Introduction To User Feedback Surveys

As a founder, marketer or product manager, you spend a lot of time looking at your analytics and heatmaps, but that never tells the whole story. Analytics and data can only tell you what the user is doing, but never why the user is doing it. You can see through data where your users are falling off in the funnel and you can see through data how the user is engaging with your product/service, but talking to your customers will help you understand why they are doing it or what they love about it.For this specific guide, we’ll be focusing on using user feedback surveys in order to obtain actionable customer feedback that will help you improve the growth of your business.

We all came across some form of survey online before. Usually surveys receive a bad rep due to long form surveys that take a long time to complete. Most feedback surveys that we see nowadays are surveys that you receive after you’ve used a service or purchase a product. It’s usually through an email that leads to some sort of long form survey that takes a lot of time to complete at some external link. These surveys usually feel annoying and most people aren’t willing to fill them out. User feedback surveys on the other hand are short form surveys that ask simple questions which leads to a much higher response rate.

Collecting data for data’s sake is not the end goal of user surveys. Rather, it’s the ability to analyze the responses and find new areas of opportunity to improve the performance of your business that counts.

We’ll be covering a lot in this detailed guide ranging from the importance of user feedback, different types of surveys, finding that AHA! Moment, analyzing survey data, getting your team involved and most importantly the type of tools that you can use to get those data.

Let’s start by talking about the importance of user/customer feedback and why it is important to your business.

Figure out what to build next (product roadmap)

One of the hardest things about building a software company is knowing what product features to build next. If you’re consistently asking your customers for feedback, you will notice that every customer expects something different. Some want “Feature X” and some want “Feature Y”. As an entrepreneur, product manager, or marketer, it’s extremely hard to please every single customer. So, how can we decide on which product features to build next? With user feedback surveys, you can slowly narrow down the focus and take away the guesswork of developing a good product roadmap. Product teams often make a simple mistake – make decisions based on a few answers and not take into account all answers they don’t receive reasons. Lack of a different feature can cause people not to become your customers but they won’t contact support to talk about it – they will simply leave your website and look for a more suitable alternative. We don’t want that. We want to create WOW experience for the customers. In order to do that, we must know their thoughts and feature expectations for your product. User feedback surveys can help with this. There’s a lot of ways you can collect valuable feedback from your customers, but we will go into those details in the future chapters. If you’re looking for an in depth article on prioritizing product features, check out our guide on prioritizing features.

Increase User Retention

Too many founders and marketers focus on user acquisition, but they forgot the importance of user retention. User retention is the best way to ensure that you have a sustainable growth. A good Product Hunt launch can land you a lot of sign ups, but that does not ensure that it will last forever and it does not ensure that you will have paid advocates.

With user feedback surveys, you can slowly narrow down your customer’s true needs. With this in mind, you’re able to structure a sustainable growth strategy for the long term that will help you with user retention.

Increasing user retention starts with an awesome product as well as an awesome customer experience. In order to achieve both, you need to gain feedback and know how to improve your product. The most scalable way to do this is through user feedback surveys.

Know what content to create next

A good content strategy is a great way to boost your company’s brand exposure as well as bring back customers that haven’t converted yet. The pain is that it’s not easy and it’s a super competitive space. Your content manager might be stuck with knowing what to write next or what type of content to create next (ebooks, white paper, infographics etc.) Instead of guessing, you can use user feedback surveys to dig your audience’s brain and only write articles that your users would want to read. This will result in a much higher engagement rate, lower bounce rate, as well as make a bigger impact on influencer marketing.

“It’s critical to get as much knowledge about your customers as you can in order for you to understand who these people are and what they loved, liked and disliked about your content. The only way to do that is to go right to the source. You need to talk directly to your customers to learn what quality content means to them. Not just at the outset of your content strategy, but on an ongoing basis.” – Hiten Shah

Improve conversion rate

Converting trial users to paid users isn’t an easy task. It requires a lot of nurturing. Conversion rate optimization is a constant process of optimizing your website to increase the number of conversions (signups, completed orders, collected leads etc.) from any given amount of traffic.

Let’s imagine a simple example: you sell a digital course for $100. If your conversion rate is 2%, you need to attract 50 users to your website to sell a unit. Now let’s increase conversion rate from 2 to 3%. You need just 34 visitors to sell a unit or you will sell 50% more products with the same amount of traffic. With this in mind, now you can spend more money on other aspects of the business such as hiring better talents to help you grow and scale your business.

The powerful thing about user feedback surveys is that you can use a website widget or post email one-click surveys to figure out what the user thinks about your check out page or app. Now you can narrow down the correct changes to make in order to improve your conversions.

Discover new marketing channels

One of the biggest struggle with marketers is coming up with new growth hacks that work. Marketers and entrepreneurs spend their entire workday coming up with new ideas to test. Unfortunately, most of these test just don’t provide the results that the companies want to see. You read about a growth hack that works for another company, but the truth is that the same growth hack might not work for your business.

So instead of wasting time and resources coming up with new growth hacks and testing them, why not talk to your customers to figure out the next marketing strategy that you can try? The truth is that too many entrepreneurs and marketers are stuck in their own world and spend too much time analyzing data. Data is awesome and it can give you a powerful insights on what your customers are doing, but data…’s data. It’s almost like we’ve focused so much on being data-driven that we’ve forgotten about being customer-driven and the importance of actually talking to our customers.

In order to really understand what your customers want, you need to actually hear their pain, see their frustrations, their challenges, and use their voice/feedback as a data to come up with your next growth hacks.

Improving customer development

Customer development is a term popularized by Steve Blank. It refers to a constant process of getting to know your customers better and validating your assumptions about your them, their needs, and your product. It has been used mostly by startups, but bigger companies are starting adapting it as well to decrease costs and risk associated with new product launches.

A problem we ran into at YesInsights was that every user that signed up for our product had a different use case. Some of them didn’t know what the use cases were suppose to be or how they can use our product, but wanted to try us out.

In order for us to help them, we had to narrow down their pain points and find out exactly what they are looking for. Using one-click surveys allowed us to understand their roles and responsibilities.
Customer development process is not complete without collecting and analyzing feedback from your potential and actual customers.

Improving your user onboarding process

One of the most discussed topics in product development these days is onboarding, otherwise known as the very first encounter a user has with your product. If you nail your onboarding experience, you’ll be well on your way to positive engagement and retention. If your onboarding sucks, you’ll quickly leave your users feeling cold, helpless, confused and eventually churning.
Using user feedback surveys along with a tool like Intercom will allow you to end out triggered emails and engage with your new user sign ups which will help you improve your onboarding process.

Figuring out whether or not your product has hit product/market fit

You can use user feedback surveys to determine what your customers are thinking about your product to see if your product is getting towards the product/market fit. One of the best ways to do this would be through Net Promoter Score surveys or asking a simple question such as, “How disappointed will you be if we no longer have “feature XYZ”

I will go more in detail about this in the later chapters.

There’s a lot more tricks and things that you can do such as generate more customer referrals through user feedback surveys, but this introduction lesson should cover up most of the main points and purposes of a user feedback survey.

It’s also important to keep in mind that while a user survey plan provides almost immediate feedback, it’s most definitely not a quick fix. After you feel you’ve thoroughly addressed one concern, it’s smart to survey users again to determine if you’ve really solved the problem. Once you’re sure you have, you can safely move on to the next problematic or lackluster aspect of your user experience.