Prioritizing Customer Feedback

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During a recent mastermind meeting a member asked the group, “how do you handle customer feedback?”

Like everything, it’s complex. I’m going to box my thoughts with the assumption we are talking about single-person bootstrapped businesses. If you are part of a larger team or working on a personal-education / open-source project, things will differ drastically.

During the early phases of a product development cycle customer feedback is usually the most valuable artifact of an alpha or beta release so, trying to take that feedback and transform it into actionable tasks to improve customer happiness is usually a good and high priority.

Eventually though, as your product matures and the next big goal of your business changes, you may find yourself getting lots of feedback or customer signals. At that point I think it’s important to be mindful of how you are spending your time. It can be very easy to fall into a cycle of reacting to things, feeling busy but not actually moving the needle of your business in the way you need to be. At this point instantly reacting to that customer feedback is not the most important, next thing for you do.

As for feedback tracking, I’m generally more of the mindset that important feedback will come in via repetition so there is little value documenting each and every item of customer feedback. Maybe a loose notebook of quick thoughts and screenshots, but nothing too formal. Customer feedback is not a “vote”. You determine the goals and vision of your software.

Related reading: Shape Up