How to get more user feedback for your B2B SaaS product

by
Julia Shorter
VP Marketing at UserVoice

Getting high-quality feedback from your users isn’t as difficult as it may seem. If you’re not welcoming user feedback about your product, you’re likely missing out on valuable product opportunities. After all, what better way to ensure your product remains an indispensable tool for its users than hearing in their words how it could be better?

Here at UserVoice, we really nerd out about feedback so recently, we conducted a survey of just over 1,100 users of B2B software to learn what motivates them to share that feedback. The group was a mix of remote and office setting employees who relied on B2B software products like Slack, Microsoft Teams, etc. to perform their day-to-day functions.

We found that B2B SaaS end-users are greatly motivated to improve the software they use, which makes sense because they need it to do their job. In today’s article, we’ll address our findings and share effective ways to motivate and enable your users to provide feedback. We’ll walk you through ways to close that feedback loop to ensure users continue engaging with your feedback program.

  • Motivating your users to share product feedback
  • Enabling your users to share product feedback
  • Don’t forget to close the feedback loop

Motivating your users to share product feedback

Before we jump into the how of getting valuable feedback from your users, it’s important to understand the why. As in, why do your users want to share feedback in the first place? Spoiler alert: being offered an incentive (i.e. a gift card) is not a top motivating factor for B2B SaaS end-users.

More than 60% of end-users of B2B SaaS products surveyed say they use them daily to do their jobs. So, when they share feedback and suggestions with you it’s often in hopes of increasing their own efficiency by solving common challenges in their day-to-day.

Makes sense, right? Users genuinely want to better their own tech stack so they’re most likely to give feedback when they feel as though they can help make the software better.

Here’s a breakdown of the most common motivations end-users shared:

  • Your users genuinely enjoy using your software. This is the simplest, if your users have emotional or situational drivers (e.g. frustration or enjoyment) they’re more likely to contribute feedback.
  • They feel that their feedback will be valuable to your business. It’s likely that the folks using your product day in and day out have some valuable insights.
  • They are frustrated with the software and want to share and explain their grievances.
  • There’s a bug in the software causing difficulties. Again, B2B end-users are unique in the way that they rely on your software to conduct business. When something goes awry with your software, it can have devastating effects on them.

Your users have skin in the game, they want to help. By understanding why we’re enabled to optimize our approach to getting feedback.

Enabling your users to share product feedback

Now, before we explore the ways you can equip your users to provide feedback, let’s start off with the folks who don’t leave feedback. A cohort of surveyed end users said they never leave feedback. Why? 88% of them said they’d never been asked. Seems like a simple fix, doesn’t it? Better yet, that same group said they would be very likely to share feedback if they were directly asked. A wise man once said, “sometimes, all you have to do is ask” (I’m that wise man). So if you want to better your product ask and you shall receive, my friends.

So how can we best enable them to provide that precious feedback? Long and unnecessary questions and difficult-to-navigate surveys will discourage your users from giving you feedback.

Ask clear questions

An imperative aspect of getting valuable feedback is defining your intentions and understanding what questions to ask your users. The questions should be concise, to the point, and as specific as possible. Sifting through aimless feedback is a time suck and serious headache, so be explicit about the feedback you’re trying to receive.

Depending on the desired outcome for your feedback questionnaire, you’ll want to leverage the right type of questions that will help you attain the most actionable insights: numerical ratings, multiple-choice, open-ended text fields, or whatever your question type of choice is. Each type of question may be better suited for the specific piece of feedback that you’re searching for.

Consider your format

There are a few things you need to consider before requesting user feedback. How long should it take to complete, and what format? What types of questions should you ask? Are incentives a key driver? Let’s start from the foundation.

The dominant medium of asking these users for their feedback is through email. We found, just over 63% of users typically respond to a survey emailed to them. As for how long the feedback process should take to complete, we found that the majority of users prefer about eight to ten minutes. It’s a balancing act; creating a thorough study that your surveyees can still manage to complete in a reasonable amount of time, but the benefits of producing thoughtful questionnaires are immeasurable.

As for incentives, they’re not a major driver of feedback for users. By putting a monetary value on feedback, users respond according to how they value their time and effort in monetary terms, which results in lower quality respondents who are willing to trade time and effort for smaller monetary rewards. However, when no monetary comparison exists, users are more likely to respond in terms of social value which yields a higher response rate from higher valued individuals. It is also interesting to note that persistent requests for feedback and incentives, without an emotional or situational driver, which we discussed earlier, do not result in a higher likelihood of responses.

Engage with your users

Finding the fair balance of requesting feedback without pestering your users can feel like a gray area. We found that over 53% of users are providing software companies with feedback at least once a month. Understanding how often to inquire for their much-valued feedback can mean the difference between collecting an exceptional response and none at all.

Don’t overstay your welcome — if you’re asking for feedback every month, your users will know that you can’t possibly act on all of the feedback that quickly. Less frequent requests will convey greater impact. Whatever frequency you choose is right for your software, proper planning is paramount.

Don’t forget to close the feedback loop

We’ve made it! The final piece of the product feedback puzzle is closing the loop. This is critical.

83% of users said that receiving a response to their feedback is important and they’re eager to hear how their responses are being handled. In addition, the speed of response is always a factor. The quicker you’re able to reply the more satisfied you’ll leave your users, and who doesn’t want that!

If you especially want to do right by your users then let them know how their feedback is being considered. Show them you’re listening, that you care about their experiences, and are devout to taking the steps to improve them. Whether it’s an automated response or personal message, by closing the feedback loop you’re instilling confidence in your customers. Users love to hear how those product improvements were made in part by their suggestions — it all comes back to the user wanting to better your product.

There are many reasons to close the feedback loop. A response on your end increases the likelihood that you’ll receive a prompt response from those users. Your end-users are your ultimate resource, they may just point out something that could be your next best feature or alleviate customer woes. Closing a feedback loop also helps foster powerful relationships that turn your users into advocates for your product since they trust that they’re being listened to. Not only is their feedback considered, but they now have confidence that their feedback affects how user experiences are formed.

The TL;DR

Encouraging users to share their experiences is essential to building long-lasting, trustful relationships. If you’re not proactively and periodically reaching out for feedback you’ll have no way of knowing when your users are suffering from gaps in functionality or when they have ideas for product improvements. That’s why, for B2B products in particular, proactively requesting honest customer feedback is a must. Feeling a bit overwhelmed with fine-tuning your feedback process? Don’t sweat it, we’re here to help.