One of the most powerful tools at your disposal in SaaS is in-app feedback surveys.
If you can collect, interpret, and act on data that your users are sharing about their successes, problems, and how they feel about your product in general, you have a recipe for exponential customer growth and long-term user retention.
Sound simple, right?
Not all user feedback is useful and the feedback tools available in SaaS vary widely in their effectiveness.
This article will help you pick the best in-app feedback tools for addressing a wide range of different needs, and to help you work out what kind of feedback will get you the best results.
- User in-app feedback is data you collect inside the app through in-app surveys
- By setting up the right surveys and micro-surveys at the right points in user journeys, you can use in-app feedback to stop churn, encourage referrals, fix pain points, and improve user sentiment
- Track customer loyalty with NPS surveys
- Collect feedback on satisfaction and user experience with CSAT and CES surveys
- Test product-market fit with PMF surveys
- Add a feedback widget inside your app for continuously collecting insights about different features of your product
- Userpilot is a great tool for collecting and acting on in-app feedback through micro-surveys and in-app flows
What is in-app feedback in SaaS?
User in-app feedback is data you collect inside the app through in-app surveys to get meaningful insights into how customers evaluate your app, particular aspects of it, and your company more widely.
It differs from product analytics – the data you collect about what users are actually doing in your app – insofar as you ask for feedback at certain touchpoints. Users then decide whether or not to give it. Feedback is not collected automatically like analytics data.
User feedback can be collected through any number of different channels, using:
- Long-form surveys
- Social media
- Chat logs and customer support tickets
- in-app feedback tools
However, our focus here is collecting valuable feedback in-app through micro surveys. That is, feedback that is requested and given inside your product, while customers are engaging with the product.
Benefits of collecting in-app feedback?
If you collect user feedback of any type, you have an opportunity to act on those insights (negative or positive) and turn:
- Unhappy customers into happy customers
- Satisfied users into advocates for your product
- Users – both happy and unhappy – into partners in developing your product, so that it delivers more value in future
Gathering user feedback using in-app feedback tools gives you a more contextual feedback process, that’s more honest, reliable, and likely to get a response than customer feedback elicited through other channels.
Here are three big advantages that feedback collection can help deliver.
Reduce churn with in-app feedback
In-app churn or exit surveys provide feedback on what makes users churn, through short feedback forms at the point of cancellation itself.
Using in-app feedback tools you can get real-time feedback and act on it to prevent churn, compared to sending your churn survey using email.
Capture feedback in-app using tools and automate responses to offer alternatives to users canceling their accounts.
Using multi-choice feedback surveys you can automate responses to the most common reasons users churn and reduce churn. Here are the most common reasons users churn and how you can respond:
- Price: offer a discount, a pause, or a downgrade to users who are leaving due to price
- Missing features: pointed new users towards features they may have missed to avoid future churn
- Technical issues: offer them a direct line to your support
Improve your product based on feedback
It’s not only at the point of cancellation that in-app feedback tools can help capture feedback.
Continuously collecting customer feedback at key points in user workflows and journeys helps you understand what customers like and dislike, what they find hard, and what they don’t understand.
Capturing feedback in-app contextually works best.
In return, use the insights collected to improve your product and the user experience:
- prioritize roadmap based on user requests (where appropriate)
- improve existing features
- test new features and improve them before launching to the entire user base
- drive engagement for new users towards the most relevant and used features
- help users discover relevant features they are not using yet
Increase customer loyalty and word of mouth by acting on feedback
Without feedback, you won’t know when users are not happy and couldn’t proactively act on data.
Collecting customer satisfaction feedback surveys such as NPS will help you identify promoters and detractors and what’s making them happy or not.
All types of feedback are relevant so don’t ignore unhappy users and negative feedback.
Using these insights you can then:
- engage with detractors for a chance to turn them into promoters and increase customer loyalty
- ask promoters for reviews in exchange for incentives and drive more word of mouth.
How can you collect in-app feedback effectively using micro-surveys?
There are many different types of micro-survey, each of which is suited to collecting user feedback for different purposes.
Here are five of the most popular and commonly-used survey types, and the kinds of insight they can provide you with.
Use NPS surveys to gauge customer loyalty
Net Promoter Score is a customer loyalty metric, generated from asking users one simple question:
”How likely it is that you would recommend ABC software to a friend? ”
Collecting feedback data from NPS surveys gives you insights into customer loyalty and helps you proactively resolve problems that are making users unhappy and also get insights on what makes users stay loyal.
Hence NPS surveys are best used on established, active users and can be fully automated using tools:
- Inactive users won’t see an in-app survey
- New users will be unlikely to have formed an opinion yet so will skip it
Use customer satisfaction surveys – Customer Effort Score (CES)
While NPS is good for established users and top-level views, Customer Effort Score (CES) is a user satisfaction metric better suited to (i) new users and (ii) close-up attention to particular tasks.
That’s because the question asked concerns how difficult the user found completing a task:
Frustration is often a major cause of SaaS churn, and while you can track “rage clicks”, abandoned forms etc, CES surveys give you extra qualitative insight into how hard users are finding things.
Harvard Business Review has found that 94% of customers who report interactions with a business as being “low effort” are likely to repurchase – while 81% would take a negative view of “high effort” businesses and products.
By deploying CES micro-survey questions at the end of task workflows, you can collect highly actionable data on how user experience can be improved by making it easier.
Use customer satisfaction surveys – Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) surveys ask the customer directly:
“How satisfied were you?”
It’s usually expressed as a percentage rate of those surveyed reporting a “satisfied” response.
CSAT surveys provide data collected after a user has completed an action and are meant to give you insights on how satisfied the user is with the result, so it’s sensible to take CSAT readings at regular points during the user journey.
Use customer satisfaction surveys-Product Market Fit (PMF)
Product Market Fit (PMF) surveys help assess how closely your product meets the needs of your users, by asking this question:
If 40% or more answer “very disappointed”, your product fits its current market well.
This information can be very helpful:
- adjusting your sales and marketing (changing market to fit product): perhaps you are not targeting relevant users, who want something different from what your product offers now?
- validating ideas about your product roadmap and the relative value of features provided (changing product to fit market)
- When your product is at too early a stage for NPS surveys to be suitable
Use an in-app feedback widget for continuously collecting user sentiment
When used in-app, the four types explained above should all appear at key points in users’ workflows, to target the feedback to problems you’re looking to solve.
But what about questions you’re not looking at, which users might nevertheless have strong feelings about?
This is where an “always-on” widget or button to gather feedback helps, like the one in Jira.
When users click on the small button, they are prompted with short micro-surveys meant to collect feedback for a specific part of the app, depending on where the user was when they clicked the feedback button.
Best tools for collecting in-app feedback
The best tools will depend on the type of in-app feedback you’re looking to collect and what you intend to do with it.
Let’s look at six excellent tools for collecting in-app feedback with different strengths and preferred use cases.
#1 – Userpilot: for collecting and acting on user feedback inside the app
As part of its product experience builder platform, Userpilot has three vital in-app feedback functionality sets:
- Build and deploy different kinds of micro-survey (NPS or custom micro-surveys, other predefined surveys types with templates and analytics coming soon)
- Trigger them by segment, user behavior, cohort, and other advanced targeting criteria – making sure the right users are asked the right questions at the right time
- Automate responses to feedback through in-app experiences that are triggered by particular answers
Unlike most platforms, Userpilot lets you treat feedback itself as a trigger for future workflows.
You can build custom segments using an in-app survey response, NPS responses, and other user identification or in-app behavior.
For example, customers who have given Promoter answers to previous NPS surveys can be targeted with different feedback requests to others, with Userpilot’s advanced segmentation capabilities.
By closing the loop in this way, Userpilot makes it easy to act on the feedback you collect.
#2 – Hotjar: for analyzing session recording and collecting feedback
Hotjar’s biggest strength is obviously its heatmap and session recording functionality. But it also helps you collect in-app feedback, through survey widgets.
When deployed at the end of a recorded task session, this kind of survey can give you real insight into subjective customer experiences that complement the behavioral analytics data.
Product marketing managers should use Hotjar to:
- Watch how users are completing tasks
- Identify patterns, mapping the user journey
- Survey users about why they are finding particular things difficult so that they can be fed to the product manager for improvement
The biggest drawback with Hotjar here is that user data can’t be easily integrated into downstream automated workflows – which really slows acting on it down.
#3 – Typeform: for embedding all types of feedback forms
While it’s most often used in email, Typeform also lets you build and embed long-form surveys on a website page, or inside the app.
It comes with a host of templated surveys, including NPS and client satisfaction, making it very quick to deploy them.
But the “Logic Jumps” feature shown above really helps set Typeform apart: by enabling surveys to branch depending on earlier answers, it lets you segment users in great depth and address their use cases closely.
This makes it ideal for product managers and product marketing managers working in SaaS businesses that cater to multiple types of users with different needs.
The downside however is that Typeform offers no way to act on data provided in real-time in an automated way. You have to check the results and get back to respondents yourself, even if you have a simple solution to their problems.
#4 – Canny: for feedback management
Managing the user feedback that you’ve collected can become a real headache – and Canny solves that.
It’s a platform for managing feature and content requests, collating user feedback into a Reddit-style board where suggestions are rated by popularity – along with advanced segmentation capabilities to group feedback into different types (eg bug fixes, integration requests etc)
This is perfect for product managers and developers working on product roadmaps – another Canny feature – as keeping track of requests can easily become overwhelming.
Customer success teams can also benefit from Canny, as it allows you to converse directly with users making the requests.
#5 – Feedier: for gamified in-app feedback
Feedier is a platform for building and analyzing in-app surveys that tries to get around the eternal problem, that nobody actually likes filling in surveys.
Its key addition to this crowded space is gamification: it lets you offer rewards and incentives for giving feedback, providing reviews on the platforms of your choice etc.
It’s best suited to product managers and product marketing managers in B2C, because the “playful” survey builder is very funky looking and informal – offering up comments like “you’re the fastest responder!” which will irritate some.
But if you’re ok with that, Feedier offers loads of survey options and more importantly powerful tools for analyzing results.
#6 – Qualaroo: for interpreting user feedback
Qualaroo is another in-app feedback survey builder tool. It’s regularly criticized as being harder to use and more expensive than the other options here.
So why are we looking at it?
Because Qualaroo uses AI to interpret user sentiment feedback based on keyword analysis – turning qualitative feedback into something far more actionable, and allowing you to keep track of all feedback on a single scale.
Another great feature is the Nudge: pop-up micro-surveys that can be targeted to very specific user segments and timed to disappear if ignored for minimum intrusion.
Qualaroo is mainly used by large enterprises because of its complexity and price.
If you’re not collecting in-app feedback, you’re leaving money on the table.
In this blog, we’ve shown the best ways to collect feedback, what to do with it, and what tools you should be using.
Want to start collecting in-app feedback with a no-code tool? Get a Userpilot demo and see how easy it is to build surveys and automate responses.