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7 Tips for Managing Effective User Feedback

Dynamics 365 / CRM

Powered by LUCK™

It’s inevitable—users are going to have ideas and opinions about any system you implement.

Whether it’s a CRM system, an app for use by field agents, an approval flow process, or anything else you make available to users—if they touch it, they’ll likely have feedback.

You’ve probably heard plenty of feedback requests before:

  • “We need this value added to that list.”
  • “Can you move this field to the left side of the form?”
  • “We need the system to automatically assign an opportunity record based on the region of the company.”
  • “The system is too hard to navigate. I get lost all the time!”
  • “Can the system record my thoughts and transcribe them into a note?”
  • “Can the record open if I blink twice fast wiggle my nose?”

Okay, the last two are a bit of fun, but the point is: users are going to make requests.

As a digital leader responsible for managing an organizational system, you should want input from users about how the system is working (or failing). But managing feedback can be daunting, especially if you have a high number of users.

You want to strike a balance when it comes to user feedback.

How to Build a Better User Feedback Framework

Users need to feel heard and included as the system evolves. Listening to users gives each person a sense of system ownership, which can translate into employees’ ongoing engagement.

But we can’t implement every change request we receive. Sometimes, the ideas need refining or tweaking to fit how the system works or is laid out. Sometimes, frankly, the ideas just aren’t that good.

So how does a company manage the ongoing requests that pour in? With open ears and transparency.

Here are seven tips on how to foster a collaborative feedback culture when it comes to your evolving digital systems.

1. Listen: An Open Door Policy for User Feedback

Put intentional efforts in place to collect user feedback. Users should be encouraged to provide insights, both directly and anonymously, about the system:

  • What do they like?
  • What do they dislike?
  • What would they change?
  • What actions frustrate them?
  • Which actions bring them joy?

Listen for common themes, issues, or concerns as you gather feedback. Asking questions about user experience helps you understand what works and where more training or system adjustments are needed.

2. Consider the Format (and Tone) of User Feedback

Keep in mind that feedback comes in varying forms: emails, IM chats, discussions, meetings, phone calls, training sessions, and so on. Consider which format your users are most responsive to and which they provide the most detail.

Take note of the suggestions and comments users are sharing as well as how they are sharing suggestions. You can hear the frustration in someone’s voice when they’re talking about a process they don’t enjoy!

Whether it’s surveys, feedback meetings, or other formats, specifically seek input in the format that users will engage with most.

3. Understand User Feedback Using “The Echo Effect”

When you get feedback (or observe it), repeat it back to the user to make sure you heard them properly and fully understand the request. Repeating someone’s words back to them is known as “the echo effect” and helps build rapport, closing the communication gap in the workplace.

Something that can be useful here is to reflect feedback within the context of the user journey. For example:

“What I’m hearing you say is that as a { business role }, you’d like { suggestion/feedback }, to help you { task }.”

4. Organize Incoming Feedback

Keep track of feedback in a manner that makes sense for your organization using a spreadsheet, document, or project management tool. Documenting the information in a logical, organized fashion will help you stay on top of it all.

Consider using categories: (1) user experience, (2) feature requests, and (3) integrations to help you easily sort and organize user feedback.

5. Keep Feedback Visible to Users

Telling users that you’re keeping track of their feedback is good, but showing them is better. Keep a public list so they can see that you’re listening. To protect personal privacy, don’t include each user’s name connected to their feedback on the public list.

However, user information is helpful for you to keep on the backend as an admin. If you need to gain more context or clarity around a user’s response, don’t hesitate to follow up with them. Practice the echo effect here, then ask for the said user to elaborate where applicable.

6. Prioritize User Feedback

As an admin or system owner, your perceptions of what is important to fix or update right now might differ from users’. Engage users to help you sift through feedback and prioritize systems changes/updates based on pressing needs.

Remember: you want ALL users’ input, not just feedback from power users.

7. Keep a Roadmap of Upcoming Changes

No one likes being caught off-guard. If users sit down on a Monday morning and unexpectedly find that things are different or processes have changed, they may not sit with you at lunch anymore.

Use a roadmap to inform users about which changes you’re working on and the timeline of each update. Keeping users up-to-date about upcoming changes and timelines helps them plan for and adopt the changes as each one unfolds.

Collect, Manage, and Implement Actionable User Feedback

Welcoming—and implementing—feedback gives your user base a voice in the direction of the system. Users who feel a sense of ownership may be more inclined to use the system to its full potential.

At the end of the day, you want to make sure every system benefits users and contributes to the business’s success. Use these tips to collect, manage, and implement progressive changes based on user feedback.

What do you do to manage user feedback in your organization?

Do you have other tips you’d share with others?

If you need help starting or recovering a CRM project or changing how your organization collaborates, reach out to our team at C5 Insight.

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