Feature requests are feedback on the product that you often come across as a SaaS Product Manager. They usually come in the form of suggestions for improvements to the product you are given by your customers (or even employees of your team).
These feature requests could range from suggestions for modifying your interface and making it more user-friendly to requests for integration with other products that your customers are using or requests for completely new features.
What are the various types of a feature requests?
We can divide feature requests into three primary categories based on the user’s intent when they share their requests. They first want to report a problem, and secondly, they have suggestions that they believe will improve the performance of your current product or are looking for a new feature or function they’d like to be able to. Let’s break these types of queries down in a little bit, shall we?
A bug fix request
Bug reports are reported when users encounter something that doesn’t work as expected or isn’t functioning as they think it should. Research conducted recently shows that more than 60 percent of business-to-business customers utilize SaaS products daily to conduct business. And when they encounter a glitch or issue, it could affect their business negatively.
Improvement suggestions for the product
Requests for improvement to the product are a type of feedback from users that indicate ways to improve the existing functions by improving their functionality or revising the workflows. Customers generally provide ideas for improving the product since they believe their input can benefit your company.
The request for upgrades to features
Last but not least, requests for new features. Although your product might function flawlessly, users may want something completely new in terms of functionality. These types of requests arise when users are looking to get more value from your product or have discovered the existence of a new issue that your product has still trying to resolve.
How do you handle feature requests?
We know that feature requests can be valuable opportunities to learn ways to enhance your product and improve your service to meet users’ ever-changing demands. Without a formalized process to collect, review, prioritize, and take action on requests for the feature, your business may be left out of this vital type of input from the product. Here are some tips to help you hone in on an effective method for managing feature requests for your staff.
- Choose a single, central location to record and organize your feature requests.
- Aid the internal teams in your company know how you utilize customer feedback in the creation process (i.e., what kinds of requests can you take action on? What details about the origin of each request can help you to understand its importance and impact?)
- Define how you plan to prioritize feature requests for internal teams.
- Always communicate with your internal stakeholders and request-sharers on the status of their submitted requests.
How do you prioritize feature requests?
There are many document-based feature prioritization systems out on the market currently. Determining what features you should add and what to leave off of your roadmap for products can take just a bit of investigation. It’s impossible to respond to every request you get. However, it is possible to think about the appropriate questions regarding requests to decide which ones to put off shortly and which are worthy of further investigation.
Let’s get started with the basics.
- Is the functionality fit with your company’s vision for the product? Don’t lose sight of your company’s vision. It should inform each decision you make going forward. Be sure to adhere to it!
- Are the users truly interested in these requests? Are they your intended users? This is a crucial aspect of ensuring that you don’t create single-use features that don’t provide value to your overall users.
- Can it enhance customer experience? If you’re evaluating the features you’re planning to build, ensure they are easing your customers’ problems or introducing new features to ease their lives.
- Are you sure it’s trendy? Can this new feature last through the years and continue to provide your customers with a superior experience? Or will it fall apart after just a few months of usage?
- Does it contribute to achieving your goals for the business? Sounds straightforward enough, but it’s always a good idea to be grounded when assessing your goals for the business.
It is easy to determine whether the request is worthy of moving further down the line or not, making this simple evaluation. It is crucial to determine the feasibility and workability of the proposed request through the next, more strategic questions.
What is the total development effort? Analyzing if you have the capacity and resources to respond to requests is an easy method of identifying feature requests that require enormous effort to achieve minimal impact. In the same way, this test can help you find the most impactful but easy demands from your users.
What will you do in response to a feature request of a client?
Responding to user requests, questions, or requests can help your company build lasting relationships with your customers. It has been demonstrated to make your customers more likely to share their comments with your company. Here are some best ways to respond to feature requests to help you get off to a good start.
- Recognize each requested feature. All requests, large or small, require an attentive response. It’s also great to earn brownie points and create an ongoing connection with your clients.
- Discuss the process for submitting feature requests and how it is working. If you’ve got a written review procedure for feature requests, share it with your customers to help establish expectations about what happens to their request, when they will hear from you the next time and more.
- Overpromise and underdeliver. Don’t tell your customers that you’ll build something you do not have plans to create.
- Learn to be able to say “no.” Be prepared to say “no” to any functionality that doesn’t align with your brand’s vision and provide benefits to your potential customers or in any way helps your product as an entire.
Popular channels that feature requests
Utilizing every feedback tool available can be chaotic. However, in the final analysis, the more channels you offer to your customers, the more feedback your team will get. Understanding the different feedback methods for users is essential, So here are some feedback channels we suggest testing.
In-app is the most straightforward and possibly the highest-yielding method of requesting all features. In-app feedback options during the user’s process, it is crucial to get immediate feedback instead of having them provide feedback at a later date.
Internal team feedback
Teams that interact with customers more frequently than other departments, whether for critical issues, during onboarding, training as well as at the level of prospect. Customers are generally more comfortable discussing their issues or concerns with these teams because the relationship has already been established. The next step would be to ensure that your teams that deal with customers have an easy way to communicate directly from their customer meetings, so there is no chance of getting lost.
Customer advisory boards
Customer advisory boards are unquestionably beneficial. Your customers are the most knowledgeable about your product. Putting them “in an area” together could yield extremely valuable information, particularly when they’re a variety of experts (not only the board members) and when you provide them with useful suggestions and feedback.