliability, or resource use fall under this category.
- Integration Requests: If clients want the product to work seamlessly with another feature request software they currently use, they might ask for an integration feature.
- New Capability Requests: Such requests are driven by a need for functionality that is not currently available in the product but can address a business problem.
- Data & Reporting Requests: Customers might request additional data or reporting capabilities to better understand usage and performance.
- Customization Requests: These are requests for the ability to alter or tailor the product to better fit specific business requirements.
- Support & Documentation Requests: This involves requests for improved user manuals, FAQ sections, or customer request.
- Security Requests: As a crucial aspect of B2B software, customers might make requests to enhance security features or compliance elements.
Remember, feedback is the key to continual improvement and success in the B2B marketplace. Developing a structured way to handle these requests will only benefit your business in the long run.
Popular Channels for Tracking Requests
One of the most direct and efficient ways to manage feature requests is through in-app feedback. Users can communicate their needs and ideas directly within the app, enhancing the customer experience and allowing the product team to capture valuable insights. To best utilize this approach, you need a robust feedback mechanism within your app. This could be a dedicated section for suggestions or a simple prompt asking the user for their thoughts. The key is to make it easy and intuitive for your users to share their ideas, ensuring they feel heard and valued in the process.
Feedback From Internal Teams
Feedback from internal teams is an invaluable source of insight when it comes to managing feature requests. Customer-facing team members who use the product daily can provide direct, first-hand feedback on what's needed to improve it. They offer a different perspective from external users, focusing more on functionality, accuracy, and performance, making their input crucial in the feature development process.
Customer Advisory Boards
One of your best and most strategic customers who are willing to commit their time to customer engagement and driving product innovation. This group presents an ideal platform to gather feature requests. Here's how you use it:
- Establish a clear agenda and target for your meeting. This could involve discussing new product features, soliciting feedback on current functionalities, or brainstorming for future improvements.
- Thereafter, provide the participants with a platform, either virtual or physical, to express their thoughts, experiences, and ideas on the product or its features. Particularly, encourage them to identify features they believe would enhance their experience.
- Follow up on all inputs and suggestions from these sessions. Given that these are come from your top customers, their perspectives can be quite valuable to your product evolution.
The effectiveness of your CAB can be significantly enhanced if you form it with a group of customers who are loyal to your brand and committed to its success. They're more likely to actively participate in meetings and provide focused feedback to improve your product or service. Furthermore, remember to show appreciation for the value they bring, as this contributes a great deal towards fostering a genuine and effective relationship.
Surveys and Questionnaires
Surveys and questionnaires are classic tools used in collecting feedback from customers and therefore, feature requests. The ease of distribution and ability to gather quantifiable data makes them an attractive option for many businesses. However, to truly capitalize on these tools, the right product strategy needs to be applied:
- Create simple and straightforward questions that do not confuse or frustrate the survey participant. Keep the number of questions adequate, too many could lead to survey abandonment.
- Timing is critical. Send your survey immediately after a customer interaction with your product. This ensures that their experience, and thereby the feedback, is fresh in their minds.
- Consider offering incentives to increase participation. Perception surveys can often be ignored, providing a small incentive for completion can boost response rates.
Remember, the resulting data is only as good as the questions you ask. Be deliberate about your objectives, and frame your questions accordingly to garner insightful responses.
Feature Requests Are a Two-Way Street
When it comes to feature requests, remember that it's a two-way street. Your users provide valuable input that directly impacts the growth and evolution of your product, and in return, they long for validation and a sense of contribution. It's about maintaining a healthy dialogue for mutual benefit.
Open communication encourages user engagement and fosters a community that feels heard, valued, and appreciated
Below are three prominent ways to make the feature request process reciprocal and highly collaborative:
- Transparency: Keep your users informed about the stages of their request. Is it under evaluation, planned for development, or already in progress? A little transparency goes a long way in building trust.
- Feedback: Show appreciation for their input by giving constructive feedback. What do you think about their suggestion? Will it add real value to the product? Honest customer feedback loop tells your users that their views are important.
- Feature Updates: Notify users when a feature they suggested has been implemented. It not only makes them feel influential but also encourages further participation.
In the end, it's about you - the product owner - and them - your loyal users - working together for a common cause: to improve and perfect your product.
So, remember, effective feature request management is a balance of giving and taking, listening and communicating, and appreciating and evolving.
Get PreSkale and Streamline all Feature Requests
When it comes to the effective management of feature requests, choosing the right tools for the job matter just as much as implementing the right processes. Among the myriad of available options, one product stands out - PreSkale. Designed to streamline your feature request operations, the tool can significantly boost the efficiency of your business.
Advantages of PreSkale in Feature Request Management
Let's delve into some of the key ways PreSkale can revolutionize your feature request system:
- Ease of Use: The simplicity and intuitive design of PreSkale foster easy navigation even for beginners.
- Agile Integration: PreSkale seamlessly fits into various agile workflows, accommodating diverse teams.
- Robust Tracking: With PreSkale, tracking feature requests from different channels becomes a breeze.
- Prioritization: This tool, besides capturing, allows you to prioritize and manage tasks effectively.
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In conclusion, feature request management doesn't need to be a complex process. With the right tools, such as PreSkale, it can be streamlined to a simpler, more efficient system. It's worth exploring the PreSkale to discover more about how this tool can transform the way you handle feature requests.