How can you collect quick feedback when fast decisions are needed?

I recently started working at a new company — and on a brand new B2C product. One of my first tasks was to see what users are saying about the product as well as competitors.

I wanted to answer a few simple, high-level questions:

  • What do users like about my product vs competitors?
  • What features do they love? What features are lacking?
  • Where are competitors missing the mark, and how can I use that as an opportunity?

Long term, every product manager needs a group of users they can call and have a conversation with. But as a new product manager, you may need a way to ‘eavesdrop’ on current customer conversations.

Here are 4 very easy ways to get fast and useful user feedback.

1 — Leverage Facebook Groups

I work on a genomics product, and before I even started my new job, I joined Facebook groups related to genomics, DNA, and ancestry. I followed discussions and got in tune with what users were asking for.

You can also:

  • Leverage surveys — I asked users of these groups what their #1 ask for a DNA product was, and they answered. Bam. Valuable user feedback.
  • Ask questions, track responses — If you ask a specific question like “Which do you prefer: Product A or Product B, and why?” active Facebook group users will answer. Track responses and find patterns.

2 — Read Public Reviews

Reading public reviews will give you insight into what users really think about your product (and competitors’ products). People will say things in reviews that they might never say to your face… or in a one-on-one phone conversation.

Read the following:

  • Amazon Reviews
  • Trustpilot reviews
  • Facebook Reviews
  • Google Reviews
  • Any other industry-specific platform reviews

3 — Blog Comments

Find the most popular blogs in your industry and see what they’re writing about. Popular blogs may do your competitive research for you - they often have deep, comprehensive studies comparing different products.

I found lots of genomics blogs that had already put together matrices on competitive features. Make sure to look at the date published, and update if necessary.

Also look at:

  • Blog categories — this will give you insight into how user discussions are structured.
  • Blog comments — do readers disagree with the blogger, or generally agree? There may be other morsels of insight in the comments as well.

4 — Reddit

A coworker long past once said “I don’t understand what Reddit is.”

Let me explain: Reddit is a f*cking goldmine of information about any subject your heart desires.

Join subreddits that talk about your industry and see what users are saying. By monitoring these once or twice a week, you’re included in the inside conversations of super-users.

Any other ideas for how to collect quick and dirty user feedback? Hit me up!

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Product manager, data science enthusiast

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