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The 2019 anatomy of product feedback

Customer feedback is one of the most important sources of energy that fuels the product discovery engine. When collected and used in the right way, customer feedback helps product managers build the right product for their customers, but it also helps companies differentiate in their market. 70% of companies that deliver best in class customer experience use customer feedback, says Customer Strategy consultant Esteban Kolsky.

To deliver best in class experiences, product teams have no other choices but to understand where and how their product can be improved. In this article, we use anonymized feedback data from our friends at Harvestr to give you some exclusive insights into the most popular customer feedback themes of 2019. Let’s dig into last year’s product feedback anatomy!

 

Mobile, Payment and Dashboard features were product teams’ biggest areas of improvement in 2019

Customer feedback is a direct source of insights to know about the sections of a product that create most frustrations for the customer and where product teams are able to deliver the highest value. To identify those areas of improvement for the year 2019, we grouped feedback into transversal categories, removing feedback that was related to themes and features that were specific to a given company and could not be generalized.

 

If we look at all the feedback sent to Harvestr customers in 2019, it turns out that Mobile (18.8%), Payment (18.7%), and Dashboard features (16.0%) are the categories that generated the highest volumes of requests. This top 3 remained the same from 2018 to 2019.

 

 

 

Those top categories are quite consistent if we compare B2B products with B2C products, but some differences appear for other categories. B2B companies get more feedback than B2C companies when it comes to “Dashboard” for example, which makes sense for products that usually generates more complexe data and need to make it actionable for business users.

 

 

 

An increasing need for Mobile Product Managers

With mobile devices accounting for 48 percent of web page views worldwide in February 2019, mobile is and will stay a gigantic product experience trend for years to come. Highly successful SaaS collaboration products such as Slack and Notion started on the web and quickly realized that a mobile experience was a must-have for users who wanted to communicate and collaborate from everywhere.

 

For products that are not mobile from the very beginning, offering a mobile version in addition to a web app or website can positively impact key product metrics like usage and retention.

 

However, delivering a great mobile experience requires a specific skillset like mastering mobile UX/UI patterns, smoothly launching an app on the stores, etc. Despite the importance of the mobile product manager, a quick Linkedin search shows only 2,2M results for “Mobile Product Manager” compared to more than 14M results for “Product Managers”. This lets us foresee an increasing need for Mobile Product Managers who will be able to answer the growing consumer expectations regarding mobile experiences.

 

Product teams have a hard time meeting dashboard needs

Gartner points out that in the US 25% of analytics capabilities are embedded in business applications. More and more customers want access to an application’s data with the ability to interact with the data in a way that allows them to derive business value. After all, customers often rely on applications to help them understand the data that it holds.

 

Business-wise, an analytics module can help you engage users more (fight churn!) and upsell your current user base. Sometimes it’s just a matter of catching up with the competition.

 

Dashboarding features prove costly to build and maintain, which may explain that product teams are reluctant to prioritize them. As for mobile they often require specific know-how in terms of data modeling and data visualization. The build vs buy debate is still raging, here is our contribution to the debate!

 

Overlooking Billing & Payment can create churn and missed business opportunities 

 

Although the situation improved between 2018 and 2019, the fact that Billing & Payment was at the origin of 18.7% of customers’ requests last year, is quite worrying. By nature, Billing & Payment is not considered as product features that need to be improved and optimized. However, overlooking the Billing and Payment flow can have dramatic consequences for your business as it can create churn and missed business opportunities.

 

According to subscription company Recurly, “B2B companies face failure rates of 9% for monthly recurring credit card transactions, or nearly one in ten; for business to consumer (B2C) companies, the rate is 14%. A significant number of customers whose credit card transactions fail “churn out” and are lost as customers.”

 

When not overlooked by product teams though, improving the Billing and Payment experience can be a driver for business growth. In just one day of work on their billing flow, Basecamp managed to reduce chargebacks by 30%.

 

 

All in all, understanding your own customer feedback anatomy will help you make the right product decisions and anticipate the major trends in customer behaviors and expectations. As 42% of companies do not even collect feedback from customers, it can also be a major differentiator for your company and a driver for Product-led growth.

 

 

 

 

This article was written by Valentin co-founder of Harvestr with moral and visual support from Florent from Toucan Toco.

Harvestr is a Customer feedback and Product Management tool that helps you build customer-centric teams and products.

This article’s visualizations are powered by Toucan, head over there to get more information 🙂

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