How HubSpot Uses Customer Feedback

    by Ellie Mirman

    Date

    November 11, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    Listening At HubSpotDirect customer feedback is invaluable here at HubSpot. While we might be the ones putting the software out there, our customers are the ones using the tools to generate thousands of leads, attract thousands of followers, and build real businesses.

    So it's no surprise that our customers' feedback from the front lines is a key source of input in the product development process. But how does it all work?

    How the Product Management Team Decides What to Do

    There are a few key inputs into the product development process, including customer feedback. When a Product Manager prioritizes their team's work, they take into account all of these inputs:

    • Customer feedback - Whether it's just chatting with your Account Manager, or submitting a product idea, or participating in a design testing session, real user feedback is one of the most powerful inputs into the development process. We want to see how you actually use the software!
    • Product vision and innovation - We're not setting out to replicate all the other tools on the market - HubSpot is setting out to solve new and unique problems in innovative ways. So you'll see some things coming out that were not explicit customer requests but will solve real customer problems.
    • Technical considerations - Sometimes decisions are made based on technical considerations such as the architecture of the product or the scalability to support all of our current and future customers.
    • Competitive strategy - In addition to speaking with our customers, we will look at the other tools on the market and learn what users find valuable and try to address that within the HubSpot product.

    Note, also, that it's not an either/or decision when it comes to incorporating these inputs into the product management process. Sometimes one input may be a key driver, while other times - our favorite times - a customer request converges with our product vision and competitive strategy all at once.

    How Customer Feedback Shapes Product Development

    Getting customer input throughout the product development process is incredibly important to make sure that the end result is valuable to real customers! In particular, customer feedback is used in three ways:

    1. New ideas - As users on the front lines, customers have some amazing ideas to make their lives easier and their jobs more effective. Customers frequently suggest great new product ideas or bring up unknown issues that would greatly help themselves and many other customers.
    2. Validation for current projects - We like to think that we understand our customers and how we can help make their jobs better. But we turn to real customer feedback to validate our ideas. If you're passionate about a product idea, we want to know, to help fuel the fire when we're ready to work on it.
    3. More conversations - Our customer feedback channels (below) help channel our customers' voices and help us identify certain voices that we want to follow up with in particular. We frequently do customer research interviews and design testing sessions to get more detailed feedback, and we use the public channels to identify passionate customers to invite.

    How to Share Your Feedback

    Yes, we want to hear it!

    • POST IN THE FORUMS - Product or inbound marketing questions? Ask and answer questions posed to our community of thousands of customers, plus our inbound marketing experts.
    • SUGGEST & VOTE FOR PRODUCT IDEAS - Check out ideas.hubspot.com.
    • TALK TO SUPPORT - Give them a call or submit a request if you're having any issues with the product.
    • TRY NEW BETA FEATURES - Apply to participate in the Beta Program and test out new features in development.
    • PARTICIPATE IN DESIGN TESTING - Design tests let you play around with mockups and prototypes of new features in development.
    • TALK TO YOUR IMC OR ACCOUNT MANAGER - They can answer your questions or pass along your feedback to the product team.
    • ATTEND PRODUCT MANAGER OFFICE HOURS - These office hours let you speak one-on-one with our product managers.
    • JOIN YOUR LOCAL HUBSPOT USER GROUP (HUG) - Your local HUG is a great way to meet with fellow HubSpot customers as well as members of the HubSpot product team, who attend many of the meetups.
    • SEND YOUR THOUGHTS VIA THE FEEDBACK TAB - Be on the lookout for a new feedback tab, where you can provide tool-specific feedback during your everyday use.

    And, of course, if you have any thoughts on how we can better... get your thoughts, let us know!

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    To make it easy for HubSpot customers to follow along in their own software, we regularly link to the product and customer-only training.