Tracking Feature Request and Overall Client Feedback

Bradley New
Bradley New Member Posts: 8 Seeker
First Anniversary Photogenic
edited July 2020 in Metrics & Analytics

As the only Client Success person in the company, I'm having a hard time figuring out the best way to present feature requests and overall feedback that I hear from my customers.

Right now, our company uses Hubspot as our CRM platform so I use the "Tickets" tool to track issues that our client reports. I'm not the biggest fan of Hubspot but it gets the job done for tracking and organizing those types of issues (bugs, password issues, troubleshooting, etc). Other tools that we are using are Asana, Slack, and Intercom 

Luckily, most of the conversations I have with my client aren't about things that are broken with our product but more about what features we can add to make their lives easier. I would like to present these findings to our Product Manager and CEO that is digestible for them to make a decision on which features brings more value to our product overall. Both are very analytical so being detailed with this information very important.

For those who worked at the beginning of an Early Staged SaaS company, what did you find was the best way to track these requests when you didn't have a lot of customers but you wanted to make sure you tracked every interaction you had with them? Is it more of a summary in an spreadsheet? Do I break down the features into categories (i.e Won't, Should, Must, Could)?

Thank you so much for creating this community. Looking forward to hearing your feedback!

Comments

  • Effie Mansdorf
    Effie Mansdorf Member Posts: 76 Expert
    First Anniversary
    edited June 2020

    I recommend reading the blog post that @Jay Nathan wrote about customer experience and how to implement the closed loop process. Great guidelines:

    https://customerimperative.com/measuring-b2b-cx-in-saas-what-are-the-metrics-that-matter/

     

  • Chrissy Hines
    Chrissy Hines Member Posts: 11 Contributor
    edited June 2020

    Hi there,

     For feature request tracking, this is literally what I do (see link below)  also Jay‘s CX strategy, provided by Effie is amazing overall- but tactically this is what has worked for me when tracking feature requests on the fly.  Another thing I do is send 3 feature enhancement ideas out to our customers once a quarter... these are feature requests I hear from customers over time, and I ask them to vote on their favorite one. Doing this is great for 2 reasons, 1. You have more data to present to the CEO and Product and 2. You create new data point for identifying customer advocates.  The survey I send is done through Google, then when you get all results back you can export to excel, but if you have another program/software that creates surveys, even better. 

    https://featureupvote.com/articles/feature-request-tracking/
     

    Good Luck!

    chrissy 

  • Anita Toth
    Anita Toth Member Posts: 246 Expert
    Photogenic 5 Insightfuls First Anniversary
    edited June 2020

    Love this idea of sending out the top 3 ideas every quarter and having the customers choose their fav one and then using that info to see out possible customer advocates. Brilliant! 

  • Vasu
    Vasu Member Posts: 11 Contributor
    edited July 2020

    Great question @Bradley New . Since we use some of the same tech(Asana+Intercom), here's how we're doing it currently,

    1. Using Tags in Intercom - Creating different tags(feature, billing, UI, and so on) to track within Intercom. This gives a high level idea of what type of requests are incoming. You can create a lot of tags to have granular level understanding within features as well. Cross reference this with the point below.

    2. Asana - Create a project with tasks as features and add a counter(# of requests) to it. Define a MRR for each feature request and up the counter every time a request for a particular feature comes in. Can help the product team focus on immediate revenue bringing features.

    3. HubSpot - Listing feature request as a note for high revenue customers to close the loop from CSM end. Tech touch customers get it as product update emails, or through intercom when they come on chat(previous chat details available along with tags)


    Hope this helps.

  • Matt Vadala
    Matt Vadala Member Posts: 47 Expert
    edited July 2020

    Hey @Bradley New - a big question to determine what to feed your executives, when it comes to product, is what is the development workflow model? Are they more deliberate with Agile? Are they more into continuity with Waterfall? Or are they using Kanban? This can help determine the amount and rate of suggestions you can send their way. It also can help to give you a mindset of how to structure what you are giving them. 

     

    I think we can all give you tagging ideas, and ways to organize the data. However, if it doesn't jive well with your product teams, it could end up being counter-intuitive 

     

  • Thomas Seelbinder
    Thomas Seelbinder Member Posts: 22 Thought Leader
    edited July 2020

    Right now I really sit in two seats, CS and Product so this right up my alley @Bradley New.

    I'll start with a quick story - not long ago I worked on a Virtual PBX system where 8/10 users would demand FAX capabilities...yes, Fax. We had it, but no-one ever used it. It was the #1 requested feature during Sales calls and training calls - yet it was hardly ever used. 

     

    I take two approaches when fielding feature requests from accounts.

     

    1. What are you looking to solve with this feature? 
    2. If we implemented this feature today, what impact would it have on your process, workflow, business strategy, etc.? 

    Gathering as much information about what they are looking to solve will help you better formulate what they are ACTUALLY requesting...which can be vastly different than what they are describing. They don't know what they don't know. 

    I like the idea of sending over a group of features and having the users vote, but the follow up to that vote is most important. That's where you find what they are exactly looking to solve. 

    Now you can take all that information and build a use-case that your leadership will be able to digest in a way that fits how they present, and prioritize features with development. 

     

    That was the quick and dirty but feel free to reach out - I'd be happy to dive deeper! 

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Matt Vadala
    Matt Vadala Member Posts: 47 Expert
    edited July 2020

    @Thomas Seelbinder Can't agree with this more. It feeds into the listening component of the CSM role - understanding your customers, in this case. I believe that anyone who just listens to the ask without digging deeper into the why/the use-case, isn't really listening, but just hearing words and transcribing to paper. What I love about the CSM role is the dual representation at play - of both the customer and the organization. That's the key to fostering a great partnership between the two. 

     

    My prior role had a forum to collect feature requests, and would also ask the WHY for the suggestion. I would have loved to have seen a list of all other use cases for other customers as well. We only had a system to vote for the logged suggestion, without adding further comments. I think having that in a system that collects such suggestions allows the collector to achieve your goal a bit more, to then be followed by customer outreach by the CSMs who partner with them for checking on their "why"

     

    Like you, I'm always up for a deep dive!

  • Thomas Seelbinder
    Thomas Seelbinder Member Posts: 22 Thought Leader
    edited July 2020

    Yes! Dig it! 

  • Andrey Tirel
    Andrey Tirel Member Posts: 15 Thought Leader
    First Anniversary
    edited July 2020

    Hi Bradley,

    is the product team not using JIRA? What we found to work best, IMO, is Kanban boards and JIRA tickets in the current org and prior. Outside of JIRA, you can use tools like WRIKE to track high level requests. If all else fails, you can certainly use a Confluence page to create a centralized place to track. 

  • Bradley New
    Bradley New Member Posts: 8 Seeker
    First Anniversary Photogenic
    edited July 2020

    I'll definitely take a look. Thanks Effie!

  • Bradley New
    Bradley New Member Posts: 8 Seeker
    First Anniversary Photogenic
    edited July 2020

    This is a good idea. Thanks Chrissy!

  • Bradley New
    Bradley New Member Posts: 8 Seeker
    First Anniversary Photogenic
    edited July 2020

    Thanks for the tips Vasu! I'll look into messing with the 'counter' feature on Asana.

  • Bradley New
    Bradley New Member Posts: 8 Seeker
    First Anniversary Photogenic
    edited July 2020

    That's a good point Matt. I honestly don't know what model is since our development/product team is very small. That's why I'm brought this topic up because they don't even  know what's the best way to document this information so I'm trying to bring some suggestions there way to get the conversation started. 

  • Bradley New
    Bradley New Member Posts: 8 Seeker
    First Anniversary Photogenic
    edited July 2020

    Hey Andrey, at this time we are not using JIRA. Just based on the size of our company we wouldn't find it beneficial right now. I think WRIKE might be worth looking into though so I appreciate the suggestion!

  • Andrey Tirel
    Andrey Tirel Member Posts: 15 Thought Leader
    First Anniversary
    edited July 2020

    Anytime! I loved Wrike but don't use it in current org. Depending on how often you have to make changes to the roadmap, you can also use LucidChart BUT it is not as flexible as Wrike for roadmapping. 

  • Bradley New
    Bradley New Member Posts: 8 Seeker
    First Anniversary Photogenic
    edited July 2020

    @Thomas Seelbinder That's crazy about the FAX feature that your customers wanted lol. Asking the WHY to my customers is something I had a lot of practice with when I was at bigger company so I definitely understand how important it is. 

    The only difference is that with the bigger company there was a formal process with getting new features added. In the start-up world (which is my first job with a start-up) it can be a little stressful because you're towing the line of keeping the customer happy and making sure that the company isn't deviating away too much from the product road map you know? 

  • Matt Vadala
    Matt Vadala Member Posts: 47 Expert
    edited July 2020

    Sounds like a great reason to drive toward some relationship building with the product teams and learn more about their processes!

  • Will Pagden
    Will Pagden Member Posts: 99 Expert
    edited July 2020

    I think its important to be upfront with the management and ask how they want it produced. 

    As above there is lots of great tools and processes out there you can follow but like we do with customers, we need to understand what add value to the people making the decisions. 

    We implemented a process recently that is a categorization approach, we put all our feature requests into certain categories to ensure we can track them quickly and easily. But again, dependent on product and decision makers, we need to understand what adds value to them. 

  • Matt Vadala
    Matt Vadala Member Posts: 47 Expert
    edited July 2020

    Yes! As chiefs in relationship building for our respective companies, we should be fostering the power of relationships everywhere. It is unspeakably important to focus internally so as to understand how others are working so you can properly communicate external wishes and needs to your internal teams. More often, the 2 parties are not communicating the same way, and CSMs should be the glue uniting those pieces the best they can

  • Madeline Turner
    Madeline Turner Member Posts: 4 Navigator
    edited July 2020

    Hey Bradley!

    chiming in a little late here, but I wanted to add a thought to the conversation. 

    One of the things that we've seen empower conversations between CS or Marketing with Product is turning the qualitative feedback into quantitative data. Specifically, being able to prove the volume and impact of feedback (feature requests, product issues, value-drivers) against customer sentiment overtime. Sales and Success are both gathering this frontline feedback daily. Being able to understand the biggest trends across these conversations (what's driving people to buy/not buy and what's driving people to stay/leave), and how that trends over time. When you can take feedback from your frontline sources, qualify the feedback by topic (integrations to features and so on) and then show where your biggest risks and opportunities lie, it becomes a more compelling story. It also helps to find partners in sales and marketing - there is power in numbers and collaboration.

    We've seen this work with several of the organizations we work with. Product teams become exponentially more receptive when the data presented is less anecdotal and backed by data. The key is being able to quantify feedback by topic and sentiment and tie this to business goals (retention, new revenue, adoption, etc). Happy to chat about the ways our team is focusing on this at Loop!

  • Tanuj Diwan
    Tanuj Diwan Member Posts: 30 Expert
    First Comment
    edited July 2020

    This is an excellent idea Chrissy, Product team always accepts features/problems in the roadmap if they are voted by the customer and if the Success team can also show the CLV of the people requesting it. Basically everything is Data Driven when it comes to working on feature requests.