mapI’ve said it before. I’ve told the world it’s ok to say no to your customers. But I want to hammer it home one more time.

Nobody is saying that customer feedback should define your roadmap. Certainly not us here at UserVoice. We make customer feedback tools not in order to democratize your product, but to help inform you.

Your product should be making money by solving a problem or problems that a set of people face. The best way to make sure you’re solving those problems is hearing from the people themselves. Customer feedback is a great validator and corrector. Without customer feedback, you might keep developing features that nobody really cares about. You might not address a burning need and then lose your users to a competitor.

But letting customer feedback control your roadmap is just as foolish. You can’t be everything to everyone. We know that customers can give bad solutions. You only have limited time in the day.

Saying “we can’t let users define our roadmap” is a way to get out of understanding your customers. Feedback is another tool to help guarantee success. Embrace it – but use it wisely – and you’ll be fine.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Richards.

Photo courtesy of Justin Masterson.