Upvotes are important. They are a simple way of capturing a feature's demand both on the user and management side.
However, the downside of feature voting is that when people upvote feature requests you don't have any background information on their specific use-case, how they would use that feature, or why it is important to them, leaving you completely in the dark.
The solution would be to whenever possible, reach out to customers and ask about how they would use that feature and what they are trying to accomplish. Most feature requests come through support messages and those are full of feedback. Users usually ask how to achieve something, indicate that they don’t understand how to use a feature, or share their frustration about hard to use features or bugs. In these conversations, you have the opportunity to ask questions that reveal what the user actually wants to achieve and the real pain point. Gather and track all that background information so you can later have the context needed to analyze and understand the underlying issue of your feature requests.
Remember that your customers request things because they have a job to do. When they request a specific feature it is because it will make their jobs easier, faster, or more efficient. Understanding the real motivation behind that feature is an important part of reviewing feature requests. People use different wordings to ask for the same thing or ask for it in a different way. Having the feedback quotes at hand helps you gain better insights when looking at a feature request by seeing the exact words your customers have used when describing the "job to be done" or pain point.
Introducing Acute's feedback highlights: a way of capturing and keeping track of feedback quotes for better insights.
You can attach conversation messages to your feature requests both when adding a feature request or tracking a vote on behalf of a user, straight from Intercom.
You can see all the conversation messages under the Highlights tab and also open the Intercom conversation for even more context, straight from Acute.
Understanding the motivations and "jobs to be done" behind feature requests is crucial for making sure you are adding the right features to your roadmap but also for making sure that your product development team will implement the right solution.
Failing to do this will cost you time, energy and money and will result in unused features, clogged interfaces and churned users.
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