When is it a BAD idea to act on user feedback about your product? Why?
1. 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, ZinePak
2. When 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 loseyour focus and goals with your product in the first place. –Rob Fulton, Exponential Black
3. 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, Next Step Test Preparation
4. 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, Pinpoint Software, Inc.
5. 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. – Luke Skurman, Niche.com
6. When It’s 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 synthesize 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, Inspiration at Work
7. 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, Nathalie Lussier Media Inc.
8. When There’s No Context
When users are just clamoring for a single button or function without describing broader context, it’s likely not prudent to act on. The more holistically they can describe the problem and the solution, the more well defined the problem is for you to fix. – Kyle Samani, Pristine
9. 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, Close.io
10. When It Can Take Your Company Off Course
When it comes to user feedback you have to be able to listen first and prioritize second. Not every piece of feedback will be critical to yourcompany’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, Carats & Cake