The Value of User Feedback for Growing SaaS Companies
Why is user feedback so important?
Imagine you are part of a software team, a Product Manager on top of their game or a Developer, that codes like digital wizard, and you’re seeking to launch a new application. For months, your team has bootstrapped the development process, working tirelessly to turn your product vision into reality.
While the idea behind the software is strong, there is one significant issue – your team has not collected any feedback from users during the development process. As a result, you have no way of knowing whether the application will meet your target market’s needs or if there are any potential user experience (UX) issues.
When you finally launch the software, it falls flat. Users are unimpressed and fail to see the value in your offering. They may even find the application difficult or frustrating to use. Your team is devastated – all of that hard work for little to no return.
Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common for software teams who fail to collect feedback from users during the development process. While it may seem like an extra step that takes up valuable time, collecting feedback from users is essential for ensuring that your software meets their needs.
Defining Quality User Feedback
As it turns out (and ask those who have ever tried to gather feedback effectively pre and post launch) that neat little feedback loop people talk about is broken. It seems more like a knot than a loop and SaaS teams constantly find themselves living within a feedback vacuum. The problem is that most people who offer “feedback” haven’t actually used the product – they are simply offering their opinion.
Opinions are valuable, but they should not be confused with true user feedback. True user feedback can only be collected from actual users who have interacted with your software. This type of feedback is objective and can help you identify issues that need to be addressed before launch.
Why is User Feedback Important?
Building in silos is no longer an option for software teams. To be successful, SaaS companies must embrace a culture of openness and collaboration – which starts with soliciting user feedback.
User feedback is vital for a number of reasons:
User Feedback Helps Product Teams Decide What to Build Next
User feedback should be used to inform the product roadmap. From the initial stages of planning to finalizing features before launch, user feedback should be used to make decisions about what to build next.
This means utilizing feedback from early-adopter users to inform the development of future features. It also means using feedback from beta testers to fine-tune the user experience (UX) before launching to the general public.
User Feedback Helps Companies Validate Their Product
Have you ever used a product that felt like it was made just for you? When a company utilizes quality user feedback, they focus on creating a product that achieves its true purpose – solving a problem for the user.
In other words, user feedback helps companies validate their product. Without feedback from users, it is impossible to know whether your software is actually solving a problem or if there is even a demand for it in the market.
User Feedback Helps Companies Improve Their Product
No software application is perfect – there is always room for improvement. Collecting user feedback; and even user-reported bugs is the key to uncovering areas where your software needs to be tweaked or enhanced.
Without feedback, companies are effectively building their software in the dark. By soliciting feedback from users, you can identify potential issues early on and make the necessary changes before it’s too late.
When You Don’t Collect Quality Feedback, You…
…risk building features that no user desires
…waste time on software aspects that don’t improve the user experience
…may release software with UX issues that frustrate users
…could alienate potential customers who can’t figure out how to use your software
Even traditional feedback methods can fail to provide the type of quality feedback that is needed to build a successful product. What is needed is a method for collecting quality feedback that is both efficient, effective, and actionable for developers.
The Best Way to Collect User Feedback
There are a number of ways to collect user feedback, but not all methods are created equal.
When it comes to collecting quality feedback that you can actually use to improve your software, there is no substitute for real-time engagement. Here are two of the best ways to utilize technology to engage users in quality feedback conversations:
1. Utilize a Web App to Collect Feedback
User feedback platforms like Userback make it really easy for you to capture feedback at the source by embedding a feedback widget directly in your web application. This allows your users to provide real-time and highly contextual feedback without ever leaving your application.
Userback also helps end the broken communication loop between developers and users by appending a session replay with your user’s feedback. This allows developers to see exactly how issues occured through the eyes of the user, removing the need for time-consuming and back-and-forth emails.
2. Collect User Feedback in a Public Feedback Portal
Feedback portals are a great way to capture maximum value from your users as they offer a public and dedicated space to share ideas and collaborate on feedback. This helps build trust with your users as it places them right in the centre of your product development. They can easily track the progress of their ideas and even vote up other user’s ideas, helping product managers to prioritize what your team should work on next.
Collect Better User Feedback with Userback
SaaS developers must take advantage of user feedback in order to build successful products. By investing in innovative and engaging feedback platforms, companies can improve their products, validate their software, and make better decisions about what to build next.
Looking for a feedback platform that can take your company to the next level? Check out Userback – the leading feedback platform for SaaS developers. With Userback, you can collect feedback from users in real time with innovative and user-friendly tools.
Trusted by over 20,000 companies and counting, Userback is the best way to get the user feedback you need to build a successful product. Sign up for a trial today and see how Userback can help you take your SaaS development to new heights!