When your product gets more popular as it grows, the number of comments you get and the amount of communication you’ve with your customers will undoubtedly rise. The feedback you receive can range from general complaints like “your product is too complex” to positive ideas like “can you improve the look of your product?” to specific requests for features such as “please connect with our task management software.”
Features requests are ideas that customers can send to the company in order to inquire about your product & services. The next question is the best way to handle all these requests. How do you handle them, and what percentage do you convert into elements?
Positives and negatives of feature requests
One of the biggest issues in managing feature request is that they tend to target the individual who made the request. While one company might gain from an integration, you must ask yourself what the benefits will be to most users and the overall product.
Although feature requests can be a hassle, if they are properly managed, they can have a use beneficial impact on your product as well as the relationship with your customers.
If you implement the idea in development, if you can respond promptly to the request, you’ll have strengthened your connection to customers. Of course, it is a good idea to respond if you are requesting an aspect that you had not before thought of is in line with your goals for the product and strategy; it could result in a significant improvement to your product.
How do requests for feature features originate from?
Before we look at the most effective ways to handle these requests, it is crucial to look at the different types of feature requests because you cannot respond to each request in an exact manner to all requests.
While the product manager occasionally has direct contact with customers, most of the time, the customer support team is accountable for connecting and responding to customers, at least in the beginning.
Customer service representatives generally consider the request for a feature and forward it to the team responsible for the product to be considered. This could be as an email that is regular or submission to forums or an idea platform.
Most requests come from existing customers who notice something that can enhance the product or things they require. These requests can be considered and developed if they’re worth the effort. Additionally, there are many Saas companies that will actually agree to develop certain features before signing a huge contract with a brand new customer.
What are the various types of feature requests?
There are many different features that are exactly the same, which is why it is crucial to distinguish between them to be able to handle the requests.
The different types of them are:
- Bug reports are when a client notices an issue with your product.
- Features improvements We welcome suggestions on how you can make a feature better.
- Absolutely new features Ideas for completely innovative features that can incorporate into your products.
Your Top 7 Tips for managing feature requests
With the dangers they could create, it’s never simple to figure out how to handle requests for features. Here are our top recommendations to assist you in avoiding being overwhelmed.
1. Place everything in one spot
The most important aspect in the management of features requests is organizing. Have a clear system for your ideas and feedback in order to receive customer inputs.
One of the best methods to accomplish this is to utilize dedicated software for managing your product, such as Feedsocio which is a centralization tool for the entire process of planning a product.
It is then possible to take every feature request and add it to your idea portal and link any suggestions that are relevant to the features on your list of features.
2. Establish a system for receiving as well as managing requests for feature enhancements
Create an efficient method for customer to get in touch with you efforlessly. Previously, sending emails were necessary. People used to hope that it was accepted and then forwarded to the correct person.
With the rise of popular products, management software such as Feedsocio Product teams can establish a central location in which users can share their ideas and suggestions. Feedsocio’s Idea Portal, for example, is a great tool for storing, categorizing, and responding to requests for features.
It allows customers to submit requests and also for other users to make comments and votes on the requests.
3. Respond personally, quickly, and with integrity
A major issue that occurs to a client is when their request is rejected, or they get an email with a standard response. Instead of sending automated responses, it’s better to invest the time to reply to the customer personally.
Make your customers happy by asking them about their opinion and changes in your product.
It is also essential to be sincere in your response. Don’t tell the customer that you’ll be considering the request if there is no intention of doing so. An alternative is to tell them that it isn’t a good alignment with your strategy or plan and inform them of which direction you’re going to take them in. Your customers will likely be receptive to a sincere response.
4. Prioritize and categorize the requests.
If you’re going to handle a lot of requests, it’s essential to classify them. Utilizing a tool such as Feedsocio’s Idea Portal allows you to label and categorize requests and concepts. You can mark important lines as “Critical” and pick suggestions you like to turn into actual elements.
The next step is to decide on a priority. Incude the features you’re planning to build into your backlog and arrange it in order according to importance. Feedsocio‘s feature lists are completely customizable and interactive, so you can include any custom fields you want and organize or filter your list using these fields.
When categorizing and prioritizing, always be aware of the impact the product will have on users. Does it resolve a problem that users are currently confronting? or can it inspire more users to sign-up and use the service? You should also examine the request in relation to the objectives and goals of your strategy. Does it align with the plan you’ve established?
5. Discuss the needs with other customers and colleagues.
Being a product manager, the entire decisions lies upon him. There is no need to let your personal ego interfere with the process. It is crucial to consider different perspectives, even if you believe something will be very beneficial.
Therefore, discuss your ideas with your colleagues to make the changes before your customers complain. If other customers like the concept, then you’re likely to win. However, if the majority are against it, you must think about removing the idea and moving to other ideas.