How to collect, manage, and prioritize user feedback to help build your SaaS

Make it easy to talk to your customers & collect feedback

In the early days of your SaaS journey, you'll likely want to be as close to the customer as possible. Don't reach for AI chat agents or other ways to distance yourself, you want to hear the direct customer feedback with as little hurdles as possible. Make it easy for customers to contact you and your team (scary right?!). Be pro-active and communicate widely about product changes on a recurring basis.

So if you have users who want to provide feedback, how does it work? Email, a tool, err, what's best? Well it depends... but I like using Canny which has a great free tier for indie hackers!

Collecting feedback

Sign up to Canny for free, and create a new "Board" for feedback. I called mine "Feature requests". Create an in-app link on your SaaS web app to direct users to feature requests and link your Canny board. They have an integration where you can preserve the user's name and picture on Canny's side (almost like authentication), so that they don't have to login/register to Canny to provide you feedback.

Canny app link

This is what SplitMyExpenses Feature requests board looks like from an Admin's POV.

Canny admin

Prioritizing feedback

Using Canny, customers can upvote certain ideas to bring them to your attention. There is different sorting on the non-admin side to see top ideas and trending ideas, and allows customers to submit their own in text format. On the Admin side, it's quite easy to filter by top & trending and see what's gaining the most traction with your customer base.

Depending on your scale, you should definitely wait a bit before acting on any one idea, make sure it has majority votes and ask questions. The beauty of Canny is you can comment on an idea and it will notify all the voters, which helps to show that the developer is listening to customer requests. I've done this for my web app and people have jumped on to respond quickly to help me build the best version of a feature!

Canny response

Satisfaction of using it as a todo list

It's overwhelming to manage email feedback, customer complaints, and bug reports. Using a centralized system allows you to focus on one thing at a time, update your users and communicate with them on delivery and status updates (WIP screenshots work great too).

I love marking things as done, as folks will immediately hop on the app and try it out and provide even more feedback. Again, breaking down that barrier to getting 1:1 communication with your users is paramount. Does it hurt to say you won't prioritize things? Yes, but I think most folks understand. A request is a request... my todo list is influenced by what customers want, but at the end of the day it's me making the decisions!

Canny complete

Wrapping up

There are other roadmap and customer feedback collection tools out there, choose what that fits with your budget, scale, and workflows. Establish a feedback pattern and mechanism so customers can know when and where to hear from you. It will help greatly in the long run to build trust and communication from early on! Not to mention live chat tools and help desk software (some feedback tools have all this in one). Build great products, talk to your customers, and keep shippin!

Crisp chat