Best practices to qualify efficiently users feedback

Yousra Mahros, Mar 2021

Collecting feedback from users is a major challenge today in large groups where users are not necessarily located in the same geographical area. Today, this challenge is even bigger with the rise of remote working during the last health crisis, which exploded employees all over the country. Companies were forced to be flexible in order to deliver an even more optimal user experience than normal.

User feedback is key for a successful digital transformation

That’s why user feedback is a huge treasure for groups undergoing a digital transformation, wishing to improve their digital workplace! The collection of user needs therefore enables the company to target the improvements to be made to its applications so that they can be used and adopted. It should be noted that an application which does not offer useful features for users will be difficult to adopt! This is why, on average, 50% of the features requested do not meet users’ expectations*.

But not all feedback is good to take and send to development. Why not? Project managers collect many user requests that increase the size of the IT backlog but which are only partly duplicates, unclear requests… As a result, a waste of time and productivity. Between 40 and 70% of a project’s budget is wasted due to poorly qualified feedback*. And if only this feedback had been qualified before being sent to development! It is essential to ensure the quality of this feedback, at the risk of compromising the project. This is why one of the reasons for postponed projects is often a lack of qualification of the requests.

User feedback must be made objective

This is why making the feedback objective is of major importance in order to measure the degree of emergency by prioritizing all requests, measuring their business impact and the number of users concerned by this need.

Let’s not forget that users’ feedbacks are delivered without necessarily any context nor detail, screenshot, which creates a lack of understanding between the business and IT teams. Users are frustrated to be misunderstood and do not want to waste time specifying their requests. Endless exchanges are often necessary in order to identify the real initial need.

Moreover, their sources are sometimes multiple. Several communication channels are often used: Slack, Excels files, e-mails, directly on project management tools (Jira, ServiceNow …) and many others… This does not facilitate the processing of these requests, which we do not know what to do or how to manage them. The priority is therefore to centralise these feedback in order to process them and identify if several users encounter the same problem. This work is often time-consuming, project managers often use an Excel file to centralise all requests and others do it directly on their project management tools such as Jira.

N.B.: If you are confronted with problems of large volumes, WeLoop allows you to pre-qualify all the requests directly by the user communities and thus centralize them all in your WeLoop kanban in order to send only the most relevant requests to your project management tools for development.

Centralize feedback in one place

It is very important, therefore, to store the different returns received on different platforms in a single database. In order to facilitate qualification, several elements can help you in this process:

Tags can be useful in order to clearly and quickly identify the nature of each need (bug, improvement, mobile, desktop …).
It is also important to know the context and the IT environment of each request: each bug or anomaly may come from a problem that does not necessarily require development but which may be specific to an IT context such as the version of the browser, the OS …
Involve your users in the continuous improvement process by pre-qualifying requests, so that they can judge the relevance, usefulness and priority of a request. Who is more likely than users to identify the next major features of your business applications?
The analysis of engagement statistics will greatly assist the product owner in identifying the most important and relevant requests for all its users.

N.B: Thanks to WeLoop user communities, reach (percentage of users reached by a request) and engagement (percentage of users engaged in a request) statistics are calculated to help project managers in the qualification of each request. Thus the most interesting requests for the community will be developed as a priority. 

Conclusion: rely on your user community to qualify requests

Qualifying user feedback therefore makes it possible to evaluate the scope and importance of a request in order to determine the processing priority for IT teams. Qualified feedback also makes it possible to avoid the reworking of features by developers and thus avoid a loss of productivity. 80% of developers admit that they can sometimes spend up to half their time reworking features.