MacPaw is a software development company that creates maintenance, security and distribution solutions for macOS and iOS. Our products are installed on every fifth Mac around the globe.
I've been working in the tech industry for a decade so far, and for the last seven years, I've had the pleasure of being part of the MacPaw team. During my time with the company, I have gained invaluable experience and insights into the art of working with feedback.
Today, I'm the product manager of CleanMyMac, our flagship product and the market leader in Mac cleaners. We know that taking care of our users is crucial to the success of our products and services. It's important that not only does our product help users keep their Macs running smoothly, but also that they have a positive experience with it.
One of the things we regularly do during the development of a product or new functionality of a product is internal demos. We bring in product managers, designers, and engineers to showcase the vision of the feature, user interface, and functionality. It's essential to involve everyone with a stake in the process to make the demo inclusive.
Internal demos have a few key advantages, such as the ability to:
- track the team's progress in an accessible way
- give colleagues a clearer idea of what to expect
- open the door for early, however, precious feedback
The price of change at this stage is lower, making future planning easier and more precise.
It is a great way to ensure that we are moving in the right direction and that we choose the right thing to do.
Once we've determined the direction we want to take and have developed the initial prototypes, we present them to our users for UX Testing.
We provide them with a product version, which can be as simple as a clickable prototype with simulated logic, a description of the flow they must go through and a list of questions. Their responses help us identify both areas that require improvement and which aspects we've correctly addressed.
At this phase we also carefully listen to user feedback to help us improve the existing features and generate ideas for future updates.
This stage enables us to ensure we are doing the right thing correctly.
Influencers will influence
The third approach, which is often underestimated, is the involvement of influencers or opinion leaders.
Many people associate influencers with social media, but if you have an internal product they can also be found within your user or colleague base. This approach can be particularly effective once you have implemented new functionality and are ready to share it with early adopters.
Influencers are typically eager to test new features and provide feedback, and they can help spread the word to others. A famous YouTube blogger could share their thoughts on the product with their audience. Alternatively, if you have a colleague with a great network within your organization, they can chat about the new product over coffee and encourage others to try it out.
Getting feedback from a few opinion leaders can help engage your entire user base and promote the changes more effectively.
When your product is out, it is a perfect time to gather user feedback. You can never have too much of it, so it's essential to use all the tools available to you.
For example, we collect feedback through our support team, social media channels, feedback forms within the product, Slack and Discord feedback channels, and even through hotlines.
Our support team is available 24/7 and can handle requests in any language. They forward feature requests and questions to the product and development teams, whose goal is to respond to user requests within 24 hours.
Our community managers communicate with users on all popular social networks. Feedback forms within the product allow users to contact us while using the product. We also provide telephone contact info as an option for those who prefer a more traditional approach.
By offering options for feedback, we can not only better understand our users' needs and experiences with our products, but also consider the needs of different groups of clients and ultimately make our product better.
Why you need to care
There are many benefits to handling feedback in this way.
First and foremost, we can minimize any resistance users may have towards changes made to the product. In addition, users are left feeling incredibly satisfied with the product. This level of satisfaction naturally leads to increased retention rates, as we can provide users with exactly what they want.
It ultimately leads to a larger and more engaged user base, which is exactly what we strive for.
Can these product practices be applied to a service?
It's definitely possible! As a Mac admin, you could do demos of your plans and changes to get early feedback from your users. It will help you optimize your work and expenses.
Additionally, allowing people to test new tools or features can help minimize resistance to change. Conducting UX testing is also a great idea, as it can help you better understand your clients' needs and identify any strengths or weaknesses in your service.
You can also implement changes through influencers in your company. These can be managers, early adopters, and colleagues with an extensive network within the organization. They can become your advocates and accelerate the implementation of changes.
Putting it all together
Simplify the path for user feedback to you. Use multiple channels. Consider the needs of different departments and roles. The easier it is to give feedback, the better you will understand how your user treats your product. All that results in more effective decisions, better planning and happier users.
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