How to Create a Feedback Loop: Step-By-Step Guide With Best Practices
If you’re wondering how to create a feedback loop in your product, you’re in the right place!
In this article, we look at the process of creating feedback loops step-by-step and share some best practices for product managers to get the best out of user feedback.
Let’s get right to it!
- Feedback loops consist of actions that involve collecting feedback and acting on it to solve customer pain points and add value to the product.
- Positive feedback loops confirm you’re doing the right thing while negative feedback loops are a chance to solve issues and improve the user experience.
- Feedback loops consist of five key steps: you collect customer feedback, analyze it, acknowledge it, act on the findings, and bring users up-to-date with changes.
- Segmenting users before collecting feedback allows you to target the right audience.
- To get objective results, use a combination of techniques to collect user feedback, like interviews and in-app surveys.
- Collect both active and passive feedback to give users more opportunities to share their views and increase response rates.
- To collect feedback on specific aspects of the product, trigger in-app surveys contextually, that is, at the moment when users engage with the feature.
- Analyzing quantitative data is fairly easy and most tools do the work for you.
- Qualitative feedback analysis is essential to understand why users behave in certain ways or how to enhance their experience. That’s why you should choose analytics tools that support tagging and analysis of qualitative responses.
- Follow up on user responses to find the root cause of the issues they’re experiencing.
- Before you act on user feedback, make sure the changes are in line with your product vision. Next, use a framework like Cost of Delay to prioritize the features.
- Automated in-app messages and email replies are an easy way to acknowledge user feedback.
- In-app communication is also an effective way to update users on the changes you’ve introduced as a result of their feedback. However, it only reaches active users so it’s always good to back it up with messages via other channels.
- With Userpilot you can create in-app surveys and trigger them contextually and use a range of UX patterns to communicate with your users at different stages of the feedback loop. Want to see how? Book the demo.
What is a customer feedback loop?
There are both positive and negative feedback loops and both types are valuable for your organization.
A negative feedback loop is about identifying those areas where your product or user experience may be lacking.
A positive feedback loop focuses on verifying where you’re doing well so that you can carry on with the good work and replicate the experiences for other user groups in a structured way.
The 5-step process for creating customer feedback loops
Feedback loops consist of 5 main stages:
- Collect feedback
- Analyze it
- Acknowledge the feedback
- Act on the insights
- Follow up with your users
- User interviews – to understand user needs
- Customer satisfaction surveys (CSAT, CES) – to evaluate customer satisfaction and experience
- Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys – to measure overall customer sentiment and understand the ‘why?’ behind it
- Feature surveys – for more granular feedback
- Customer requests – to gather ideas on how to improve the product
- Feedback widgets – to collect on-demand feedback
- Product beta testing – to gather feedback before launching new products and features
Analyze customer feedback responses
Once you collect customer feedback, it’s time to analyze it.
Quantitative feedback is great for identifying trends and patterns, and it’s fairly easy to carry out.
Analyzing qualitative feedback, on the other hand, is more challenging and time-consuming, especially if you don’t have appropriate tools that allow you to tag responses.
However, it’s essential to understand why users behave in particular ways and pick up issues they may be facing.
Acknowledge feedback with automated messages to customers
Whether you use user inputs or not, always acknowledge their feedback to show them that you’re listening to their opinions and are ready to consider them.
This part takes very little effort. If you’re collecting feedback via in-app surveys, you can easily trigger an in-app message with a quick thank-you note or use a webhook to send them an email.
Prioritise feedback to improve products
At this stage, you implement the findings from your research for the benefit of the product. That’s kind of a no-brainer. After all, collecting and analyzing feedback only makes sense if you act on it.
Of course, you can’t implement all the findings at once, so it’s key to prioritize them based on the impact they make.
Close the feedback loop by following up with customers
When you introduce changes to the product, you need to let your customers know about it. You can do this via:
- in-app messages – modals for big announcements, and banners and tooltips for smaller ones
- email – to reiterate the message and reach inactive users
- social media – to announce major changes
Apart from driving engagement and adoption, this stage is important to show your users that you value their feedback and act on it to improve their experience. This strengthens the relationship with customers and boosts their loyalty.
Best practices for creating successful customer feedback loops
How do you actually create successful feedback loops? Let’s check out a few best practices.
Segment users before collecting feedback
Segmenting your users before you collect any feedback allows you to draw more meaningful conclusions once you have the data.
You are better to target your users with relevant surveys in the first place.
For example, if you’re collecting feedback on improvements to a feature, targeting your power users will be a sensible thing to do. If, on the other hand, you’ve launched a new feature, target those users that need it to achieve their goals.
Use both active and passive feedback methods
For best results, collect feedback both actively and passively. How does it work?
Active feedback is when you trigger surveys for your users to solicit their ideas on the product.
This is not limited to quantitative data though. You can easily add qualitative follow-up questions where users have a chance to explain in more depth how they feel about the product and share ideas on how to improve it or the issues they face. Just like Slack has done in the in-app survey below.
No matter how loyal your users are and how much they want to help, there are times they can’t respond to the survey when it pops on the screen.
That’s why you need to collect passive feedback as well. You do it by adding a feedback widget to your resource center (like Userpilot has done) or in an easily visible part in the UI. In this way, you enable your users to submit feedback at a time that is good for them.
Trigger contextual in-app surveys
Contextual in-app surveys appear when the user completes a specific action that you’re collecting feedback on.
This could be when the user engages with a new feature and completes an event for the very first time.
They are great at capturing user impressions because they are triggered when the experience is still fresh in users’ minds. This makes feedback more reliable and increases the chance that the user responds in the first place.
Use a product analytics tool to analyze feedback
One of the first things you want to do is segment your users based on the responses they give.
Next, cross-reference the results with product usage data to identify patterns in each segment’s behavior. How are your promoters different from your detractors? This can help you identify friction as well as successful behaviors.
The analysis is not so straightforward when it comes to qualitative feedback.
For starters, not all tools enable you to tag and analyze qualitative responses (Userpilot does, though). If you’re lucky to have one, tagging user responses allows you to categorize and quantify them.
Consequently, you’re able to assess the scale of the issues you have to deal with and prioritize them better.
At this stage, you need to dig deeper and either use behavioral data or reach out to your users to understand the true nature of the problems they flag. For example, you may be able to find out that issues that appear to be caused by missing features are in fact a result of inadequate onboarding.
Prioritize customer feedback based on their importance
Before you act on the user feedback, make sure you prioritize it.
First, make sure the problem you’re trying to solve is aligned with your product vision. You can’t solve all the problems in the world. If you try that, you’ll build a mediocre product in the best case. In the worst-case scenario, it may lead to a massive waste of resources and your product failure.
Don’t dismiss such problems entirely though, as there may come a time when they become relevant. Simply put them at the bottom of the backlog.
When it comes to the top of the backlog, use a prioritization technique of your choice to pick the most urgent issues. Two popular techniques used by product teams are:
- Cost of Delay – team members assess how much it costs to delay acting on the problem
- Prioritization poker – they assign a numerical value to each problem anonymously using cards and later justify their positions
Use in-app messages to announce changes
They are easy to design and you can create a sequence of them to make sure users know about the changes you’ve made.
That’s what Userpilot did when they first introduced the webhooks feature. They first announced it with a banner. Clicking on it would take you to the Integrations page where a tooltip showed you where it was on the page and gave you information on how to start using it.
If your users leave because they’re not happy about something, make sure to let them know by email once you rectify the issue. You never know, you may be able to win them back.
How Userpilot can help you create feedback loops?
Create in-app surveys to gather feedback
Creating in-app surveys is very easy using the Userpilot builder.
It allows you to customize not only the questions but also the look of the survey so that they fit seamlessly into your product UI.
It goes without saying that you can use them to run both quantitative and qualitative user surveys.
Trigger responses based on survey answers
Userpilot allows you to trigger messages based on user responses.
This is possible thanks to advanced segmentation features.
For example, you can trigger different custom messages in response to different NPS survey answers. Promoters could be getting different replies from passives and the message for detractors could include an invite to an interview if their response contains no qualitative answer.
Create in-app messages to close the feedback loop
With Userpilot, you can target your users with custom in-app messages to close the feedback loop.
While most SaaS companies realize the importance of collecting and acting on customer feedback, not all of them remember to close the feedback loop.
However, this part is essential because it communicates to the customer that you appreciate their views and care about their satisfaction.
If you’d like to see how Userpilot can help you create your own feedback loops, book the demo!