Feature Request Tracking (How to do it better)

Why is collecting, tracking and qualifying customer feature requests a great idea?

  • Your customers see that you actually care about their feedback
  • You gain unexpected business insights into what new features your customers actually want
  • You save time and money by roadmapping product improvements that will actually be a success

However, feature request tracking can be time consuming and complex. A 200-row Google spreadsheet will make your head hurt, Slack reminders end up feeling like spam and project management tools create orphan tickets.

There is a better way: feature request tracking software (with voting) built specifically for the job.

Lego figure looking fed up Don’t let trying to collect customer feedback ruin your day.

Feature request tracking essentials

Collect customer feedback in one place (on a feature voting board)

You need a feature tracking solution that collates feedback in one place and that everyone is happy to use.

This means it needs to be simple, easy to use and unbreakable.

Some type of online feature voting board should work. You can make these public so customers can add their own feedback (Hoorah! less work!). Or private, allowing your sales team, social media team, management, and so on to add suggestions and proxy vote on behalf of customers.

Here is a screenshot of an actual feature voting board (powered by Feature Upvote).

Sitebulb feature voting board

Use the feature voting board to prioritise feedback

Manually collecting feedback in one place and trying to prioritise it is time consuming and subjective.

Instead, a feature tracking system allows you to quickly and effectively prioritise feature requests.

Such a system:

  • Makes it easy for customers and team members to suggest feedback and upvote feedback they agree with, so good ideas rise to the top and the less good sink gracefully to the bottom
  • Makes it easy for you to merge, split and edit feature requests so your board stays tidy
  • Makes it easy for you to tag ideas that come from strategic customers, so you have this ‘meta information’ when deciding the relative value of popular requests

Consider making customer feature requests visible

This can be contentious:

  • What if customers suggest lots of things we don’t want to do?
  • What if customers don’t really know what they want but think they do?
  • What if customers think we are really slow to implement anything?

These are fair enough questions, but in the end it comes down to whether you trust your customers to know what they need (and that you value their opinion), as well as whether you are committed to improving your product.

If you know that you don’t have much time to develop your product then having a visible board of feedback gathering dust won’t do much for your image (although you’ll probably just get lots of cross support messages instead).

However, if you commit to developing your product then it’s satisfying to be able to let customers see that you’re on the job, and are listening to what they’ve said.

Consider us – Feature Upvote!

We provide a feature request board (with voting) that has all the functionality you need at a competitive price.

We aren’t the best choice for enterprise companies who need complexity (or think they need complexity) but we are specifically targeted at you – small to medium sized companies.

We offer a 30 day free trial so you can see if you like us – with no sales calls guaranteed!

Competing products are much more complex and much more expensive. For the functionality we’re looking for - a simple feedback community - the features we get are actually better than I expected and at a price that we can afford.

Heather Paunet, Untangle’s VP of Product Management