In the words of the wise Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter, “Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.”
And there’s a special kind of magic in giving users the power to create their desired product by utilizing feedback tools like feature voting.
Sure, you can spend countless hours spinning your wheels to predict what users want, but we suggest letting them tell you directly using feature voting.
Feature voting can save you time, lead to better product development, and increase engagement.
Learn how your business can reap the benefits of feature voting, our best tips for implementation, and how to avoid the common pitfalls of feature voting.
Table of Contents
- What Is Feature Voting?
- Why Is Feature Voting Important for Product Managers?
- 5 Benefits of Utilizing Feature Voting
- Should Your Team Use a Feature Voting Tool?
- Tips for Product Teams Implementing Feature Voting
- Avoid Potential Negative Side Effects of Feature Voting
- Give Your Customers the Ability To Vote for Their Favorite Features With AnnounceKit
What Is Feature Voting?
Feature voting is a tool that allows users to upvote a feature request to suggest ways to improve your product.
Users can see if their idea has already been submitted with the most popular ones or manually add their feature request for others to upvote if it’s not listed.
Feature voting gives project managers a snapshot of top feature requests with a wealth of organized data to extract valuable insight, including which customers care about those feature requests.
With feature voting, you can prioritize your product roadmap by crowdsourcing user ideas and suggestions to add or improve features, increasing user engagement and satisfaction.
How Is Feature Voting Related to Feature Requests?
Feature voting works in tandem with feature requests. Feature requests are requests from users with suggestions of what they’d like to see from a product. Feature voting allows users to upvote on those feature requests and see which are most popular.
With AnnounceKit, you can share your changelog built with a custom URL directly inside your product. Users view the changelog for release notes, updates, announcements, posts, and feature requests.
Within the feature requests tool, users can immediately see which features have been requested by the community and upvoted the most. A user can easily upvote another user’s idea, comment, or add their request.
Why Is Feature Voting Important for Product Managers?
Feature voting empowers users to tell product managers exactly what improvements or new features they want to see next.
That translates to time saved from sifting through feedback from helpdesk tickets, emails, or live chat conversations because the data is already gathered, organized, and waiting for you.
5 Benefits of Utilizing Feature Voting
#1: Generates Organized Data
When making sound decisions for your product development, data is king.
Decisions based on anything else can leave you open to big risks and little payoff.
The feature voting tool provides product managers with data extracted in real-time and organized in a way that’s easy to digest.
The feature requests with the most upvotes queue at the top with the number of upvotes. This at-a-glance display shows the most preferred feature requests and exactly which users are requesting them.
#2: Promotes Proactive Decision-Making
The feature voting tool provides pertinent data to stay ahead of the curve.
If you think a basic features request tool provides the same data, think again.
Feature requests only provide users with an avenue to communicate requests, and while that’s great, it can send you down a long road of reactive decisions.
Reactive decision-making can look like:
- Trying to fulfill every customer feature request
- Looking to competitors to drive decisions; or
- Building features that don’t align with your market strategy
The feature voting tool keeps track of user requests with segmented data that displays what’s popular among your target users and prioritizes the features that matter to them the most.
Knowing which features are the most requested from your top customers can make it easier to identify which updates make the most sense for your business strategy and lead you to make the most impactful decisions.
Feature voting lets you investigate the context of feature requests first. Accessing the voter profiles provides pertinent insight into the user’s persona so you can make proactive decisions based on a deep understanding of use cases.
#3: Provides Actionable Insight for Roadmap Prioritization
A good product manager knows not all feature requests can be granted. Creating a product roadmap with carefully prioritized initiatives can drive your new feature rollouts and catapult your product to the next level.
Feature voting can help product managers drill down the feature requests to focus on those that intersect with business goals.
With a snapshot of the most popular feature requests, it’s easy to see which will be the most impactful and should take priority in your product roadmap.
Feature voting provides quantitative and qualitative data for effective product roadmap prioritization so you can feel confident that you’re building the right features.
#4: Fosters the Connection Between Customers and Product Teams
Feature voting helps close the customer feedback loop.
From user feedback to ideation to development, feature voting helps bridge the divide between customers and your team.
With a consistent place for customers to feel heard and see their input play a vital role in improving the product, they feel a sense of collaboration and feel more connected to the business.
#5: Supports Business Growth
Connection is the fastest way to build customer loyalty.
Feature voting can incorporate customer feedback to increase retention, drive upsells, and attract new customers.
Increase revenue and make your product more valuable by upselling new features you know key customers would be interested in.
According to research published in the Harvard Business Review, the value of keeping the right customers is high. A reported 5% bump in customer retention can increase profits by 25% to 95%, with 65% of a company’s sales potentially coming from returning customers.
User retention has proven to be the cheat code for business sustainability.
Happy customers reduce churn, are more likely to reach activation, and are more inclined to refer new customers.
Should Your Team Use a Feature Voting Tool?
When used to its full potential, the feature voting tool can engage your user base and gather insightful feedback about what features they value most.
Feature voting is also a useful tool to influence feature development prioritization based on popularity among core users.
But it should be part of a comprehensive product management strategy, not the sole deciding factor.
Deciding if a feature voting tool is right for your team can depend on whether or not:
- The product is at a stage where user feedback would be crucial for optimization
- Your user community is large enough to solicit meaningful interaction; and
- Your resources allow you to process and manage the insights
Tips for Product Teams Implementing Feature Voting
Provide Multiple Ways for Customers To Provide Feedback
Funneling your user base through the feature voting tool to provide feedback can make customers feel alienated and frustrated.
Remember, feature voting is a public forum. Not everyone enjoys a public conversation.
Think about how often you’ve read a snarky reply on Reddit.
Your community is diverse, so let the opportunities to communicate about your product reflect that.
Connect with your customers in other ways. Accept feedback via email or live chat to meet users where they are.
Feature voting should not be the only source of feedback nor the sole driver of your product decisions.
Reduce ‘Herd Mentality’ Where Possible
Users can become swayed by the overwhelming majority and even forget a valuable feature idea to add if the current number of votes for a feature is the first thing they see.
Keeping the live numbers hidden at first can encourage genuine votes and avoid customer groupthink.
Consider Using Private Voting
It’s no secret that your competitors are users of your product –– at least the ones who are serious about competing are.
If you want to add privacy to your voting board, consider making the feature voting tool available only to verified or activated customers.
You may not be able to shut out your competitors completely, but it can add another layer of security to avoid competitor infiltration.
Give Customers the Ability To Leave Comments When Voting
Some of the best ideas can come from users spitballing in the comments section.
Minor improvements and bug fixes can sprout from other user comments that require little resources, but make a big impact.
Allowing the community to leave comments lets you take advantage of the rich qualitative insights that lead to addressing your user’s pain points. That’s the stuff product managers dream of.
AnnounceKit’s feature voting tool is simple and easy, allowing users to comment on other feature requests as they vote or share a new idea.
Try feature voting with AnnounceKit today.
Avoid Potential Negative Side Effects of Feature Voting
A powerful tool like feature voting that enlists your community to participate in product development can come with risks.
If not managed strategically, feature voting can lead businesses to:
- Overpromise and under-deliver: Feature voting is just one piece of the puzzle. Employ additional input to determine which user-requested features will be the most beneficial for your product so you don’t get bogged down trying to fulfill every feature request.
- Abandon business strategies: Balance customer feedback with your business objectives to be sure you stay on track with your strategic business goals and product strategy.
- Leave customers hanging: Users who engage in feature voting care about improving the product. Update your product roadmap and inform users about the outcome of their suggestions so they don’t feel ignored.
Give Your Customers the Ability To Vote for Their Favorite Features With AnnounceKit
Feature voting can be an effective tool for product development.
With AnnounceKit’s feature requests tool, you can easily avoid the pitfalls of feature voting.
- Track, manage, and prioritize feature requests based on those that align with your business strategy.
- Solicit user input with feature voting and our simple feedback form.
- Our in-app notifications system lets you quickly notify users when their requested feature is released.
Feature voting with AnnounceKit allows your customers to tell you exactly which features matter to them most, equipping you with the insight to build a more customer-centered product.
Let AnnounceKit put the magic of user feedback in your hands with feature voting.