Host your own Customer Feedback Forum or Community

Host your own Customer Feedback Forum or Community

As a Product Manager, increasing the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is one of the key metrics that you are responsible for. Increasing the Customer Lifetime Value for your product involves building a loyal customer base, building a sense of community, and increasing the engagement of your customers with your product.

Feedback forums are essential for SaaS companies to enhance customer communication, build loyalty, and gather actionable insights for product improvement. This centralized platform enables efficient collection and organization of customer inputs, fostering a community where users can share concerns, suggestions, and positive feedback.

Implementing a feedback forum involves setting up a dedicated portal, ensuring responsiveness to customer queries, and integrating feedback into product development. Successful examples like GitHub, ZenDesk, and Shopify demonstrate the forum’s impact on customer engagement and product enhancement. For SaaS businesses, a well-managed feedback forum is a valuable tool for understanding customer needs and fostering a loyal user base.

Since 2013, I have built and managed multiple customer feedback forums for various products, and I have seen first-hand how a customer feedback forum can impact your product and your business in a positive way. Let me share all the learnings I have gathered over the years on how to build and manage a customer feedback forum.

What is a Customer Feedback Forum?

A customer feedback forum is a hosted platform where your customers interact with you and your team directly to share their feedback, suggestions, and even learn from each other. A well-fostered feedback forum can become the go-to place for your customers to improve their experience with your product and beyond.

Why should you host a Customer Feedback Forum?

Hosting a feedback forum for your customers is a digital engagegment strategy that can help you build a loyal customer base, and increase the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) of your customers. A recent State of Service study by Salesforce shows that 57% of customers prefer engaging with your company through digital channels like a feedback forum.

Salesforce State of Service 5th Edition

Besides this, here are some of the other benefits of hosting a customer feedback forum:

1. Build a deeper relationship with your customers

Since feedback forums are two-way communication channels, they help you build a deeper relationship with your customers. You get a chance to respond to your customers directly, and they get a chance to interact with you and your team. This helps you build a deeper relationship with your customers which eventually leads to a loyal customer base.

2. Use customer service as your competitive advantage

Customer service is one of the key differentiators for SaaS products. Customers who get a great customer service experience natually tend to stick with your product for a longer time. Since hosting a feedback forum for your customers is a two-way communication method, and you get to interact with your customers directly, you get to showcase how much you care for your customers.

This way of show-and-tell helps you attract new customers and retain existing customers . If you are wondering “won’t my competitors do the same?”, the answer is yes, they will. But, if you are the first one to do it, you will have a competitive advantage over your competitors. And, if you are not the first one to do it, you will have to do it to stay competitive. You can’t go wrong with this.

3. Improve your products

When a company introduces a new product or service, they may have an idea about customer needs, but only after customers use the product or service can the company learn about its advantages, flaws, and actual experience.

Since a feedback forum is an ideal place for idea exchange, it acts as a platform for you to collect customer feedback , that has a positive impact on your product’s roadmap . This method helps you eliminate the guesswork, and build products that your customers love via Product-led Growth .

4. Faster customer support

Since the customer feedback forum is available to your customers, your team, and you 24x7, your customers can get faster support. In many products, I have seen that the customer support team provide faster resolutions to customer issues on the feedback forum than on other channels like email or phone.

We wrote about Improving your customer support by 10x using feedback forums .

5. Feedback forum = Self-service support

The Feedback Forums are not just a repository; it’s an evolving ecosystem. Every customer query becomes a catalyst for improving your internal knowledge on what your customers expect, and what you should be building next. The forum manager plays a crucial role here, promptly directing users to relevant information as questions arise. This process of customer interaction and resource sharing cultivates a self-sustaining knowledge base, easily accessible to your customers and potential leads.

6. An excellent SEO magnet

The more customers talk about your product and features in an open feedback forum, the more search engines pick up your content and helps you rank higher. For example, during the early days of Skcript , we built a community exclusively for blockchain developers, and the richness of content increased as many users started to discuss important unresolved questions in the community. This helped us rank higher on search engines for keywords we did not even think of, and we started to get more leads for our blockchain consulting services.

How to host your own Customer Feedback Forum?

Hosting a customer feedback forum has never been this simple. Here are the steps you need to follow to host your own customer feedback forum for your product within minutes and go live with it:

1. Choose your feedback forum software like featureOS

Thousands of companies choose featureOS as their preferred customer feedback forum software. For example, Buffer, the leader in social media management software, uses featureOS to create a feedback forum for their customers, and they have been extremely successful in building a loyal customer base.

You can create a featureOS account here , and get started with your own customer feedback forum.

featureOS Feedback Forum

2. Create a feedback forum board

Once you have a featureOS account, you will already have a default feedback forum board for your product. You can choose to rename your board names to your liking.

3. Map a custom domain to your feedback forum board

This is essential, since you would want your customers to know that you are the one running it, and not some third-party. One of the best ways to prove your authenticity is to map a custom domain name to your feedback board.

For example, if your product is called “Acme”, you can map a custom domain like to your feedback forum board. This way, your customers will know that you are the one running the feedback forum board.

4. Share the feedback forum board with your customers

You are now all set to start receiving feedback or enabling discussions from your customers. You can share the feedback forum board with your customers via email, or you can even embed them in your product. Even better, you can integrate a floating widget on your product that will allow your customers to share feedback or start a discussion from within your product.

Your feedback forum will look something like this once you have shared it with your customers:

Buffer Feedback Forum

5. Respond to your customers

Once your customers start sharing feedback or start a discussion, you can respond to them directly from the feedback forum board. You can also assign the feedback or discussion to your team members, and they can respond to your customers directly from the feedback forum board.

Responding back to your customers and including all your relevant team members in the conversation is the key to building a loyal customer base using your newly created feedback forum board.

What’s next?

You are already great as a product manager if you are thinking about hosting a customer feedback forum for your product. You are already thinking about building a loyal customer base, and increasing the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) of your customers. Here’s what you can do next:

  1. Signup for featureOS
  2. Customize your feedback forum board (reach out to us if you need any help )
  3. Share the feedback forum board with your customers
  4. Respond to your customers

It’s as simple as that. If you need to discuss further, or unclear about choosing the right software for your customer feedback forum, I’m happy to help you out. You can reach out to me on Twitter or LinkedIn or signup for a featureOS account .

  • Authors


    Karthik Kamalakannan

    Founder and CEO

  • Published on

    Sun Dec 17 2023 09:33:07 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

  • Time to value: 7 min read

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