Well, the encouraging answer is yes!

Collecting and prioritising customer feedback is something that almost any product manager or company founder needs to deal with. Customer suggestions are valuable. These people are using your product and know what pain points they want help solving. They want to tell you about their problems and see that you care.

In this article we’ll look at 4 software options that help you track and qualify customer feature requests. We’ll look at the pros and cons of each option and point you in the direction of useful resources.

Image showing the words feedback we listen in neon

Trello

We use Trello for many situations: tracking periodic tasks, managing shared workflows, deciding what Christmas presents to get for all the family. It’s a very flexible and easy to use bit of software. Plus for basic use it is free for unlimited users.

Trello also helps you collect and manage customer requests in these two ways:

Create a private customer feedback board

Roadmap voting with Trello Roadmap voting with Trello

Create a public customer feedback board

You can probably tell that we’re not too sold on the public customer feedback board, although the private board is decent if you’re happy with proxy voting. After all, Trello is basically a great tool, and they do have a generous free plan.

For more information on how to use Trello to manage customer requests see their article on the subject.

To read why we love Trello for executing an already planned strategy and Feature Upvote for consolidating and prioritising feedback read our blog article.

Feature Upvote

After trying and failing to find a simple way to manage and prioritise customer feedback for one of our other products, we decided to build our own solution. Which is how Feature Upvote came to exist. From the start, we had certain key aims:

Screenshot of Sitebulb feedback board Sitebulb is a desktop website crawler. This is their customer feedback board, provided by Feature Upvote.

Interestingly, we started out marketing Feature Upvote as a simple and effective way to collect and organise customer feedback, but have found that a significant minority of customers, usually product managers, use our boards to collect feedback from their teams. So they make their boards private (we have SSO or password-protection).

In terms of disadvantages, we’ll hold our hands up to the following:

Atlassian Jira

Jira is an amazing piece of software. We use it ourselves for issue tracking. However, when we were looking to find a way to collect and vote on customer feedback ourselves (before we built Feature Upvote) we tried Jira and were frustrated.

If you want to use Jira for customer feedback tracking (and prioritising) you can though:

The downsides are:

Jira community champion Nic Brough outlines how you can use Jira for public feature tracking:

It is possible to set up a project with a permission scheme that says “create issue: anyone”. The problem with doing this is that you won’t know who they are, and that if you expose your Jira to the internet, you’re going to get spam.

You can’t make your boards public, only projects. Anonymous users will be able to create and comment on issues if you grant the “anyone” permission in the project. They’ll be able to search like everyone else, and only see issues in projects with “Browse project: anyone”. Voting won’t work, it relies on knowing that an individual has voted, so they have to log in.

On the whole, Jira is better for tracking feedback from your team, although still a bit cumbersome (it’s still hard to see how many votes issues have at a glance; and you risk issue repetition from team members who haven’t noticed that someone else has pitched the same idea).

In short if you love Jira (like we do) but want a really easy way to track, manage and prioritise feedback (public or private) then try Feature Upvote, with Jira integration as standard.

UserVoice

UserVoice is the Goliath to our David. It is large, has been around for ages (est. 2006) and is crammed full of functionality.

So, if you want to use UserVoice to track and prioritise customer feedback then you most certainly can. Many people do. To hear direct from UserVoice you can visit their website. Or try the product for free, although you’ll need to sit through a sales call first.

Advantages of UserVoice:

Disadvantages:

Form to request a free trial of UserVoice You need to fill in this form to request a trial of UserVoice

UserVoice seems to be a hit with bigger companies who need a lot of functionality (like Microsoft). For smaller and medium sized companies that want a simpler (and much cheaper) way to track and quantify feedback, other options can work better.

How to choose software to help you track and quantify customer feedback

Ask yourself the following questions:

Once you’ve got your answers then it should become clear which software option is for you. We hope you choose Feature Upvote (or try us out at least) but we understand if you don’t. No software as a service (SaaS) company is a great fit for everyone. We particularly appeal to small to medium sized companies who want to hear from their customers, as well as to product managers who want a simple way to gather internal feedback through a private feedback board.

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

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