How to get the most from your Feature voting tool

Knowledge 4 min read , February 14, 2021
Feature Voting Tool
The best Product Managers know that every feature voting tool is not equal.

The feature voting tool is, in most cases, a software tool that allows software users to suggest new features, allow users to vote for their favorite feature ideas, and it prioritizes feedback and feature requests so the best ideas rise to the top.

The best feature voting tools replace several inferior options for feature requests, such as spreadsheets, generic kanban boards or email.

According to some sources, basic feature voting is a task no one really wants to perform.

We believe that feature voting does not have to suck because there is more than one way to run feature voting.

Some reasons why people don’t like or enjoy using feature voting tools:

Problem: Anyone can post a feature idea

feature voting tool
Should feature voting be open to the public?

When it comes to feature voting requests and feature idea generation, some customers don’t want to be in the likes of other customers.

They feel their level of understanding and commitment to the product is greater than that of other customers.

Users say that feature voting is not exclusive enough, and no “good ideas” are being added to the list of features.

Additionally, fake customers, fraudulent customers, even bots are another concern and they can ruin the credibility of valid customers' ideas.

Solution: Gated feature posts for key customers

It’s true.

Some opinions and ideas are better than other opinions and ideas.

Knowledgeable, experienced, and better-qualified users will add their ideas.

Gating the feature requests or making feature requests exclusive to key customers is one way to exclude bad opinions and ideas.

Problem: Anyone can vote for an idea

Feature voting is public, and every bad, unwanted, or ineffective idea is pushed to the top.

Voting is the criterion for the features being developed right now.

Bad or unwanted features are developed and deployed, and the product is worse or complete trash.

Solution: Leave feature voting to the customers

Some people who are not customers might ruin the features of your SaaS product.

Only allow real customers to vote for features to avoid sabotage.

Problem: Users can’t be bothered to participate

There are many reasons why users don’t want to bother to participate.

One big reason is if participation means they have to create an account.

Another reason is that they may not care, and they may be happy with the status quo.

Solution: Exclusive participation

Be selective about user participation.

Request participation from only the most active and engaged customers.

Some users are more engaged and active with your SaaS product.

Requesting feedback from the most engaged and most active users is a great way to get a higher rate of participation from users.

Problem: The invisible roadmap

There’s no outcome or roadmap immediately visible to the voters.

Please stop thinking that your roadmap or your outcome is a big secret and hush-hush.

Voters want to see the product roadmap and it helps them understand the product more completely.

Solution: Automatically updated roadmaps

Automatically updated product roadmaps are a great way to keep users in the loop about where you are in the product innovation lifecycle.

Roadmaps in ProductFlare is updating automatically in real-time because the roadmap is updating by the Product Manager.

Problem: Duplicate posts and noise

This is yet another peril of allowing the public to vote and post feature requests.

The clutter from a lot of duplicate posts can create more chaos for the voters and the product manager and team.

Sorting through all the noise is difficult and no one wants to do it but some poor souls are forced to complete.

This makes voting harder than it has to be.

Solution: Smart feature voting tool

Our intuitive voting tool can read and refer a customer to an identical feature request that they overlooked or didn’t see.

This helps to eliminate duplicate feature requests and it will help the best ideas rise to the top of the pile.

Problem: Dissatisfied users

Product managers can’t please all of the people all of the time but they can try.

People get upset when their features don’t get built, and sometimes it is with good reason.

Solution: Tell your story

Using your newsletter, blog, press releases, or even social media to explain to the users why one feature was built over all of the other feature requests, and votes.

Problem: Functionality confusion

People don’t always agree with the functionality of a feature.

Solution: Complete explanations and notes

Detail why one function was prioritized over another, how it works, and any other relevant notes about functionality directly in ProductFlare.

Problem: Difficult to use

It is generally hard for Product Managers to manually go through, organize, and utilize feature voting tools.

Solution: Use ProductFlare

Automated organizing, sorting, and utilization are all built into ProductFlare so the Product Manager will have one fewer task to complete when using the feature voting tool.

There you have it!

We hope that the feature voting tool solutions we listed above will make the feature voting tasks easier for you, your product manager, and your product team, to complete in a timely, efficient manner.

Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of problems Product Managers face with feature voting tools but it is a great starting point.

The problems can be many but with ProductFlare’s feature voting tool, and some know-how, it can be much easier for Product Managers and Product teams to use feature voting tools without the common problems people experience with rogue solutions.

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Feature Voting Tool