6 User Engagement Strategies to Drive Product Feedback
Feedback program engagement is a strong indicator of product value. Why? Your users believe you’ll create solutions that help them accomplish their goals.
Ultimately, this user engagement also drives product growth. Active product feedback leads to more valuable product iterations, creating more user engagement with your product—and the cycle continues. It’s a win-win for everyone.
So how can you create a feedback program your users actually want to participate in? Bake customer centricity into every part of your program. We’ve put together six user engagement strategies to help you do just that.
1. Connect With Your Users
Your user engagement strategy should create connections and foster long-lasting relationships with your users. When you connect meaningfully with your users, you’re building empathy that helps you to anticipate their needs.
The best way to build a strong connection with your users is to talk to them. Set up email surveys, 1:1 meetings, and beta test groups to learn more about your users and what they need to accomplish their goals.
Remember: when you talk to your users, be curious about their problems instead of asking them to solve yours. Instead of sticking to the “how can we do better?” script, ask them where they struggle the most, then address that. Tools like the UserVoice contributor sidebar allow you to capture feedback in the moment while you talk to customers, so you can always stay on top of their needs.
Feature requests are another way to connect with users—respond to their ideas and use them as a starting point for your brainstorming sessions. Users will see just how much your product is shaped around their needs, which encourages continued feedback that leads to product growth.
Users who feel heard and understood will likely stay engaged with your product.
2. Use Metrics to Uncover Common Workflows
As you’re building a product, you have a rough idea of how your customers will use it—but experience inevitably teaches you that predicted and actual usage don’t always align. Your users might come up with creative workflows you hadn’t yet imagined or run into blocks you didn’t anticipate.
Your data metrics can reveal how users interact with your product and where they hit production blockers. You can use those insights to guide your conversations or pinpoint the right questions to ask in surveys and customer conversations.
So what should you track? You already keep an eye on customer engagement metrics like net promoter score (NPS), churn, and customer retention rates for an overview of product performance. To see how your users work, take a granular approach. Dig into metrics that reveal common workflows, like time spent on each feature, clicks, and scroll depth. This data will also lay out ideal touchpoints for in-app feedback surveys.
By learning how your people work within your product, you stay in touch with customer needs. You’ll be able to focus on feedback questions that naturally boost engagement because they’re directly relevant to customer experiences.
3. Collect In-App Feedback
Research isn’t just for projects and feature launches. In-app surveys provide valuable research and help you uncover trends in product performance across the entire user experience.
With in-app feedback, you’ll get something that’s missing from traditional surveys and 1:1s—real-time thoughts and feelings. That means in-the-moment frustrations, ideas, and praise.
Do your customers love a specific feature? Are they running into a frustrating bug? In-app feedback’s 24/7 accessibility means you’ll capture your users’ honest feedback the minute these experiences happen. In-app feedback will help you fix bugs faster and uncover hidden blockers and pain points easier.
We recommend keeping surveys short and to-the-point. Try single-question surveys or rating scales with space for typed responses. Keep them out of the way of essential product functions, like dashboards and navigation buttons, so users can quickly respond and get on with their work.
By developing a rich source of customer-centric feedback, you’ll be able to make valuable and practical features and adjustments to improve user engagement.
4. Promote Your Program Often
If your users don’t know about your feedback program, they can’t participate in it—so let them know you’re all ears. Remind them that their ideas are critical for future developments, and invite them to share their thoughts through conversations, dedicated forums, surveys, and in-app feedback.
We recommend casting a wide net when promoting your program. Use a variety of channels to meet users where they are, including:
- Downloadable guides
- Blog posts
- Email messages
- Social media updates
- Pinned community announcements
While you don’t want to bombard users with constant solicitation, you can effectively promote your program in your everyday communications.
You might kick off your feedback program with a fun video announcement. Next, you might include a link in your email signature, share your feedback portal in your newsletter, and link a short survey in your next blog post.
In any case, sharing small reminders with your users in everyday communications reminds users that you’re focused on creating customer-centric products. When they’re ready to share, they’ll know you’re there to help.
5. Offer Perks For Power-User Feedback
Power users are the ones who live in your product, day in and day out. They’re high-volume users who rely on your features for everyday workflows—they know your product backward and forward.
These users are also a source of highly valuable feedback on your new product launches, goals, and response to industry trends.
We recommend building a go-to team of power users that you can rely on for product validation and detailed feedback. At UserVoice, we find users like this with Heap, which allows us to select users based on their activity and product usage. You can also choose active users based on factors like company size and job title with tools like FullStory or Amplitude.
Once you’ve assembled your A-team, keep them engaged by offering perks for their feedback, like early access to new features, beta testing opportunities, or even the occasional gift card. Their opinions are valuable, so let them know—and give them the chance to weigh in first.
6. Follow up on Every Idea
We talk a lot about closing the feedback loop, which boils down to one thing: follow-up. When you respond to user feedback, users know their needs matter—and that they’re a pivotal part of product development.
By acknowledging feedback quickly (and showing how you address it), you foster a culture of transparency with your users. This transparency and collaboration makes users more open to sharing feedback again in the future, which will help you continue to build a customer-centric product.
As you adjust features and launch new ones, follow up consistently. User feedback tools like UserVoice come equipped with automation features to keep users in the loop.
If a feature request is especially popular, consider regular status updates as you work. Try creating a threshold to help you focus on sharing in-demand feature updates. For example, you might decide any ideas with X number of supporters will get some type of status update to let users know you’re aware of top ideas.
There will also be times when requested features aren’t viable. It’s a good practice to let users know when you aren’t moving forward with their ideas. Here are a couple of our go-to responses for this scenario:
- We appreciate your feedback! This item isn’t on our roadmap right now, but we’ll keep you informed of any changes.
- Thank you for your feedback. While we understand this use case, it isn’t a priority at the moment. To see what we’re working on now, please take a peek at our roadmap <here>!
Users will stay engaged even when you aren’t working on their request. Why? They know their ideas are actively considered and that you’ll keep them informed.
Use a Feedback System to Create Customer-Centric Experiences
Once you've nailed your user engagement strategies and have your customer feedback in place, you need a system for organizing and acting on it.
UserVoice allows you to capture all of your user feedback and view it in one spot. Instead of juggling emails, disorganized docs, or endless spreadsheets, you’ll have more time to conduct regular feedback reviews.
Insights and voting features allow you to pinpoint popular requests and act on them fast. Once your team starts working, UserVoice helps you automatically update your customers every step of the way.
The best part? Your whole team stays focused on engaging customers and creating customer-centric solutions. From customer support teams to marketing and product management, everyone has access to the same information they need to stay aligned.
Want to see how UserVoice can help build your feedback program? Sign up for a free trial today!