Feature suggestions are an effective method for communication between you, the product owner, and your consumers or clients. Feature request templates provide you with a good sense of how your customers are utilizing your product or service. This article will help you understand what you can improve or totally change about the product feedback process to offer a superior user experience.
Feature requests are a way to collect user feedback on the product, feature suggestions that customers send your way so you can understand how they're using it and what they expect from it in their daily workflows. One of the most effective communication channels between you, as a product owner or manager, and your consumers or clients.
Nowadays feature request templates have become a thing among companies who want to improve communication with their end-users by collecting feature requests for new features/products/improvements. This article will help you understand what's an ideal template should look like when designing feature request templates that capture all data needed for future development planning purposes while being flexible enough not too be seen as intrusive because this
# 1. How to Collect User Requests, Upvotes, and Feedback?
Feature requests are best collected via a feature request portal or template, in-product widget, or a feedback form. You can create this either on your tool or outside of it, but make sure you have the feature request displayed publicly for users to contribute their ideas.
A template helps you to set up clear guidelines about how and what exactly users should contribute and which information you want to gather before they submit an idea and what type of feedback is allowed/disallowed in order to avoid spamming and negativity from flooding your feature suggestion box. This will ensure that only valid suggestions come through as well as keep things positive! A feature request is not a support ticket or a review of your product or service - and you need to make sure that this is clear for every customer.
Proactively ask your users for feedback as they using your product or feature. You can either send them an email that prompts for feedback or your tool itself could ask at the right time based on a flow of events (e.g., if they’ve been using a feature for over X minutes, it should prompt users to give their thoughts or suggestions for improvement). By proactively asking you will be able to get much better results and avoid pushing customers away from your product because something is confusing.
How Yodeck is collecting user feedback (opens new window).
Learn more about how you can respont to a feature request (opens new window).
# 2. What is a Feature Request Template?
A feature request template is a document that provides guidance for your users on how to provide feature requests, what information you really need from them, and which format the feature suggestions should be in.
Feature suggestion templates are great tools because they give each user an idea of what belongs where under specific categories based on research done by companies who have seen success with this tactic before or through customer feedback sessions. It allows you to gather more accurate data about why customers would like to see these changes made as well as keep things organized so nothing gets lost! The template will also help all product team members stay focused when it comes time for prioritizing their backlogs - making sure everyone knows exactly which feature ideas are most important first (and highest priority).
# 3. What are the benefits of collecting user requests, upvotes, and feedback for product development teams?
Customer feedback helps improve products and services. You can't assume that you know what your customers want, because simply put - they might not even realize themselves. There are so many feature requests and ideas to be explored in order for you to create the best product possible - why skip out on any idea when it could lead to something great?
Customer feedback helps you create the best customer experience. You can gather feature requests that are related to specific products or services by asking them for their opinion on what is good about the product, what could be improved upon, and what new feature would they like. Customer feedback helps you collect insights into your customers' trends/behaviors/preferences over time.
Customer feedback gives you data that helps taking business decisions. Once you have feature requests, feedback, and upvotes - you can use this data to prioritize what needs immediate attention vs. lower priority feature ideas that might come in later on down the road. You'll also be able to see which features are most highly requested by customers the same way users will be able to easily find out when they look at your feature board.
# 4. Why should you use a Feature Request Template?
A feature request template can help you to structure the feedback you receive from your customers. It's more organized and will give you a better idea of what feature requests are most important to work on first as well as keep track of which feature ideas have been added, completed but didn't make it into the next update or feature release yet.
A template can also help you to only get the information you need. If you provide your customers with a blank form they will submit feature requests to you in any way they feel like. Some feature suggestions might get lost because the information is not important enough/not structured correctly for your product team to understand why that feature would be useful and how it should look after implementation.
Also having feature requests structured with feature request templates it will help you categorizing feedback based on different categories like products, features or functions, integrations, and so on. Consider a category called "Integrations" to collect user suggestions for new integrations. The categories you'll choose are determined by how your product appears and the data you want to gather.
# 5. How do I create a template for my own team's feature request process?
This is depending on the feature request process you already have in place. A template can help you to communicate the requirements for feature suggestions more effectively by having a structured form. Feature request tools like Sleekplan can help you with predefined workflows.
If you won't rely on feature request tools (opens new window), a blank feature request template can help you to structure the feedback you receive from your customers. It's organized. Information that you usually should include in your template:
Importance for the user (Nice to have, Mandatory, ...)
Detailed description (What is required, How should a solution looks like, Why is this request important)
Use-case: Sometimes you don't get the point your customers referring to, so it could be helpful to ask for a specific use-case
# 6. Common mistakes with the Feature Request Template?
Feature requests without a feature request template can easily lead to feature overload. In the end, you won't be able to structure feedback or do any prioritization. I you have a public feature voting board, this can also lead to many duplicate suggestions, which makes it even more difficult to collect feature requests. The template itself can't guarantee that feature requests come in structured at any time - it's always good to have a constant moderation process in place.
Having an excellent feature request template but not doing prioritization might result in significant failure. If you don't set the priorities right it might happen that your product development team gets overwhelmed and starts working on too many things at once, causing overtime and higher costs for feature implementations.
Also important: Make sure you keep track of all feature suggestions but only save those ideas that are relevant to your business.
To sum it up: the feature request process is a great way to stay in touch with your customers and make feature suggestions come true. You can also use it as an R&D department for new ideas, but remember: feature overload is very bad!
Feature requests without a template could easily lead to feature overload. In the end, you won't be able to collect valuable feedback.