As the sales mantra goes, “Always ask for the sale.” In the world of product management, it’s “Always ask for the feedback.” Feedback is the lifeblood of a successful product and fortunately, there are a number of ways to engage users to continuously increase the amount of product feedback you receive.

UserVoice’s most successful customers employ a combination of the following tactics to maximize user engagement for continuous feedback, so they always have a healthy supply of customer-generated product ideas.

1. Make Leaving Feedback Easy

Users want a quick and easy way to submit feedback, and many will abandon their efforts if it’s too hard. Make it easy and intuitive for them to leave feedback by:

  • Placing a prominent “Feedback” link in your application or site that directs users to your feedback forum.
  • Installing UserVoice’s feedback widget with a visual call-to-action (For more information on UserVoice widget installation and set-up, please visit our Knowledge Base).
  • Prompting users for their thoughts by setting the widget to survey them about what they want next.

Make leaving feedback easy, as Lenovo does on their website.

2. Ask for Feedback Through Your Existing Communication Channels

You can easily repurpose your existing customer communication channels to prompt users for feedback.

  • Newsletters.  If you have a company newsletter, include a blurb about wanting to hear from users and point them to your forum.
  • Product Release Notes.  Adding a link to your forum at the bottom of your release notes, or hyperlinking completed idea notes back to those ideas in your forum are great ways to target users who care most about your new features.
  • Email.  Some UserVoice customers also email their users directly, letting them know how they can submit feedback, and others include a link to their forums in everyone’s email signature.

3. Use Social Channels to Promote your Desire for More Feedback

If your user community is active on social media channels, tweet the perfect “call to action” for feedback. Include a section on your Facebook page that directs users to your forum. Don’t forget your blog. Let your user community know that you want their feedback, and shed some light on how that feedback makes it into your product roadmap and what they can expect in terms of product updates.

Tweet About Your Feedback Channels
Microsoft Visio Product Feedback

Blog About Your Product Updates
Visual Studio UserVoice Customer Feedback

4.  Create a Virtuous Customer Feedback Cycle

Users who know their voice is being heard are twice as likely to continue submitting valuable feedback. The best way to let them know you are listening? Update your feedback statuses on a regular basis. While some companies make a habit of updating statuses for every idea that’s been in existence for a certain period of time (say, 2 months), others make sure all ideas with a certain threshold of supporters receive an update. There’s no wrong methodology for updating idea statuses, except not doing it!

ticket management product feedback uservoice

5. Seed your Forum to Get the Ideas Flowing

If you are new to UserVoice, consider seeding your forum with ideas that were submitted through customer conversations or email, ideas your product team is actively developing, or ideas your executive team wants to get on the radar. Many users don’t want to be the first person to submit an idea, so seeding your forum with roadmap ideas will get your users involved from the start.

Bill Gates said, “We all need people who will give us feedback.  That’s how we improve.”  Your users have a voice and they want to give you feedback and be heard, so make sure your customers and users know just how much you want to hear from them. By implementing our best practices for soliciting customer feedback, you can multiply the gift of that feedback tenfold.

Oh, and by the way, please send your feedback on this post to I, too, appreciate feedback.