Just like it’s difficult to drive to a new destination without a definite plan for how to get there, trying to build, launch and market a new product without a clear product roadmap guiding the development process is an exercise in vain.
A product roadmap is a strategic plan or statement of intent matching the vision and steps involved in a product’s development. A well-defined and goal-oriented roadmap allows the team to be on the same page and act in the same direction. In addition, it offers both executives and users a better understanding of the product to be developed, the features to be included and its timeline.
Net Promoter Score® can play a crucial role in your product roadmap improvement. By acquiring customer feedback about your product, you can avoid the most common development errors, spot and solve bugs before they become liabilities, prioritize features to work on, discover new marketing strategies, and have the ability to see the maturity of your newly released features through your customers’ experience.
Below, we detail how to use NPS® and the acquired knowledge to guide your product roadmap. We’ve included actionable tips to help you apply NPS data as effectively as possible.
Leverage Each Category of Customer Feedback
NPS groups customers into three categories based on their response to one question: “How likely are you to recommend our product or service to a friend or colleague?”
Customers that give your product a score of 0-6 are Detractors, those who rate it a 7 or 8 are called Passives, and the ones scoring 9 or 10 are your Promoters. In our Net Promoter Score guide, we explain how these ratings collectively contribute to your final NPS score.
Whether we refer to Promoters, Passives or Detractors, each of them has valuable feedback to offer that can be transposed into your product roadmap. Apart from the main NPS question, customers also answer an Open-Ended question that addresses the reason behind the score. The resulted qualitative feedback provides a comprehensive overview of what is liked, disliked or would need changes with regard to your product.
Leveraging the feedback given to you by each respondent segment allows you to incorporate valuable insights into your product roadmap. Further on, we take a closer look at how each survey respondent can help you improve your product offering.
The first ones to usually spot your product’s weaknesses even at an early stage are your Detractors, making them a precious source of feedback. These are the users that are most likely to cancel their service or not make a repeat purchase, spreading negative virality about your business.
When the received criticism from Detractors is constructive and not merely a mean and unsustained comment, you can extract actionable knowledge out of it. Detractors can be particularly valuable for bringing up easily manageable but at the same time important issues that skipped your team’s attention, such as:
- Bugs that need to be fixed. Sometimes a single bug is all it takes to lose a customer, especially if it affects their specific business processes.
- Misleading or inaccurate marketing claims. An innocent mistake or the wrong choice of words in a marketing campaign can make a customer feel like they’ve been misled or ripped off.
- Missing features. Detractors will often point out features offered by other products that yours doesn’t have. If a specific request keeps popping up in their feedback, it’s worth taking note of.
- Pricing plans. Detractors are usually the first to point out if one of your competitors offers something similar for a better price, making price-related feedback a noteworthy signal that you might need to adjust your pricing strategy.
These are all common issues in a Detractor’s feedback, topics easy to turn into action items for your next product meeting. Since they’re usually the reasons behind service cancellations, treating them as priorities to effect an increase in customer retention will prove efficient.
Implemented effectively, the feedback provided by Detractors can be extremely valuable for your business. By responding to your Detractors, adding their observations to your product roadmap and taking action, you can convert them into Promoters.
While Passives are not as likely to cancel their service in the short term or leave a negative review as Detractors, they can still be a source of ideas for your product’s enhancement.
To begin with, the Passives’ feedback often contains feature suggestions and requests that can be further incorporated, thus adjusting your product roadmap priorities.
Most Passives are happy with your product but still within the zone of “considering alternatives.” If a competitor adds a feature you don’t have, they might leave. This makes their feedback ideal as a source of mid-priority customer requests for your product roadmap.
Note that it is important to pay close attention to what your Passives are saying, but not make every feature request a top priority in your product roadmap. This will only lead to overstretching your resources for an all-in-one product that is too complicated to use. Prioritize feature requests according to company resources, feasibility and what works for your specific product.
As a general rule, while feedback and requests from Passives aren’t usually the “easy-wins” as compared to Detractors’, they are still worth consideration along with a place in your product roadmap. Use them properly to track your customer sentiment and deliver the best possible customer experience.
The feedback from Detractors can help you plug leaks and stop your business from customer churn, while the one from Passives can help you identify new feature opportunities that give you an advantage over your competitors.
On the other hand, Promoters can play a key role in helping you discover new ways to grow your business. From a roadmap perspective, there are two ways to use Promoters’ inputs to your advantage.
First, their feedback is essential when calculating your Net Promoter Score. It goes without saying that the more Promoters you have, the higher your NPS is. Keeping track of the total percentage of Promoters and how it fluctuates is a good practice when implementing new action items and pushing releases.
If your NPS increases after a release that implements specific customer requests, you can take it as a validation of you making the correct decisions and prioritizing the right aspects of your product strategy.
The second is to look at the specific feedback you receive. When a Promoter lets you know that they enjoy your product, close the loop by asking for more information on what they like and how you can make your product even better.
Promoters are also the perfect target audience for implementing a referral marketing strategy. Because they are your most enthusiastic users and are willing to refer your brand to friends or colleagues, you can run a referral program and make this a systematic process that purposefully promotes your business through this word of mouth strategy.
Why NPS Should Guide Your Product Roadmap
Successfully bringing a product to market implies listening to customer feedback at every stage of the process and tailoring your product roadmap accordingly. Besides offering a quantitative metric of customer loyalty, NPS is also valuable for the following reasons:
- NPS surveys are the quickest and most reliable way of receiving qualitative input from your customers, that helps you make product adjustments.
- Changes in your Net Promoter Score shortly after big releases and product updates indicate customer sentiment with the new implementations. Often, this is the moment when you receive the most actionable product-related customer feedback.
- Measuring customer satisfaction is a long-term process, and so is improving a product. Keeping abreast of customer satisfaction trends allows you to make the necessary adjustments to your product as required.
- The positive feedback on a specific feature can be used as a morale booster by compiling the best responses and sending them to the members of your product team.
Collect Customer Feedback With Retently
Retently enables you to send customized Net Promoter Score surveys to your users and customers, helping you discover new product opportunities and find out what they like and dislike about it.
To get started, create your free trial account and send up to 100 surveys to your customers with no long-term contract obligation or credit card required.