Customer feedback is almost always the most critical input for iterating your product and supporting your users with a better experience. The problem is that companies managing to scale their operations can become distant from their users, and that happens for a variety of reasons. Some teams believe they’ve learned enough for a while and that good performance today is a reliable indicator of success in the foreseeable future. Others don’t notice how separate needs emerge as their user base grows. Instead, they assume that all new users roughly have the same requirements until such assumptions later take the form of an increasing churn rate.
There are also plenty of product and customer success managers who are well aware of the importance of gathering customer insights on a continuous basis. But they often struggle to set and organize feedback channels that will assist them in keeping their business afloat and rising over the long term. So how can you stay on top of ever growing user expectations in highly competitive business environments?
While it’s technically impossible to talk with all of your users directly as often as you might like, at least in a scalable way, there are many commonly missed opportunities for gathering feedback, and we’ve listed some that we believe are the most relevant to making SaaS applications better and more useful to their users.
During first interactions inside your product
How users behave the first few times after they sign up can tell a lot about how they experience your product and whether they’re likely to upgrade or renew their subscription or convert from a trial. It’s a good sign if they log in frequently early on, especially if they are using most of the features you offer and thus benefitting from your application and its functionality as a whole.
But as you have probably already noticed, you can’t expect to retain users who only connect once or twice and become inactive afterward. Still, there’s a lot to learn from them when you ask the right questions:
- Why have they lost interest? Where are they struggling to find value?
- What were they doing just before exiting the application?
- Is there perhaps a pattern to look at more deeply here?
Protip: What customers say outside of your application on forums and review sites is another, complementary source of feedback. In fact, they might feel more prone to share what they really think about your product, and you can use that information as a reality check, looking at whether there are big differences with what you hear from your internal feedback channels.
After the onboarding process and other key milestones
How effective are you at getting users up and running? Comparing customers who have followed your onboarding process vs. those who didn’t and collecting intelligence on how both groups perform is an excellent way to assess your efforts. In particular, you might want to check what’s the long-term impact of your onboarding process and whether it tends to drive up-selling opportunities and positive word-of-mouth over time, and make product decisions accordingly.
Imagine that you’re considering using either high-tech or high-touch methods to onboard users. The former is likely to be more efficient whereas the latter could potentially generate more high-quality referrals on average. But what’s the impact on the customer’s success? You cannot tell unless you’re able to gather feedback on what’s most effective for your customers.
Protip: Our CEO, Rachel Orston, believes you should rethink timing on NPS surveys if you want to understand how customers are feeling about your product in their first 60 days.
With support tickets and resolution follow-ups
Support teams play a vital role in showing users that you care about their success as you actively resolve the technical issues they may face using your product. What’s more, aggregated data from support tickets and resolution follow-ups represents invaluable customer feedback to improve your product and accelerate customer growth. It’s also an opportunity to check in with your customers to get feedback on the effectiveness of your support process. Consider looking at the following points:
- Do many users submit tickets for the same or closely related issues?
- How long does it take on average for a request to be taken care of and do long resolution times correlate with customer churn?
- Does login activity or feature usage fluctuate after customer success/support teams follow up with users?
Protip: Making sense of customer feedback doesn’t need to be an internal exercise only. You can also hold Customer Advisory Board (CAB) meetings with your most motivated users and strategic segments to discuss the insights you’ve uncovered and present upcoming features you expect will be highly relevant to them.
The ability to learn from customer feedback ultimately makes or breaks SaaS applications. That’s why you need a robust way to collect feedback data and integrate it to benefit from both a holistic view as well as derive insightful drilldowns to make your product better. Would you like to find out how a Customer Growth Platform can support you? Schedule a demo with UserIQ today.