You’ve done the heavy lifting of transferring your backlog of features and historical feedback into Productboard. How do make sure that you aren’t right back where you started - with a million emails, support tickets, and Slack messages swirling around you as you struggle to make sense of it all?
With a few best practices, you can maintain a streamlined flow of user feedback and build products that matter, together.
In this article you’ll learn:
- How to generate useful feedback - and lots of it
- How to manage feedback as a Product team
- How to help people see feedback getting used
How to generate useful feedback - and lots of it
As a product manager, you’re the engine of a cross-functional process - it’s on you to break barriers down.
What do the teams in the picture above have in common? They all serve the needs of their customers - and they all have a vested interest in understanding those needs.
Insights and feedback are the glue that binds you all together so you can identify and focus on the essential problems.
Make it as easy as possible for other teams to share feedback
Support your colleagues by meeting them where they are.
- Open as many channels into productboard as possible: Slack, support tools like Zendesk and Intercom, email forwarding with an easy-to-remember address, Zapier templates for any special internal tools your colleagues use in their day-to-day.
- Don’t prioritize one channel over another. If it’s easier for Support to submit feedback via Zendesk, let them! If it’s easier for your leadership team to fire off Slack messages, let them!
- Don’t force your colleagues down a narrow, overly structured path to share feedback. It’s better to get imperfect or unstructured feedback than no feedback at all.
Show your team what good feedback looks like and how to collect it
Asking probing questions is a skill! Give your colleagues example questions so they can learn how to dig deeper into a customer’s needs.
Here are a few examples:
- What are you trying to do?
- What problem are you trying to solve?
- How are you doing that now?
- Can you give me an example?
- What do you like/not like about how you do it now?
- How do you do this on other tools you use? Are there other tools that do this well?
You can make things easier on your colleagues by providing them with a template:
Recognize and reward colleagues who submit valuable feedback
Everyone loves a little healthy competition! Gamify the feedback collection process and make it fun for everyone:
How to manage feedback as a Product team
Review feedback regularly
Reviewing feedback daily is best, but at minimum try to review unprocessed feedback on a weekly basis.
Use tags and collections to organize
You can “triage” unprocessed notes to send them to the right product manager.
Assign your colleague as the note owner so the note will appear in their personal inbox for review:
Adding a tag to a note makes it easy to group feedback related to a product manager’s area of responsibility. For example, a product manager could search for all notes related to a single product:
Use filters to process similar notes in one sitting
There’s less context switching required when you process notes which are all related to a single type of customer, or a single area of your product.
To start, you can simply search for all notes containing an important keyword to find notes which are probably related to a similar need or product area:
Use filters to narrow down your inbox by tag source, time period, note owner, user/company, or user segment:
If you have a Premium plan, you can create Collections to skip the step of recreating these filters every time you’re ready to process notes.
Review and reorganize your Features board hierarchy on a regular basis
Reviewing your Features board regularly will give you an opportunity to clean up duplicates, reorganize your hierarchy, norm with PM colleagues on feature naming and refresh your memory on how features are named/organized.
Archive features that you know you won’t be working on in the foreseeable future because they’re not feasible or are not aligned with your current strategy.
How to help people see feedback getting used
Make sure customer feedback is central to your Product team’s entire product discovery lifecycle.
Incorporate feedback into your prioritization meetings
Not sure where to begin when it comes to choosing what to build next? While productboard offers a wide range of flexible prioritization features, one simple place to start is the user impact score generated by all the insights you've linked to features.
Click the column header to sort by user impact score:
You can also use the user impact score column filter to show the features which users have marked as critical, or the features which have been requested recently:
Incorporate Insights into product discovery sessions:
When your research and design teams are ready to begin tackling a proposed feature, they already have access to a treasure trove of user research: your linked insights!
Use these insights to understand your users' needs and expectations more clearly, and to draw up a list of potential interview subjects and beta testers:
Share stories in team meetings
Build user stories into your slide decks and meeting notes to keep the focus where it belongs - user needs:
Call out colleagues in places where you communicate
Sharing how you used customer feedback to build a better product shows your team that collecting feedback is time well spent:
By making it as easy as possible for all your colleagues to contribute customer feedback, and by putting that feedback to work in visible ways, you'll develop a sustainable system to build the right products, together.
✅ Develop internal protocol for handling feedback: how often and by whom.
✅ Connect productboard with other teams' most commonly-used tools
✅ Invite them to our on-demand webinar: 👉 "productboard for Contributors" 👈
Now that you've finished consolidating feedback in one place, you're ready to explore more great features in productboard:
- Learn more about advanced prioritization features, including objectives, drivers and our prioritization matrix
- Plan releases to decide what to build when
- Collect feedback from customers directly and close the loop after launch by connecting a Portal