How can you build a user feedback survey and use it in your SaaS?
Through contextual, in-app surveys, you can gather precise and accurate user feedback to help you fight churn and inform product development.
So let's take a more in-depth look into how to create surveys and ways you can use the insights you collect.
- What is a user feedback survey?
- User feedback survey best practices
- Keep user feedback survey short and focused
- Trigger user feedback surveys based on user behavior
- Keep user feedback surveys engaging with predefined answers
- How to build a user feedback survey
- Step 1: What do you want to measure with the user feedback survey?
- Step 2: What channel should you use for your user feedback survey?
- Step 3: What users should you send the feedback survey to?
- Step 4: (Option 1) Custom code your user feedback survey
- Step 4: (Option 2) Use a tool to build a user feedback survey with no code
- How to use user feedback surveys
- Use user feedback surveys to improve onboarding
- User NPS feedback surveys to measure customer satisfaction
- Reduce churn with user feedback surveys
- Improve your product with user feedback surveys
- A user feedback survey is a tool used to collect user sentiment and feedback on a product, service, and user experience.
- Best practices for user feedback surveys: keep it short and focused, trigger feedback surveys based on user behavior, and use predefined answers to keep your surveys engaging and easy to answer.
- To build an effective survey, you need to clearly identify what you want to measure, whether you will send it in-app or by e-mail, and which users will receive it.
- Using a survey-building tool is more flexible and efficient for data collection and analysis than coding a survey from scratch.
- Surveys support user onboarding and customer satisfaction by asking users whether they are accomplishing their goals. Carefully structured surveys help you reach out to offer help or say thanks to survey respondents.
- Surveys help you reduce churn and improve your product by collecting data about what difficulties users are facing and what they need from your product.
What is a user feedback survey?
A user feedback survey is a tool used to collect user sentiment and feedback on using a product, its service, and specific user experience. Managers, marketers, and designers use the insights from the collected data to improve a product’s customer experience.
User feedback survey best practices
Your surveys will not help if users don't engage with them. You won't be collecting any data and won't know how your users feel about your product and its service.
Here are a few best practices when it comes to building in-app user feedback surveys that users actually engage with:
#1 – Keep user feedback survey short and focused
People are happy to let you know what they think, but they need you to get to the point.
Keep your customer feedback surveys short and focused on a specific insight you are trying to collect.
1-2 questions, maximum is what you need to get actionable insights on a specific point. If you need more answers, you might actually need more surveys not longer ones.
The more specific your survey questions are, the easier and faster it will be for the user to answer them. This will increase the chances of users engaging with it.
#2 – Trigger user feedback surveys based on user behavior
Users are more inclined to give you feedback on an experience they just had right after they had it- when it's fresh in their mind. Making them dig through their memory to answer a question might feel like a burden.
Using behavior-triggered surveys will help you reach your users in a contextual way, therefore increasing the chances of getting accurate answers.
We call these types of surveys “milestone user feedback surveys”, as they are sent at key moments in the user journey.
Milestone surveys can be time-based, like when a trial expires:
… or behavior-based- when a user reaches the activation point in the journey or after using a feature for the first time etc
#3 – Keep user feedback surveys engaging with predefined answers
Predefined answers make it quick for users to give feedback and easier for you to understand user sentiment overall.
To make it more engaging, add some images and animation to it.
For more in-depth feedback add an open-ended question so users can leave additional comments.
Now that you're armed with some best practices, let’s look at how you can actually build a user feedback survey.
How to build a user feedback survey
You can build a user feedback survey in four easy steps:
- Decide what you want to find out (measure)
- Pick the right channel for the job
- Narrow down the right audience for your survey
- Custom code the survey or use a no-code tool to do it
Let's go over these steps in more detail.
Step 1: What do you want to measure with the user feedback survey?
Before you build your survey, you should decide what you want to find out. This will determine the type of survey you should use.
If you want to measure customer satisfaction, you should look into building an NPS survey (we’ll cover this later) and understand how likely users are to recommend your product.
Maybe you want to measure the impact a new feature has on a particular type of user. There, you would need more qualitative feedback and more information than a zero to ten scale rating can give you.
Before moving to step 2, make sure you understand what you are trying to get feedback on.
Step 2: What channel should you use for your user feedback survey?
The most used channels for collecting user feedback surveys are in-app and e-mail.
E-mail might be the more “traditional” option, but it's not as contextual as in-app. Of course, you can send an email right after the user performed an action in-app (like Intercom in the example below), but chances of users seeing it right away are low.
This decreases the chances of users engaging with it and it might even not be relevant for when they see it (especially when you are trying to get feedback on a new feature).
The best practice is to send your user feedback surveys in-app, making them both contextual and timely.
As important as how to deliver your survey is who to deliver it to.
Step 3: Which users should you send the feedback survey to?
As important as how to deliver your survey is who to deliver it to.
You don’t want to be like the tech support person who asked a Mac user about their experience with Microsoft Edge. It will be irrelevant for the user and probably annoying too as it will show your lack of effort in actually trying to get to know who your customers are.
It should be obvious that you don't want to ask for feedback on a feature from a user who hasn't even engaged with it.
At the same time, you should consider how many times a user has used a feature and adjust your question based on that. Instead of asking how useful they found the feature, you could ask a power user to give more in-depth feedback on how to improve it.
This is where segmentation helps.
Segment your users based on what they do in your app and other user attributes that will help narrow down your audience to only the relevant ones.
Here's an example of what a specific audience might look like.
Now let's move on to the next step- actually building the user feedback survey. There are two options here, custom code it or use a tool.
Step 4: (Option 1) Custom code your user feedback survey
Custom coding your user feedback surveys give you full control over the look and feel.
But it comes with a few downsides you should consider before going that route.
Firstly, it takes time and you need developers to do it. This means they won't be able to focus on their core job, building the product. Secondly, every time you need to change something (add a question, delete a predefined answer, etc) – that's right – developers will need to do it.
This will cause frustrations and probably a lot of delays.
And that's not all. By custom coding your surveys you are making it hard, if not impossible, to A/B test variants and find the most engaging way of collecting feedback from users.
Then there's tracking and analyzing results that can become a complete mess and make you even stop wanting to collect any feedback at all.
But there's a better way to do all this.
Step 4: (Option 2) Use a tool to build user feedback surveys with no code
There are multiple tools for building user feedback surveys that are meant for non-developers. These allow you to build customized surveys without needing to code at all!
Some tools are focused on measuring customer satisfaction only (like Satismeter), while others let you build multiple types of user surveys (Typeform) and embed them in-app or email.
Being a no-code tool doesn't mean you can't customize your surveys. There's still a lot of flexibility in the type of elements you can add:
- add micro-videos or images to make your survey engaging
- personalize surveys with your brand colors
- structure and style surveys to fit your needs
And the best part? Using a tool to build user feedback surveys will allow you to:
- segment your audience and be specific
- automatically trigger surveys based on the desired frequency
- A/B test and optimize for best engagement
There you have. Four easy steps and you're ready to collect your first user feedback insights.
Now let's see how to translate those insights into actions.
How to use user feedback surveys
Collecting user feedback is great, but what do you do with it it's what matters. Here are a few ways you can use the insights from your surveys to drive growth.
Use user feedback surveys to improve onboarding
User onboarding is a continuous process.
It doesn't stop once the user has reached their activation point. You still need to guide them to continuously discover and experiment with value from your product through secondary and tertiary onboarding.
You can't actually wait for onboarding to be over before your ask users for feedback. In fact, you should constantly check how good the user experience is.
Customer satisfaction surveys are great for this. Asking for feedback on experience at specific milestones in the user journey not only shows that you care, but lets you spot and act on issues before they become complete blockers and make users churn.
User NPS feedback surveys to measure customer satisfaction
There are several customer satisfaction scores you can track to better understand user sentiment.
The most used one is the NPS (net promoter score) survey that measures the likelihood of a user recommending your product.
NPS surveys ask the user to answer a simple question on a scale of 0 to 10:
“How likely are you to recommend our product to others?”
NPS scores are sorted into three categories:
- 0-6 – Detractors: not likely to recommend your product, might even discourage others from buying it
- 7-8 – Neutrals: are moderately satisfied, but might not recommend it
- 9-10 – Promoters: they are satisfied with your product and likely to recommend it to others
You calculate your overall NPS score by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.
Now comes the fun part. By segmenting users based on their NPS score you can personalize follow-ups that cater to their specific needs and:
- turn detractors into promoters by offering help
- gather product reviews from promoters to build brand trust
- identify detractors that might churn (and reach out to them) by cross-referencing data with in-app product usage
Reduce churn with user feedback surveys
When users decide to leave, there may not be much you can do to stop them. You should at least use user feedback churn surveys to understand why they are leaving and improve your product and service for future users.
This will help reduce churn in the long run.
We talk more about how to build churn surveys and cover several scenarios on how to respond to each type to reduce churn. Go ahead and read it here.
Improve your product with user feedback surveys
By acting on user feedback survey responses you can improve your product too. Let users engage with your new features and then ask them about their experience. Open-ended questions help here as they allow you to collect qualitative feedback too.
You can even go a step further and prequalify users for a more in-depth survey or interview, based on their feedback and product usage.
Users who are excited about and really engage with the new features are more likely to answer a more in-depth survey. You can even consider adding an incentive to it.
Now you know how to build user feedback surveys and hopefully, you have some idea of how to use them too.
It's time to start building them. Get a Userpilot Demo and see how you can start collecting user feedback and follow up with users using one tool.