managing product feedback

22 Jul 2005 - 1:10pm
9 years ago
1 reply
399 reads
mtumi
2004

Hi -

I'd be interested to hear how various people are managing all the
product feedback they receive from stakeholders and customers.
Custom databases, spreadsheets, commercial products, whatever...

I'm trying to establish a process with a very vocal and enthusiastic
customer-base, and there are lots of ideas coming in from all
quarters. Any insight into different techniques for prioritizing and
organizing appreciated.

Thanks,

Michael

Comments

23 Jul 2005 - 8:15pm
Lada Gorlenko
2004

MT> I'd be interested to hear how various people are managing all the
MT> product feedback they receive from stakeholders and customers.
MT> Custom databases, spreadsheets, commercial products, whatever...

Michael,

The magic word is "tagging". I distinguish between what I call "stats
tags" and "content tags".

Stats tags are meta-information about the feedback (if you know and
care about meta-info). It's really up to you to define what statistics
you want to collect. Examples of stats tags can include type of
customer, product part, geography - whatever. What you can collect
depends on the form of feedback. If feedback is structured and
customers have to make choices before they can submit it, you've got
your stats tag categories. If the feedback is free-form, you often can
still pull some stats tags straight out of the text. For example:
"I've been using sites like yours forever, and I have to tell you that
your product search is awful". Here we clearly have
tag=experienced_customer and tag=search.

Content tags are your classification of what the feedback is actually
saying. In most cases, you cannot predefine content tags and you build
them as you go (the process is often called "data coding"). Here is how
you can do it:
1. Start with 40-50 feedback items
2. Read each item and highlight key words or write down the main
message of the item, it's essence. Do it for all 40-50 items.
3. When done, read the keywords/messages and group them logically.
Make the groups relatively large yet sensible to you. Name each group,
for example: "Product - cool", "Product - uncool", "Colour - love",
"Colour - hate", etc. These are you content tags.
4. Go back to feedback items and assign a content tag to each.
5. Now you've started building your repository of content tags. When
processing other feedback, highlight the keywords and see if any of the
existing content tags fit. If yes, great. If no, create a new one, and
so on. Try to keep the number of content tags under control, otherwise
they'll soon stop making sense. I never have more than a dozen of top
categories and sometimes (if nuances are really important) 3-4
sub-caterories within the top ones.

Lada

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