Feature Requests

Feature Requests- How to Collect Them and Engage Users in Roadmap Creation


Some feature requests are in direct opposition to the direction you wish to take your company. Many of them are items you had planned to construct in the first place. However, some of them are both surprising and great. Regardless of the quality or kind of feature requests that consumers make, you must respond to them. You must react, thank the consumer for their input, and eventually determine what to do with the suggestion. You want to perform all of this in SaaS because you’re establishing a SaaS product. 

Three primary categories of feature requests. 

primary categories of feature requests

  1.  Enhancements to a product or feature 

Many feature requests are for enhancements to existing goods or features. An email service provider whose customer requests data import functionality with automated field matching is a good illustration of this.

  1.  Issues and bugs 

A user may report a bug or issue to the feature request channel you’ve set up. Even though you have a customer service channel, some consumers will utilize your suggestion board to report an issue. When this happens, take it off the board and have someone from support contact the consumer

  1. New features or goods 

Completely new features—or perhaps entirely new products—are the third category of feature requests. Some of these brand-new feature requests will align with your SaaS company goal, while others may not.

How can I compile all of my feature requests into one place? 

You need to collect all of these sorts of feature requests in one tool to deal with them efficiently (as much as possible). Provide a dedicated location for users and customers to leave comments and suggestions. If you don’t set up a dedicated communication channel for this, you’ll get these ideas via customer support, which is difficult for product managers to access. In essence, you should complete the feedback loop and connect your consumers with the people who make decisions about your product plan.

Why should you urge other users to upvote and comment on your posts? 

Customers should be able to view what other users have recommended inside the suggestion board. This allows them to see if the idea they wish to contribute has already been submitted. They may also leave comments and upvotes on other people’s ideas. 

Allow consumers to remark on and upvote ideas in your marketing materials so they don’t feel obligated to come up with anything fresh. You’ll get a better idea of which feature requests are popular if you encourage people to upvote and comment. Of course, that isn’t the only criterion you should consider. In the sections below, we’ll go through each significant factor to consider when prioritizing and refusing feature requests.

prioritize feature requests

4 ways to prioritize feature requests:

  1. When you get a feature request, you need to decide on the feature request:
  2. Build it soon Build it later
  3. Re-consider it later
  4. Most likely never build it

The most essential screening elements to consider while making this selection are listed below.

  1. Comments and upvotes from other people 

One way to gauge the importance of a suggestion is by observing the upvotes and comments it receives from other users. If a suggestion garners a significant number of upvotes, typically around 5 to 15 or more, it may warrant further consideration. Additionally, if many users express the need for a particular feature and provide compelling reasons why it’s crucial, that is a strong indication of its significance. They’ve taken the time to explain why they, too, require the functionality.

  1. Adherence to the present plan 

You may create a SaaS monster if you build what everyone wants (also known as committing features to overwhelm). Examining how well an idea fits into your present roadmap is one smart method to approve it. If you were already intending to construct a tool to incorporate Google reviews, you might as well include a function to embed Yelp reviews as well. If you’re already working on something and a feature request is a simple or related addition, it could be worthwhile to consider building it. This approach can prevent customers from becoming frustrated by releasing a product that falls short of their expectations but is still close to what they had requested. It’s important to ensure that any new features you build are original and do not infringe upon any existing intellectual property rights.

  1. Ideal Client profiles are aligned 

How closely does this concept correspond to your ICP? Does the originator of the concept fit well with your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)? If not, for example, if the user has a small team or the persona doesn’t entirely match, you may need to reconsider how the concept aligns with your target customer base. It’s essential to ensure that your product or service aligns with the needs and characteristics of your ICP to maximize its potential for success. it would help if you reconsidered the notion. Make sure it’s something your ICP needs.

  1. Profit potential vs. cost 

It’s important to consider both the investment required for a feature request and the potential benefits in terms of membership upgrades or new market access. Researching your competitors’ successes through podcasts, media coverage, and social media discussions can provide valuable insights. By understanding how similar feature requests have impacted your competitors, you can make informed decisions about whether to pursue a particular request and how much to invest in it.

  1. Profitability vs. cost 

How much time and effort would you have to invest into this request, and how much would you be able to get in terms of membership upgrades or new market access in return? Podcasts, media coverage, and social media conversations may teach you much about your competitors’ victories.

Also Read:- Free Product Roadmap Tools

How to make your screening process more systematic:

Step 1: React 

  1. To begin, react to the concept: 
  2. Thank you to the individual who submitted the suggestion. 
  3. Let them know whether a speedy response is possible (it’s already on the schedule). 
  4. If you need to think about it further, tell them you’ll get back to them in a few weeks after consulting with the team. 
  5. If you want further information, inquire with the customer. 

Step 2: Go over your prioritising criteria again

  1. Now is the moment to review your criteria once more, as defined in the previous section. Consider factors such as roadmap alignment, cost of investment, vertical and Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) targeting, competitor features, and other relevant aspects. By assessing each candidate against these criteria, you can make informed decisions about which ones align best with your objectives and priorities. This approach can help you identify the most suitable options and ultimately choose the right candidate for your needs.

Step 3: Respond again, this time categorizing the notion based on your selection. 

  1. Then, if the notion hasn’t been addressed yet, answer again with a fast first response. It is important to communicate with the customer and let them know whether or not you will proceed with building their requested feature, and provide an explanation for your decision. If you decide not to proceed, it is important to appropriately document the idea so that other customers are aware of it. This can help to prevent multiple requests for the same feature and ensure transparency in the product development process.

Step 4: Construct it, shelve it, or revisit it later. 

  1. If you decide to reconsider the idea at a later time, it’s essential to have a strategy in place. At Frill, we utilize an “Under contemplation” category to keep track of ideas that we may want to revisit in the future. This allows us to save and categorize ideas for future consideration without disrupting our current development roadmap. By having a clear system in place, we can effectively manage our product development process and ensure that all ideas are given appropriate consideration.

Step 5: Make sure your roadmap is visible to your customers. 

  1. Customers will notice that you are a customer-centric organization if you have a public roadmap. It also allows them to double-check for crucial features. This may result in a significant reduction in churn. 
  2. Check to see if the idea board you’re using has a public view roadmap so that new ideas may be quickly posted.

Step 6: Make it available to a select group of people, or everyone. 

  1. You should provide fixes and necessary requests to all of your users. To minimize risk and gather feedback before launching new features, it can be beneficial to test feature requests on a small group of people first. This allows you to gather feedback and make necessary adjustments before rolling out the feature to a wider audience. Additionally, for corporate clients, it may be appropriate to limit access to certain services to only those accounts. By restricting access in this way, you can ensure that sensitive information and features are only available to authorized users and maintain a higher level of security. 

Step 7: Make an announcement! (no matter how little)  

Ensure you have a product announcements page where users can access product updates anytime. To keep an exciting diary of updates, we use Frill’s Announcements function. And, for major announcements, we’ll send out an email with a link to the announcement site, where users may discover more details and gifs. The main point to remember is this: It’s all up to you. You have complete control over which features are prioritized. Just make sure you have a single location where you can gather and communicate these ideas so you can focus on vetting rather than squabbling.

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