At Squeaky Dog Studios, we believe the most successful companies not only take the time to listen to their customers, they implement systems to actually use that feedback to improve their products or services. Using customer feedback to guide decisions about how to improve products and services is win-win situation. Customers are happy because they get a better product and companies are more successful because their products have the features most users want. Consumers have many competing choices these days, and they may rightfully gravitate towards products from companies who listen. But if a company wants their customers to take their feedback requests seriously, they need to demonstrate to them that their feedback is being heard.
Our Customer Feedback Loop
At Squeaky Dog Studios, we use customer feedback to help improve our products and our understanding of customers pain points. By analyzing trends in customer feedback, we can tell if a particular flow is causing confusion, allowing us to prioritize our work to ensure a positive experience. All team members at Squeaky Dog Studios get an opportunity to spend some time on customer support. We believe it helps our team keep the end user in mind when adding to capability to our apps. To properly capture, utilize and test customer feedback, we use a system that requires involvement from all team members to work properly.
We primarily engage with users in our helpdesk tool, through our mailing list, or in app store reviews. Users typically submit a request to our helpdesk tool through one of our mobile apps. We also try to respond to all app store reviews and social media responses and direct users to submit a help request through our tool. This allows us to quickly tell if we are seeing a new category of complaints from one tool, which usually means there is a new issue or opportunity for us to investigate. When this happens, the development team usually pauses their work and focuses on addressing the immediate concern. But in addition to resolving urgent issues, customer feedback trends also influence the design of our new products. Once we have implemented a change, we release it to our beta testing group to make sure it fulfills the need. We may go through several iterations before we release it to the general public. We communicate beta and production release notifications to customers who are on our mailing list.
As a case in point, early in the development lifecycle of PhotoWear, we found that many users were experiencing confusion with how to switch between photos in an album on their watch. By adding an additional screen with an animation showing how its done, we saw a ~95% drop in customer support requests relating to this concern. More recently, we received several requests for the ability to set two mutually exclusive features at the same time. After reviewing the amount of work required to make the change, along with the impact on the overall user experience, we decided to proceed with implementing the feature request. We truly appreciate when customers take time to leave suggestions for improvement as that helps us build better products.
Even though we are a small team, we have millions of users, and we try to engage with everyone that leaves feedback. Without systems in place, we would not have the bandwidth to do this. From the beginning, using customer feedback in our product development process has been and continues to be part of our culture. Without customer feedback we might not fully comprehend the UX hurdles customers may need to overcome to use our apps, be surprised when issues arise, or be confused when sales aren’t what they should be. In our experience, customer feedback plays a significant role in driving successful product improvement.