Using Customer Surveys to Develop Your Product Roadmap

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Using customer surveys can help you develop your product roadmap— if you know what to ask and how to implement the info internally.

A successful product has to meet the needs and wants of your target audience. And those needs and wants will evolve over time. By conducting regular customer surveys, you can gather valuable feedback that can be used to help shape the product roadmap and keep competitive advantage. 

Customer surveys are one piece of the puzzle when building effective product roadmaps. They provide valuable insights into what your customers like and dislike about your product, that can help inform the best ways to prioritize the roadmap (alongside things like long-term vision and other insights). 

To get the most out of your surveys, it pays to find the right objectives, format, and strategies for analyzing the feedback and aligning it with your roadmap. 

Defining Your Objectives for Customer Surveys

Customer surveys can be helpful for just about every stage of the product journey, from concept testing to gaining feedback on beta products to discovering new potential items to add to a product roadmap. 

With that in mind, defining the objectives before sending out customer surveys is crucial. Having clear objectives means being able to maximize the potential impact on your roadmap. 

Before you build a survey, consider defining things like: 

  • The target audience for the survey
  • Which information will be most impactful
  • Which format will be best for gathering the information
  • Which goals and metrics to measure for survey results
  • The best method for distilling the information cross-functionally in your company
  • The best distribution channels for the survey

Types of Customer Surveys for Product Roadmap

Once objectives are established, you can build your customer surveys. Three customer surveys that can help develop your product roadmap are: concept testing surveys, customer satisfaction surveys, and product feedback surveys.

Concept Testing Surveys

Concept testing surveys let you test the idea behind a new product or feature before launching it (and potentially building it) to your customers and the general public. 

The idea is to gain insights directly from customers before the product goes live. This is an opportunity to let your end user examine the product, and for you to hear about their experience as development is in progress. This can help you to refine the product—and corresponding roadmap—before launch. 

In concept testing surveys, you can ask questions about the product and its attributes alongside more open-ended questions about customers’ experience and expectations. This gives you a holistic view of customers’ experience with the product.  

Tip: You can also use concept testing surveys to test things like price points and to decide between different product concepts/feature iterations for the roadmap.  

Concept Testing Survey Question Examples
  1. How likely are you to use this product? 
  2. How do you feel about the price of this product? (Or: How much would you expect to pay for this product?)
  3. What’s one thing you like about this product?
  4. If you could change one thing about this product to make it fit your needs, what would it be?
  5. How would you describe this product to someone else? 

Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Customer Satisfaction Surveys (CSAT) tell you how satisfied customers are with your product. These surveys are a great way to find out what customers like and dislike, and to inform your roadmap with areas where the product could be improved. 

Read more about customer satisfaction surveys here.

Customer Satisfaction Survey Question Examples
  1. How satisfied are you with our onboarding process?
  2. How easy is it to use the product? 
  3. Which is your favorite product feature? (Multiple choice)
  4. Why did you choose our product over a competitor’s?
  5. How satisfied are you with the value for money of the product?

Product Feedback Surveys

Product feedback surveys give you insights into how users view and experience your products. Through these surveys, you can find out which aspects of the product are performing well, which require attention, and where the gaps are. 

These insights can be used to inform your product roadmap and gain a competitive advantage. 

Product feedback surveys can be used to: gain information around existing products, adjust features, run usability testing, test new markets, and more. 

Product Feedback Question Examples
  1. How easy is this product to use? (1 – 10)
  2. If you could improve one thing about this product, what would it be and why?
  3. What feature/option could we add to make your experience better?
  4. Which features do you use the most?
  5. Is there anything you’d like to bring to our attention about the product?

How to Analyze Survey Results and Integrate Feedback into your Product Roadmap

Once you’ve gathered the survey results, the next important steps are to clean and organize the data, identify patterns and trends, and then use the information to help inform your product roadmap/backlog. 

The information you’ve gleaned is golden, and should be leveraged—and shared—effectively. 

Share the information with stakeholders as the product roadmap is being developed and remember, prioritization is key. Customer feedback is a crucial piece of the puzzle and should be taken alongside elements like revenue impact, business objectives, long-term vision, and other pieces of insight to build effective product roadmaps. 

Product decisions should never be made based on customer feedback alone. Rather, the feedback should be aligned with overall product strategy and should act as a layer of insight that helps inform—and bolster—the overall roadmap and strategy. 

Tips and Tricks for Customer Surveys and Product Roadmaps

  1. Continuously improve your survey process - Neither surveys nor product roadmaps are static. They should both evolve as your company, product, and user expectations change. 
  2. Conduct surveys at regular intervals. 
  3. Align feedback and survey goals with your overall product and business strategy.
  4. Communicate survey results and insights with your team and stakeholders - Remember that the insights can also be beneficial for sales, customer success teams, and more. 

Conclusion

Customer surveys can provide crucial insights for your roadmap, and for your whole organization. 

The information you glean can help inform product decisions, lower churn rates, and inform overall strategy. And it’s important that the product roadmap—and the surveys that support it—are constantly evolving to meet the changing needs of your company, product, and customers. 

Checkbox lets you streamline the survey process, with automated workflows that make it easy to get the insights you need—and to share them with stakeholders seamlessly. To see Checkbox in action for product roadmap surveys, sign up for a free 30 minute demo.

Published
February 24, 2023
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