Let me ask you a question. What do all successful SaaS companies have in common?
You’re probably thinking, “amazing tech products”, or “hyper-polished, sophisticated marketing”. And sure, that’s a fair assessment. But how did they get there? How did they build SaaS products that people fell in love with?
Well… I’ll let you in on a little secret. Ready? Here it is.
The most successful SaaS companies all listen to their customers and leverage user feedback continuously throughout the product life cycle.
They know that listening to users isn’t just about understanding customer satisfaction. It goes much deeper than that and also provides insights into how the product should be improved over time. So let’s take a deeper look into user feedback for SaaS companies and how you too can leverage user feedback to build better SaaS products in your business.
User feedback is something that many companies try to take seriously but never seem to find the time to engage with it consistently.
This is where so many SaaS companies lose their most valuable resource! The more feedback you get, the better understanding you have of your target audience. With this information, you can tailor products to suit their wants and needs.
Collecting user feedback is all about communication. If you want users to provide insights into how they use your products, then it’s your responsibility to be present so you can listen.
User feedback doesn’t necessarily have to happen when users are interacting with your software either. You should also look to collect feedback from their experience outside of your product as well, such as when they are on your website or interacting with your customer support team.
The feedback you get from users helps improve your product and gives you insights into significant issues in the software.
Feedback helps to quickly identify common problems that will likely affect a large number of users. If you can report bugs and fix them as early as possible (preferably during the development stage), then future versions of your product will run more smoothly. Plus your customers will likely notice how quickly you resolve issues and act on their feedback too which is really important for your reputation.
As Trevor Larson from Nectar HR says, “User feedback allowed us to see our shortcomings early on, and a willingness to accept criticism and incorporate it has garnered us a reputation for sincere customer-first service and made us more competitive.”
Collecting user feedback is a really important part of the product development process. Deeply understanding your users and their motivations is fundamental for your product team as it helps them create better job stories that guide their product decisions. After all, unless your software helps users solve their problems better than other solutions, they simply won’t use you.
Furthermore, if you notice a need for more features in your product, those needs can also affect how you choose to market your software and develop new features that users want.
For your SaaS company, this means more happier customers, less churn, and increased revenue. In other words… the holy trinity of SaaS metrics!
When you’re collecting user feedback, it helps to first understand the different types of information that can be useful for your SaaS company.
Bug Reports: Bug reports provide you with insight into the problems that users experience in your app. This highly detailed feedback should automatically come with user’s meta-data so that your developers can replicate and resolve issues as quickly as possible.
Customer Support: Support interactions are a great way to get information on the aspects of your software that need improvement. If a customer has a question or a complaint, you should address that issue immediately. But after it is resolved, dig a little deeper and explore what was behind their issue. Hopefully it’s something you can fix to improve the experience for other customers.
Feature Requests: Feature requests show what customers want from your product and it’s essential to consider the pros and cons of each request and to weigh them against other items on your product roadmap. Otherwise you risk falling into the feature trap and focusing on the wrong things for your SaaS company.
User Acceptance Tests: User acceptance tests (also known as UAT) are great because they help you understand how your user feels about the interface of your software before you send it live. This enables you to validate whether users are satisfied with how it looks and feels, thus giving you the chance to fix any issues before they go live.
Once you know what kind of user feedback your SaaS company should receive, the next step is to start collecting it.
There are many methods you can use to collect user feedback depending on what information you’re looking for.
One of the easiest ways to gather customer information is through a well-designed survey. There’s no need to spend a lot of money on surveys – instead, offer incentives like discounts or a free plan in exchange for feedback.
There are many survey tools that help with this, like Typeform and SurveyMonkey. However micro-surveys that are embedded in your web app are also a great option as Harriet Chan from CocoFinder attests to, “We use Userpilot to install micro surveys in our software product. It inserts short queries for customers to share their experience which helps us restructure our product to meet their expectations.”
The tried-and-true communication method of the digital world is email. Sending out surveys via email can be an excellent way to get feedback from your customers. To increase your response rates, be sure to follow the best practices for email survey invitations.
Social Media Engagement
Social media is another excellent way to talk to customers. It has the added benefit of generating user-to-user interaction, which helps you get more feedback beyond what you could gather on your own.
Yana Trihub from KeyUA states that, “Along with live chats and phone calls, social media is among the fastest ways to gather feedback from users. Whilst constructive feedback is always appreciated, it can sometimes be extremely negative and too personal. So it’s important to decode feedback and concentrate on the parts that lead you to growth.
💡Tip: Here’s the trick to social media: if you don’t get involved with directing the conversation online, you can bet users will do it themselves - and it won’t always be pretty.
Direct User Interviews
If you have the time and resources available, conducting a user interview can be one of the best ways to get customer feedback. Make sure that you thoroughly record your conversations with tools like Dovetail so you can refer back to them later on for deeper analysis.
Visual Feedback Tools
Visual feedback tools like Userback help you get highly-contextual feedback from your users in real-time with annotated screenshots and video recordings in your app.
These tools are particularly useful for reporting bugs and other types of issues that users might experience in your app. That’s because users don’t have to take the time to write out specific feedback – they can just point and click to explain the issue.
If receiving effective feedback is challenging, knowing how to manage the feedback you do receive can be even more complex. There are a few challenges that you may face when trying to collect user feedback.
Generating a lot of feedback in a short amount of time.
You’ll need to build up your customer base before you can get enough information about what they want and how they use your product.
Particularly when you’re trying to recruit users for interviews, it can be difficult to find enough willing participants from only a small customer base. That’s when you need to get creative and look beyond just the regular channels. “We’re inventive about how we approach users for interviews and we recruit through our website, reddit, personal networks, and beyond”, says Evan LePage from Unito.
Having enough time and resources to implement all the feedback you receive.
Opposite to the above where it may be difficult to collect user feedback, once the floodgates open and the feedback comes rolling in, it can be challenging to know what to do with it all.
It’s a good problem to have, but as James Hudson from V7 Labs states, “Sometimes it's difficult to prioritize changes that might have the biggest impact.” That’s why it’s important to have a system in place that prioritizes feedback in a way that makes sense for your business.
One method is to prioritize feedback by a variety of criteria. As Ella Levenbach from Opinion Stage explains, “Ideally, we would like to make everyone happy as fast as possible, but that of course isn’t possible. To deal with this challenge we've developed a process that combines different factors like relevance, frequency, and the effort required. Once we figure out whether and when to incorporate the feedback, we add it to our roadmap.”
Understanding how to interpret the feedback you receive.
Don’t rely on just a few individuals when making updates to your product. Instead, focus on the bigger picture and keep in mind that individual opinions can be subjective. As Eran Galperin from Martial Arts on Rails found, “Many users cannot clearly communicate what it is they actually need, so it helps to have a process to interpret and investigate user feedback to try to figure out the end goal that users are after.”
Asking users for feedback isn’t always easy, but it is essential to do if you want your business to succeed. The goal should be to leave no stone unturned, no idea unexplored, and no opportunity untapped in the name of making your product as good as it can be.
💡Tip: Above all, remember the golden rule of feedback: Listen closely to what your users want and work hard to give them a great experience with your software.
If you struggle with the above challenges, Userback can help. With Userback’s innovative SaaS feedback solution, it’s easy for your users to provide feedback seamlessly in your app.
Userback also seamlessly integrates with many popular bug tracking and project management tools, allowing you and your team to work efficiently with internal and external feedback in real-time.
Not yet a Userback customer? No worries. Get started with a free 14-day trial and start collecting user feedback in your SaaS company today!