How do you handle the more demanding ideas/suggestions from your customers?

This problem kind of went away for us by giving our customers a platform where they could share and prioritize ideas, suggestions and feature requests.

What sort of business do you have/work in? My answer relates specifically to software (or Software-as-a-Service if we’re being super specific!).

We sell B2B and all customers and their users have a dedicated feedback channel they access from our software product. This achieves a few very important things for us:

  • We gather ideas / suggestions and the users prioritize so we always have a dynamic view of demand from our user base
  • The Reporting allows us to segment the ideas / suggestions anyway we like. For example, we specifically look at what's important to our big vs small customers, how demand for features differs based on industry and how the users with different roles in our customer's organisation often have different demands too.
  • Customers can discuss ideas / suggestions with each other and can give a +1 so the loudest & most demanding users see their feedback getting momentum...or not...
  • Gathering information from our customers in this way allows us to dig to the bottom of ideas / suggestions. Customers always talk in this way to explain problems. Having a discussion thread allows us to get to the bottom of the pain point.

So in summary, it can be dangerous to get pushed around by one demanding user. Giving them some visibility of what’s important to other customers and where you are heading with your product can really help.

This is why we have a customer-facing release log & roadmap too. We’ve found that exposing these items give our customers a lot of confidence; they see we are making progress even if we aren’t building what they have specifically asked for and they can understand our direction.

Hope this helps!! Do let me know if you can pass back any tricks & tips on what has worked for you too :)

See the original Q&A on Quora.

 
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