The Importance of Research
Despite what your customers might like to think, you can't build everything they ask for. That doesn't mean, however, that you should bury your head in the sand and ignore their requests. It's important to listen to your customers, and then balance the feedback you collect with your strategy and judgment.
Far and away the easiest way to do that is to use Feedback to research a specific theme or project. This way you can control which feedback you analyze, and more importantly keep control of your product. It also means that you can be confident you're building the right things.
So, how exactly do you use Feedback for customer research?
The Research Process
Research is a key part of the feedback workflow. While you should definitely be collecting feedback 24/7, the directed, purposeful research that you can carry out with Feedback is going to make the biggest difference to your product.
Tip: Carefully plan out your Research phase to make sure development planning doesn’t start until customer and team research has been done.
The first thing you need to do is search for any relevant requests for the theme or feature you're researching. Use the Global Filters at the top of the page to narrow down the App and Product Area you're focusing on. Go even more granular by entering keywords in the search bar, or filter the tags you want on your browse page.
If there are relevant requests in Feedback, send out a flexible email to those who have voted, and ask for everyone's updated use cases based on the project you're researching.
You can also send this email out to a new segment of visitors and team members. For example, if you're working on a project for Enterprise customers, make sure these accounts are tagged and send a flexible email to all accounts with that tag.
If you don’t find any relevant requests in Feedback, create a new request for that project, explaining what you’re hoping to achieve.
Then you can use flexible emailing to ask relevant users for any feedback they have and get a discussion started.
Here's an example email sent out to collect feedback about a new feature:
This will give you amazing information that you can use to enhance the work you’re already doing.
By using Feedback to conduct customer research around the product areas you've decided to improve, you're ensuring that you maintain control of you product while still listening to your customers' requirements.
This means your product heads in the direction you want it to, but also keeps your customers satisfied and on-board with it.