Why We Value User Feedback: Implementing UserVoice In Meddbase

June 17, 2021 • 5 minute read

In this blog post Meddbase Product Owner Sam Wood Explains why we value user feedback – and the story behind Meddbase’s decision to implement UserVoice to gather more direct feedback from our customers. User feedback is important for any software company and for healthcare software such as Meddbase, that feedback is especially important. Hearing directly […]

In this blog post Meddbase Product Owner Sam Wood Explains why we value user feedback – and the story behind Meddbase’s decision to implement UserVoice to gather more direct feedback from our customers.

User feedback is important for any software company and for healthcare software such as Meddbase, that feedback is especially important.

Hearing directly from our users is one of our most crucial sources of information, helping us to shape and drive the direction of our product.

We value user feedback because it helps us to ground the decisions we make about which features and functions to prioritise in the development process in real world experience felt by our end users.

There are lots of ways that we use the feedback we get from customers, and user feedback helps us to add context and detail to evergreen questions that remain front of mind as we work on adding features and finesse to our platform.

Those questions are:

The Value of User Feedback: Who Uses Meddbase?

It’s very easy for a software company to make assumptions about who their users are, and it’s also very dangerous. User feedback is an important part of making sure we don’t fall into the trap of taking our own assumptions at face value.

Identifying exactly who your users are is critically important when developing software; the more accurate and detailed a picture we can build up of who our users are, the better informed we become about which features to develop, in which order, and how those features should look and feel to make that specific audience feel comfortable.

By actively soliciting user feedback directly from customers we can get a far more accurate and three-dimensional sense of who they are and what roles they are performing within our client’s organisations.

The Value of User Feedback: What Problems Are Our Users Facing?

Perhaps just as obvious a question on the surface but getting pinpointed user feedback lets us know which areas of the product and precisely which processes, our users are having issues with.

We can take this further with more feedback as this enables us to pick out patterns and underlying issues that are much easier to spot from a high-level vantage point than when you are at the coal face of developing a product, and focused on the finer details.

Often, we can uncover small inefficiencies that no individual person or user would ask us to make changes to correct, but by crowd-sourcing the wisdom of your wider user base some necessary changes become glaringly obvious. This result is only really possible if feedback is democratised to the point that anyone can give feedback if they are motivated to do so, and the barriers to doing so remain very low.

Getting feedback directly from users gives us visibility on problems that customers are facing which we might not otherwise be aware of. As the world of digital healthcare changes, we of course try to keep abreast of all the changes that we should react to within the product, but there is simply no substitute for hearing directly from the mouths of those who are living with those changes day to day.

The Value of User Feedback: Why Are Users Choosing Meddbase?

Healthcare is a sector which is still relatively uncomfortable with technology when compared to other industries. This is definitely changing and currently that change is happening apace – and it is documented that a sea-change in attitudes to technology has been accelerated by Covid-19.

With this fast-moving aspect to the health-tech industry it can be surprising which workflows and processes our users expect our software to automate, streamline, solve or facilitate, so we need to keep a close eye on which features are resulting in customers coming to us. To give a very straightforward example, the users choosing Meddbase due to our Telemedicine offering spiked in March 2020, but not all reasons for users choosing your product will be as easy to document as a global pandemic resulting in the need for remote consultations.

When It Comes To User Feedback, You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

There is a particular set of intangible information that it’s hard to specifically ask people to give us information on; the things we don’t know are an issue.

Often the things that come up in customer feedback surprise us, and things that seem so mundane as to be almost invisible to the people using the software can, when pressed, be the areas in which they most wish to see change.

Direct user feedback is a great source of both qualitative information and quantitative data that we can mine, to make sure we understand what our users are asking us to help them with.

We want to make clear and informed decisions about the direction of the product and we don’t want to work blind and guess which business challenges to solve next with our software – and more importantly – in which order. Sometimes we’d be right, but often without user feedback we’d find ourselves releasing features which don’t solve the problems that really matter, or worse, which create new problems.

Ultimately, a good product owner will take on board a combination of these user equations – the Who, What and Why. And to complete the narrative, we need to involve two more variables in the feedback loop: When and How.

When and How Does User Feedback Matter?

When is an easy one; all feedback has a shelf life, and some is incredibly time-sensitive (for example feedback around our Covid Screening programme) but taking a snapshot of feedback and then closing the doors is of very little use. We need to constantly be asking for the most up to date problems, wants and wishes of all our users to keep the compass pointed North and make sure we’re up to date with the industry in general and our customers specifically.

How has historically been the hardest question to answer, and getting it right is a constant work in progress. Ultimately, any interaction with a user is an opportunity to gather feedback and it’s always useful to gather that ad-hoc feedback when the opportunity presents itself. We’ve tried lots of ways in the past of gathering feedback and storing it internally, keeping it up to date with diligent note taking and curation. These initiatives always had limited scope and usefulness though because they relied on so many things happening in order to make them work properly. Having more steps required ultimately leads to more potential ‘leakage’ of feedback from the system.

In a bid to remove steps from the process, and therefore opportunities for the feedback to get lost in the system, we’ve moved to a direct, open and democratic method of gaining, sharing and prioritising user feedback: UserVoice.

Since launching UserVoice to our customers in May 2021, we have already heard from users that we wouldn’t normally hear from, and gained insights into problems that they are facing that we might not have known about by gathering feedback via traditional routes.

Going forward, we are making our UserVoice platform a core pillar of our Product Backlog Prioritisation process and will be working to build engagement with our users through this platform to give them insight into what direction we are taking the Product, and how we’re using their feedback to help shape that direction.

If you’re a customer who would like to leave any feedback, please sign up to Meddbase UserVoice.

If you’d like to read more from our product team, check out Sam’s blog post on Case Management.

 


Sam Wood
As Product Architect Sam works closely with teams across the company as well as Meddbase clients to understand which improvements we should work on next, and how best we can deliver them.