Feature requests are a powerful driver of product or service development, providing businesses with valuable input to help identify areas for improvement and potential new ideas.
In this post, we'll explore how these requests emerge and discuss strategies to effectively manage them. For those operating in the SaaS space, we will shed light on handling feature development based on customer inputs.
You'll also learn about prioritizing feature requests and utilizing different platforms for ideation. Furthermore, we'll guide you through transforming a mere request into tangible product development while maintaining effective communication with your team members and customers throughout the process.
In essence, this comprehensive guide aims to enhance your understanding of feature requests' integral role in shaping user experience and driving growth within your organization.
Enhancing products and delighting customers
In a highly competitive world, product management, marketing, and customer support teams are always looking to meet customer needs. One way to do this? Collecting new feature requests!
Feature requests can be as simple as adding a new widget or as complex as a total product makeover. But no matter the complexity or scope, they give you a peek into what users want and need.
Feature requests are more than just a kind gesture. By listening and acting on feature requests, you show users you care about improving customer satisfaction.
So, let's dive into the world of feature requests. We'll explore how they pop up, how to manage them like a pro with tools like Bettermode, Trello, and JIRA, and how to prioritize them based on what customers really want. Plus, we'll dish on how to communicate these changes to your users and the impact they have on their experience.
Understanding feature requests
A feature request is a suggestion made by users or stakeholders for new functionalities, widgets, in-app enhancements, or product improvements.
Different types of feature requests
Feature requests can come from direct user feedback or suggestions from team members who interact with customers. For instance, customer feedback can be gathered through meetings with customer-facing teams, community interactions, surveys, social media, or direct communication with the support team.
A solid customer feedback collection system is the key. It lets companies listen closely to their users' needs and desires. This info becomes the foundation for potential new features or improvements that can amp up the user experience.
New feature: An addition that brings fresh functionality to an existing product.
In-app improvement: Enhancements made within an application based on user suggestions or identified issues.
Product improvement: Broader changes aimed at improving overall usability, performance, or design based on customer input.
All these terms are like pieces that fit together for feedback management. This continuous cycle of gathering feedback and taking action is called the feedback loop. It's crucial to keep your products relevant and meet your users' evolving needs over time.
Managing feature requests
In product management, managing feature requests is an art, and the product team and stakeholders are its maestros.
There are many tools to manage these requests, each with their own superpowers. Trello offers board layout that lets teams track tasks and features with ease. JIRA, on the other hand, is the heavyweight champion for use cases such as issue tracking, bug tracking, and project management.
The feedback board is a portal where users can submit their ideas directly. For a comprehensive customer community solution that streamlines feedback gathering and feature implementation, Bettermode is a powerful choice.
Customers can add their ideas using feature request template, upvote particular features, and add their comments.
Feature requests in the SaaS space
In the SaaS space, keeping customers content necessitates ongoing innovation. That’s why companies must constantly innovate and implement solid product development process to keep customers happy.
At Bettermode, we make it completely straightforward to submit feature requests within the ideation space. Here is what we ask from our customers:
Request description (content): how the feature will work, its problem-solving capability, and possible examples of its practical use case.
Type (New feature, integration, Space template, improvements)
These requests are tied to our Product Roadmap Space and channeled to our internal repository for collecting all the requests from different channels. Of course, the required fields for submitting feature requests can be customized based on your unique needs.
An effective feature request management workflow allows product teams to prioritize development efforts and deliver value with each update.
New features can attract customers or convince existing ones to upgrade.
Functionality improvements enhance user experience and increase satisfaction.
Product enhancements based on user feedback show that a company values its customers' opinions, building trust and loyalty.
The goal is not just adding more features, but enhancing overall product usability. SaaS companies must balance new functionalities while ensuring current ones work seamlessly.
Prioritizing feature requests
It's like being in a sweet shop with only a few coins to spend. You gotta prioritize wisely.
The secret sauce lies in your product roadmap and with your customers. It's guides your team towards the most valuable and impactful product feature requests.
User base: Think about your users, the people who make your product shine. For example, you can segment the requests based on the subscription plan and firmographic data like company size.
Customer needs: Urgent issues that make your customers go "Ahhhh." should be tackled ASAP. Happy customers, happy life.
But wait, there's more. Public roadmaps can be a game-changer. Let your users have a say in the feature by voting on what they want next and understand the state of their requests. It helps your customers track feature requests and get a view of the backlog.
So, with this strategic approach, you'll be able to meet customer expectations and reduce churn as well as gain new businesses.
Streamline feature requests and ideation with Bettermode
Looking to simplify your feature request management? Bettermode offers an all-in-one customer community platform for ideation, roadmap, discussion forums, and product update communication.
The benefits of Bettermode
Bettermode brings all your customer feedback together in one place, making it easy to spot common themes and popular feature requests.
The "Product Ideation" template
One of Bettermode's standout features is its "Product feedback and ideation" template. This structured layout encourages customers to provide detailed descriptions of their suggested features, ensuring high-quality feedback.
Simplify feature request management with Bettermode
To effectively manage feature requests using Bettermode, start by setting up your "Product feedback and ideation" board. Encourage users to submit their ideas directly on this board, avoiding scattered emails.
Categorize suggestions based on priority levels to ensure important ideas don't get lost. And don't forget to keep your user base updated on progress towards implementing popular requests.
From feature request to product development
The journey of a feature request: from idea to reality. It takes a village to make it happen.
The role of team members in product development
Developers code, designers make it user friendly, marketers spread the word, and support team ensure that the customers are not facing any difficulties.
But not all requests make the cut. Sometimes, you gotta say no. It's all about delivering maximum value and staying on track.
Feature request communication
When customers make suggestions, it is essential to stay in contact with them. Acknowledge their input and update them on progress. This builds trust and a sense of community.
Tools like Bettermode, HubSpot, and Intercom are great for communicating with users about feature requests.
Bettermode: Discuss feature ideas, share updates, and interact with your active customer base. Track requests with ideation template and keep users informed every step of the way using roadmap template.
HubSpot: Run email campaign to communicate the updates you have to your product.
Intercom: Directly message users within your app (in-app messaging) to provide personalized updates on their feature requests.
Presentation is key. Use screenshots and videos to visually demonstrate upcoming features or improvements based on user feedback.
Clear communication shows customers that their input matters and influences the evolution of your product. This leads to higher satisfaction rates.
Feature requests and user experience
When users feel heard, they're more likely to stick around and be happy. Here is how feature requests impact customer experience:
User-centric design: Focus on feature requests to keep your design user-centric. Providing customers with what they desire is essential for success.
Better engagement: When users see their suggestions come to life, they feel more involved and engaged.
Innovation: Sometimes, customers have ideas you never thought of - leading to cool features that set you apart.
Frequently asked questions
What is a feature request?
A feature request is a suggestion made by users or stakeholders of a product, service, or platform for new capabilities or improvements to existing ones. It's an integral part of the feedback loop in software development and product management. Feature requests help companies understand their customers' needs better, enabling them to enhance their offerings effectively.
What is feature request management?
Feature request management is a systematic approach to handle, prioritize, and implement suggestions or new ideas for product enhancements from customers.
It involves collecting feedback, analyzing its impact on the user experience and business goals, prioritizing based on factors like feasibility and potential value, then coordinating with development teams to integrate these improvements into future product updates.
This process helps businesses align their products more closely with customer needs and expectations while fostering a sense of community engagement.
How do you handle a new feature request?
When a new feature request is received from different channels, it's first logged into our internal tool. Then, we assess its feasibility by considering factors such as the type of customer requesting the feature, time required for development, and alignment with our platform's strategic direction.
If the idea aligns well and is feasible to implement, it moves forward in the process where detailed specifications are developed. The development team then works on creating the feature while ensuring quality through rigorous testing before deployment.
We also ensure that feedback loops are in place so that customers can share their experiences after using the new feature which aids continuous improvement.
What are the top tools for collecting and managing feature requests?
Some of top-notch tools that can help streamline the process for gathering and managing feature requests are Bettermode, Aha!, UserVoice, and JIRA.
These platforms not only aid in efficiently managing feature requests but also foster transparency between teams by sharing updates related to bug fixes and feature development. Remember that while these tools facilitate request management effectively, they should complement - not replace - direct communication with your community members about changes in response to their needs.
Understanding and managing feature requests is crucial for companies. By prioritizing these requests and utilizing tools like Bettermode for ideation and communicating roadmap, community managers can effectively turn feature requests into product development opportunities.
Communication with users throughout the process and understanding pain points of end-users is key to ensuring a positive user experience.
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