Blog Customer FeedbackHow to Organize Customer Feedback: A Practical Guide

How to Organize Customer Feedback: A Practical Guide

Having a lot of feedback on your plate is a great problem to have. Today, we show you how to organize customer feedback and make sense of it.

Customer Feedback
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Customer feedback organization guide.

What do feature requests, bug reports, and product reviews have in common? They’re all exceptional formats for customer feedback. As a business, collecting them is of utmost importance, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

To make sense out of each of these categories, they need to be properly organized. After all, you wouldn’t put a short product review in the same bucket as a lengthy feature request. This is where feedback organization comes into play.

To make the most out of your valuable feedback, each item should be categorized, tagged, and prioritized. We’ll show you just how to do that in a moment. 👇

Why should you organize customer feedback?

Aside from having your documents neatly organized into folders, there are practical benefits to feedback organization for all areas of your business.

1. Better understanding of customer insights

If your feedback is organized, you can more easily spot common themes. For example, you can see that three different user groups are requesting a new product dashboard. When the feedback is organized, finding patterns becomes easier, which then helps with prioritization.

You can also segment your feedback based on different criteria. For example, you can isolate the segment of your highest-paying customers or those that meet your ideal customer profile requirements.

Featurebase's user segementing feature.
Sort by customer groups like 'paying customers' to better prioritize feedback.

2. More efficient problem-solving

Organized feedback means that you can prioritize issues that make a difference. You won’t be stuck changing the UI of a sign-up page if an integration with a key app is broken.

You also get faster resolution of the most important problems. You’ll know which fires to put out first and what the path to customer satisfaction is.

3. More informed decision-making

Don’t know which feature to build or what issue to fix first? If your feedback is in one place, you can quantify the items and add them up to make a more informed decision instead of relying on your gut feeling.

But even if you don’t have precise numbers, you can collect qualitative feedback in one place and use these insights to inform your customer feedback strategy.

You can also allocate your resources (developer time and funding) to the items that move the needle for your business.

3. Improved customer relationships

With organized feedback, you can respond to customers in a more timely manner. Your responses also become more personalized since you’re discussing the issue at hand instead of sending another thank-you email. Over time, this leads to improved customer experience and more engagement.

Statistics that reveal that 87% if businesses claim that exceptional customer experience is very important to them.

Additionally, you can have a proactive approach and resolve small customer issues before they snowball into disasters that take considerable time and money to fix. If something is not urgent but should be done, you can simply put it on the product roadmap for the months to come. ⌛️

4. Improved product and service

You don’t have to find new ways to improve your product or service because the continuous stream of organized feedback will ensure you’re always on top of your game. You’ll also avoid repeating the same or similar mistakes throughout product development.

You will gain actionable insights into how to drive customer loyalty, reduce negative feedback, and increase revenue.

That all sounds perfect, but how do you actually do it?

How to organize customer feedback, step by step

You don’t have to be an expert product manager, customer success or support manager, or anything similar to master customer feedback. Here is how to do it one step at a time and get actionable feedback that moves the needle and helps you make existing and potential customers happy.

1. Choose a centralized feedback repository

Just like all the packages from a post office need to go to a central warehouse before being shipped to individual homes, your feedback should come to one place first.

The centralized feedback repository makes sure that all the feedback from different channels runs into a single location. 👇

Featurebase's public feedback portal.
Public feedback portal (Featurebase)

For example, your feedback board, emails, customer interviews, social media comments, customer calls, live chat tools and messages, customer feedback surveys - and any other applicable channel for positive and negative user feedback

Having a central location for feedback ensures that nothing slips through the cracks and that you capture valuable insights from all stages of the customer journey. You’ll find the most common issues and the easiest opportunities for improvement in your product.

It also helps you identify the most prolific feedback channels. For example, you may find that online reviews have the most meaningful feedback, while live chat messages rarely provide meaningful insights because they come from unhappy customers who just want to vent to someone in real time.

From that point on, feedback can be categorized based on various criteria, according to your business goals and action plans for the future.

2. Categorize your feedback

You can determine one or multiple ways to sort and categorize your feedback. At Featurebase, we found that the most useful filter is the topic, so we created an automated categorization system.

With the help of AI, customer feedback tools like Featurebase analyze your incoming feedback messages and sort them according to topics. Each topic automatically gets organized into a category based on context:

Featurebase's automatic AI board suggestion feature.
Users' requests are automatically categorized with AI.

With potentially hundreds of feedback items coming your way from your customer base, this is the most time-consuming part of the customer feedback organization process. Featurebase does it for you on autopilot, which not only impacts customer satisfaction but also saves precious time.

Even a positive review deserves to be added, as it’s a key part of a good customer feedback strategy. Loyal customers often have more valuable insights than someone who comes in with complaints about product quality or customer service.

4. Prioritize the feedback

A complaint from a free trial user and a feature request from an enterprise-level customer should not be valued the same! (P.S. Learn to say no to feature requests)

With your feedback sorted according to topics, you need to prioritize and determine what deserves time and resources and what should go to the backlog or the bin. This makes your decision-making process easier, and you get visual representations of what should be addressed now.

This too can be a time-consuming, manual process, but it does not have to be if you use good customer feedback management software. With Featurebase, there are multiple ways to prioritize customer pain points or customer service interactions.

Prioritize by feature voting and follow-up questions illustration
Prioritize by feature voting and follow-up questions

First, you can use feature voting. Since Featurebase feedback boards are public, anyone can upvote the feedback items they agree with. A quick glance at the items with the highest vote count can help you make better choices. But it’s not always so simple.

You can also prioritize based on follow-up questions. Just like you can count votes, you can count follow-up questions on feedback items. In theory, the items with more follow-up questions have more value and require more immediate attention.

You can also manually examine each comment to get more context from your users. Just remember that the threads with the most comments do not always equal the most business value.

Example of users sharing important details in Featurebase comments.
Use comments for lengthier discussions with users.

5. Segment and analyze

Now you have a list of feedback items that tend to show up frequently. But would you build one feature for an enterprise user before you build a feature that is requested by five users on the lowest plan? You need to make decisions based on business objectives.

With Featurebase, you segment your feedback according to different criteria. More specifically, you can filter based on user segments and impact on revenue.

Illustration of sorting feedback by uvpoter revenue contribution in Featurebase.
Sorting feature requests by upvoters' revenue contribution.

In practice, this means that you create user groups that have the most value for your business. For example, a company that has been with you for 5 years and has spent over $100k on your tools gets to have more say compared to someone who’s been with you for just a month.

With a few clicks, you can differentiate between power users and those who won’t matter much in the big picture. This allows a structured approach that puts your business first.

Featurebase's value/effort prioritization matrix.
Value/Effort Prioritization Matrix (in Featurebase)

For product owners, this means improving customer experience and increasing customer retention rates while fueling product-led growth with highly relevant features.

6. Take action

At this point, you know exactly which type of feedback is valuable for your business and what you need to work on for a better user experience and more data-driven decisions for your team. Customer feedback software is at the heart of this process.

This is when you assign responsibilities to your team and set deadlines for the work to be done. If something is not urgent, it can go to the backlog for work in the future.

Note that the key part of taking action is communication. If you’ve turned down someone’s feature request or an inquiry to fix something, let them know about this either with a handwritten email or an automated message from your feedback tool.

Likewise, once you fix a bug, build a feature or implement any kind of feedback with a product improvement, let the customer who made the entry know. This closes the feedback loop and helps you tick off finished items on your list.

Automatically send out a status update to all idea subscribers
Automatically send out a status update to all idea subscribers

You don’t have to give detailed feedback about why you decided (not) to build or fix something. However, any communication with your customers can have a huge potential impact and result in more happy customers. All it takes is closing the customer feedback loop.

A.F.C.A customer feedback loop inforgraphic
A.F.C.A customer feedback loop

7. Use tools and integrations to maximize your efficiency

It can get confusing for your product team if feedback is coming from different angles and you don’t know who wrote what and where. This is why good feedback tools come with integrations to make your work easier.

For example, Featurebase integrates with Slack, to let your users leave feedback through Slack channels. You can also set up automatic notifications to Slack about new feedback.

Another great example is our Intercom integration, which enables you to collect, prioritize, and analyze feedback directly from Intercom live chats. This allows your product users and website visitors to send in their feedback and you get all of this information in a centralized feedback repository in Featurebase.

The final word

As you can see, organizing customer feedback really comes down to two things: processes and tools. You first need to come up with internal processes for feedback collection, prioritization, and analysis. You can then pick the tools to help you get this job done - ideally something that works with your existing tool stack.

And at Featurebase, we have just what the doctor ordered for your to capture customer sentiments. Our customer feedback platform is easy to use, no matter your industry, niche or the number of your customers. It integrates with your favorite tools and makes feedback organization a breeze.

Start collecting & organizing feedback with Featurebase for free →

Featurebase's feedback portal with voting boards and roadmaps.
Featurebase - a customer feedback platform