Guide to User Feedback and Why It's Important (With Tips)

Updated June 24, 2022

User feedback can help companies learn about their target markets and improve their processes to appeal to a larger market. There are several ways to gather user feedback and apply it to change a company's product or service. Learning about user feedback and tips for gathering it can help you use this feedback to improve a product for users. In this article, we define user feedback, describe why it's important, explore the types of feedback you can collect from users and list tips you can use to collect and apply feedback from users.

Related: How To Get Feedback From Customers

What is user feedback?

User feedback is information a company collects from customers who use a product or service, such as a website, to understand users' opinions about the product or service. Companies can use this information to learn what users like about a product and what could be improved.

Why is user feedback important?

User feedback is important because it can help companies understand their customers' wishes and deliver superior products. Here are some of the top benefits of gathering and applying feedback from users:

  • Helps companies improve their products: Companies can apply user feedback to offer improvements on the products or services they offer.

  • Improves customer retention: When companies use feedback from users to improve their products or services, this can help improve customer retention by giving customers features or upgrades they want.

  • Provides insights on top features of products: Another benefit of gathering user feedback is that it can help companies understand the most in-demand product or service features they offer and capitalize on these features.

  • Allows companies to learn about customer satisfaction: Companies can also gain insights on what about their product or service makes their customers happy and use this feedback to improve satisfaction.

  • Improves employee performance: Feedback from users can also help companies review company procedures to improve performance, particularly in customer support departments.

  • Helps companies make more informed marketing decisions: Data from customer feedback initiatives can help marketing departments understand how to apply their resources for better business outcomes.

Related: What Is User Research?

Types of user feedback

Here are the types of feedback you can gather from users:

Customer preference feedback

Customer preference feedback allows you to understand the degree to which a company currently meets user preferences with its products. It can also help companies determine areas to improve products to meet their customers' preferences.

Customer satisfaction feedback

Another type of feedback that companies can gather is customer satisfaction feedback. This type of feedback helps companies measure current satisfaction and determine ways to improve the experience they provide for customers.

Sales feedback

Sales feedback is information from customers related to product sales. This information can help companies understand whether their current sales processes and strategies are effective and devise ways to improve their processes.

Brand health feedback

Brand health feedback is user feedback about their perceptions of a brand. Gathering feedback on brand health can allow marketers to track trends in positive brand health with sales numbers.

Related: What Is Branding? Why Branding Is Important for Your Business

Brand loyalty feedback

Gathering feedback from users about their level of loyalty to a brand can help companies understand customers' opinions about their brand and the level of loyalty customers feel toward a brand. Companies can use this information to improve the customer experience and other metrics like customer retention.

Tips for collecting user feedback

Here are tips you can use to gather user feedback:

Conduct surveys

One of the most popular and effective ways to gather feedback from users is to conduct surveys, asking users questions about their experience. Here are several types of surveys you can use to collect information:

  • Net promoter score: Companies can use NPS surveys to measure and monitor the likelihood that customers would recommend a product or service to others. This metric can help a company gauge users' satisfaction with a product or service.

  • Point-of-conversion: A point-of-conversion survey asks for user feedback directly after a sale. Feedback from this type of survey can indicate users' satisfaction with the purchase experience.

  • Customer satisfaction: You can use a customer satisfaction survey to gather user feedback at various stages of the sales process or after a sale, such as following a customer support session. This can help companies understand what about their product, service and processes make users happy.

  • Retention: Companies can request feedback from users directly after users switch to a lower-paying plan or choose to end their subscription of a service. This feedback can help companies understand why customers are leaving and address the causes for greater customer retention.

Related: Customer Satisfaction Surveys: Definitions and Example Questions

Gather on-demand feedback

On-demand feedback is a method of gathering feedback that allows users to contact a company with their thoughts about a product or service. This can help companies develop relationships with their customer base and learn about upgrades or features customers want from a product or service.

For example, a company could include a form on their website to gather customer feedback and review this feedback regularly in order to apply it.

Calculate and monitor the customer effort score

The customer effort score is a business metric that measures the amount of effort users have to apply to use a product or service. A lower customer effort score can signal that a company's user experience is easy for customers to use.

Monitoring the customer effort score for products such as software can help companies improve the user experience for their products. Companies can also monitor this metric for customer support experiences to streamline their internal processes for optimal resolutions to issues.

Use software to collect feedback

Companies can gather feedback using software with built-in analytical features. This can allow companies to review all feedback from users in a single interface. Survey software can also have features that provide valuable insights into data trends and key metrics.

Related: 24 of the Best Survey Software Options for 2021

Gather feedback regularly

To make significant improvements in processes and products, companies can gather regular feedback from users to monitor changes in the user experience. This can be especially helpful when companies gather feedback both before and after an upgrade to understand how the upgrade impacted customer satisfaction metrics, for example.

Evaluate the questions you're asking users on surveys

When you're writing survey questions to prompt user feedback, you can evaluate the questions to ensure they're helping you gather valuable insights from users. Here are a few types of questions to consider adding to your surveys:

  • Open-ended questions: A user can answer an open-ended question in many ways. For example, "How many hours per week do you spend using this product?"

  • Closed-ended questions: A closed-ended question requires a yes-or-no answer. For example, "Do you spend an average of eight hours or more per week using this product?"

  • Questions with numerals: Numeric questions can ask users to quantify their experience. For example, "On a scale of one to 10, how would you rate your experience with this service?"

Here are a couple additional tips for writing strong survey questions:

  • Avoid leading questions. A leading question is a question that points to a specific answer. These questions can skew data from feedback as they can introduce bias to the process. For example, "When would you like to upgrade your service?"

  • Ask a few questions at a time. The ideal survey experience only takes a few minutes for users to complete, so it's important to only ask a few questions for each survey. This can help you improve the response rate to surveys.

Build feedback loops

A feedback loop is a process in which user feedback prompts companies to change their processes and ask users for feedback on the changes. Building feedback loops can turn gathering and applying user feedback into a regular process that a company can use to constantly improve its offerings and internal processes. Feedback loops can benefit companies by improving user motivation to offer feedback and helping companies learn the rate of customers' approval on upgrades they make to products or services.

Related: Your Guide To Positive Feedback Loops (With Examples)

Tips for applying user feedback

Here are tips you can use to implement changes based on feedback from users:

Identify a goal

When you plan to apply feedback from users to the processes of a company or features of a product, you can first identify a goal for gathering your feedback. This can help you create a plan for making positive change in a company based on user feedback. To ensure your goal is relevant to the company, you can think about the following perspectives:

  • User objectives: When you're collecting feedback from users, you can think about how they use your product or service and the value your product brings to users. This can help you apply data from feedback in the areas of a company that matter most to users, like customer support.

  • Business objectives: You can center your business goals in your effort to gather user feedback to ensure your efforts help the company grow and improve. For example, you can identify problems for a company and think of ways user feedback may help solve them.

To create an effective goal for user feedback, your objective can have the following attributes:

  • Specific: You can ensure your goal for using feedback from users is specific to an area of the company you want to improve, for example.

  • Measurable: Key performance indicators can help you measure whether your efforts in gathering and applying user feedback are working as intended.

  • Attainable: Another important attribute for a user feedback goal is a company's ability to reach it.

  • Relevant: You can ensure the company's goals for customer feedback apply to its business objectives.

  • Time-based: Setting a time-based goal can help you make a definite plan to achieve the goal by a specific date.

An example of a SMART goal could be to gather user feedback through customer satisfaction surveys and apply data to improve retention and customer satisfaction score metrics by 20% by Q3

Related: 12 Tips for Creating Smart Goals

Use goals to choose metrics

Another important strategy for applying user feedback is to use the goals you identified to decide the metrics you plan to monitor. This can help you ensure your efforts toward change are effective. Here are a few examples of metrics you may monitor when you're collecting feedback from users:

  • Net promoter score: Companies can use NPS surveys to calculate the likelihood that users would recommend a product or service to others.

  • Customer satisfaction: You can use a customer satisfaction survey to measure user satisfaction with a product or service.

  • Goal completion rate: The goal completion rate can help you measure a product's ability to help customers reach their goals with a company's product or service.

  • Customer effort score: You can use a survey to measure and monitor a product's ease of use for customers.

Analyze feedback based on user segments

User segments are groups of users who have specific attributes in common. When you're analyzing feedback, you can split users into segments to draw conclusions from their feedback. For example, you could analyze feedback from users who have purchased the basic version of a product as well as an upgraded version of a product to understand customer satisfaction with different products a company offers.

Calculate the ROI of a change

The ROI, or return on investment, is a calculation of the degree to which an investment of a company's resources is profitable or productive. Here's the formula for calculating ROI:

ROI = (net return on investment / cost of investment) x 100

Determining the return on investment for changes you want to make to company processes or products can help you decide whether a change would profit the company.


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