How Advocacy Programs Make Product Feedback Initiatives Better

Advocacy programs can help make product feedback initiatives more valuable

Most technology companies today are innovating at breakneck speeds to stay ahead of competitors and market changes, employing the best developers, designers and product managers to achieve that goal. New updates are released every few months and tiny tweaks can be implemented on a daily basis.

If you stack up all of those improvements back-to-back, you may find that you’ve ended up in an entirely different place than where you started. Is that good or bad? Well, it depends what your customers think.

Asking your customers for product feedback

Asking your customers for their feedback on your product is a no-brainer. Plus, various online tools make it easier than ever to gather that feedback, whether through email, surveys, social media, contact forms or ratings.

 Advocacy programs help foster product feedbackThe downside is that the whole process is usually really messy and also not tied in any way to your other sales, marketing or customer success initiatives.

If your customers decide to participate – and it’s a big if – their feedback, which probably took a significant amount of thought, time and effort to share, gets thrown into a big pool with everyone else’s and they have no idea if, how or when it’s going to be implemented.

That kind of defeats the purpose of being “customer-centric” in the first place, doesn’t it?

Success Story: Sourcing Quality Product Feedback From Customers In Just Days
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Making your advocates feel like part of the team

Some companies have put a slightly different spin on their advocacy programs by focusing it on the product feedback process – from asking which feedback they should collect, to mobilizing customers to provide the feedback, rewarding them for doing so and, ultimately, updating them on how that feedback is being implemented.

While an advocate program, and the platform that houses it, can do much more than just help you gather product feedback, such as cultivating product reviews, securing references, sharing content and more, it’s still a valid (and very creative!) use case.

Those with a more “traditional” advocacy program can also allow relevant advocates to opt in to an exclusive product feedback or beta testing group, for example, and participate in related challenges.

That’s how we gather feedback within our own AdvocateHub, Influitive VIP. In the example below, you can see that we asked our advocates to tell us which features are most important to them in three key categories in order to help us prioritize our product roadmap:

ProductFeedback

Rewarding your advocates for their feedback

In an advocate marketing platform like AdvocateHub, participants start to feel rewarded right away with the points they’re awarded for completing feedback challenges, and once those points start to pile up they can redeem them for more tangible perks and privileges.

You shouldn’t stop there, however. The absolute best reward you can give is coming back to your customers and letting them know which features you’ve implemented thanks to their feedback. Perhaps you could even share with them why some features were implemented while others were not, and mention that additional features from their feedback may be implemented in future versions of your product.

Imagine their delight when they realize that a product feature that is key to their own professional success was implemented after they suggested it!

Bonus: Thanks to the Ben Franklin effect, advocates who participate in your product feedback program are more likely to be willing to performs acts of advocacy for you in the future. Sounds like one way to work toward a larger-scale advocate marketing program!

The Advocate Marketing Playbook
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Discussion

How do you get your company’s advocates involved in your product feedback initiatives? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Photo credit: Sean MacEntee

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