Not all feedback is constructive feedback
Question: When is it a BAD idea to act on user feedback about your product? Why?
When feedback isn’t aligned with your goals
“No one asked Apple to develop the iPod. Although consumer feedback can be very helpful at times, it can also be a distraction. Consumers usually don’t have the benefit of knowing your company’s goals or plans. Don’t let seemingly helpful feedback distract you from the bigger picture if what consumers are asking for isn’t in synch with your vision for your company.”
– Brittany Hodak (@brittanyhodak), ZinePak
If it’s only a few early adopters
“If you get bad feedback right out of the gate, but it’s by just a small pool of people, it’s best to wait until you see a larger trend. I know a lot of entrepreneurs who’ll change everything per the criticism of their test subjects, and it just creates a shaky foundation that makes you lose your focus and goals with your product in the first place.”
– Rob FUlton (@robjfulton), AudioLumin
When it’s about pricing
“In general, feedback you get directly from customers on pricing will be wrong. If your customers say your pricing is fair, that means you should probably raise your prices. No one will tell you your prices are too low. The way you understand that is by A/B testing strategies with the market. Customers give real feedback with their wallets.”
– John Rood (@johnrood), Next Step Test Preparation
When it’s only a single opinion
“The first year we were in business, we got burned building custom features that ended up having no mass-market appeal. Our system now is to generally ignore feedback the first time we hear it. Once someone else says the same thing, we add it to a list. Every time we hear about it after that, we add a check mark next to it. The more check marks, the higher the importance in our development queue.”
– Andrew Hoeft (@HoeftAndrew), Pinpoint Software Inc.
When feedback is given in anger
“All feedback is good feedback, but I think it’s dangerous to act on angry or disgruntled feedback. When given in anger, sometimes feedback exaggerates the truth or was given when the person wasn’t really in the mindset to be fair and balanced.”
– Lke Skurman (@lukeskurman), Niche.com
Feedback based on limited experience
“A customer who has used your product once or in a limited capacity may not have enough of the big picture to provide truly useful input. Ideally, you would synthesise feedback from a core group of users who have an intimate knowledge of your product and are in an excellent position to assist with its ongoing development.”
– Alexandra Levit (@alevit), Inspiration at Work
When it adds bloat to your product
“Designing a simple and easy to use piece of software is an art, and like art, sometimes less is more! That’s definitely the case when someone gives us feedback about our software and it adds more complexity for little return in terms of functionality. So we’re big believers in sticking to our vision, and building in new features only if they don’t make things harder.”
– Nathalie Lussier (@nathlussier), AmbitionAlly
When it’s from non-paying users
“Developing a product roadmap based on feedback from people who are using your product for free almost never leads to a product people will be willing to pay for. Feedback from five paying users is a lot more valuable than feedback from 500 freemium users. It’s a very common, and often fatal, mistake startups make.”
– Steli Efti (@steli), Close.io
When it can take your company off course
“When it comes to user feedback you have to be able to listen first and prioritise second. Not every piece of feedback will be critical to your company’s vision or goals at that moment, and you need to be able to differentiate between the feedback to act on now and feedback that can take you and your company off course.”
– Jess Levin (@TheJessLevin), CaratsCake
Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC members generate billions of dollars in revenue and have created tens of thousands of jobs.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organisation comprising the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship programme that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
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