Remember when you would stop and ask strangers for directions? In 10 years, the idea of asking for product feedback via user surveys may feel just as old-fashioned.
“You asked people on the internet about your product?” new PMs will ask. “And you trusted them?”
We’re joking (mostly). Surveys and feedback forms are great for identifying broad sentiments about your product, but they don’t always provide actionable input beyond “that experience was good/bad/okay.”
Supplement survey feedback with event tracking to understand how users feel about your product on a deeper level. Do this by tracking events like clicks, inputs, and hovers to get indirect product feedback from your users that gets to the heart of how they’re actually using your product.
Say users rank your onboarding process as a 0 out of 5 stars on user surveys. You can start tracking events to see where people are clicking, what they’re filling in, and when they’re creating help tickets to find the flaws in your flow that you need to fix.
With new no-code tools, even small businesses can use event tracking to collect the product feedback they need to build a better product for their users.
Step 1: Set up event tracking without coding
Many companies don’t use event tracking to collect product feedback because they believe it's too technical to implement. Instead, product managers will stick to easier ways of collecting input—like customer surveys, social media comments, and help desk statistics.
However, recent advancements in no-code event tracking software mean even the most neolithic product manager can track events in their product and collect indirect feedback from their users. No coding expertise required.
One example of a no-code event tracking software is our very own Click-to-track, which allows PMs to set up event tracking on their products in 5 easy steps.
- Open our Chrome extension and select “Create Tracking Events.”
- Click the element you want to track.
- Pick what kind of event you want to track. (We’ll cover each type of event—click, hover, or text input—in the next section.)
- Add a name and specify the URL(s) this will be tracked on.
- Reward your hard work with a 15-minute nap.
It’s honestly that easy. Using these 5 steps, you can get the data (and rest) you need to optimize your product using data from your actual users.
Now that we’ve established that event tracking is within reach for all product managers, let’s see how to use it to get that sweet, sweet feedback.
Step 2: Pick which events to track
To pull product feedback from your data, you first need to know what events your tracker can monitor. For instance, with Click-to-track, you can track 3 kinds of events:
- Click events: Any time a user clicks on one of your buttons, menus, links, etc.
- Hover events: Any time a user hovers their mouse over an element for at least half a second
- Text input events: Any time a user starts to type in a text field
Between these 3 event types, there’s a whole lot of data you can collect. Narrow down what events you’ll want to track, so you’re not overwhelmed with information.
To track the right events, identify the aspects of your product that you want to understand from the user’s perspective.
Say your company has just updated its onboarding flow to include a modal to invite another user. You’ve done the research and found that adding a teammate increases activation.
In this example, you’ll want to identify how users are interacting with the new modal. How many people are hovering over the text field, then deciding not to take action? How many people are starting to input text then jumping ship? How many people are typing an email address and clicking the button to invite a teammate? By tracking events like this, you’ll gain a better understanding of the new experience you’ve created. You’ll see where people are dropping off and where to make possible improvements.
Tracking these events provides meaningful feedback on your onboarding flow without requiring user surveys. You’ll have data you can actually trust, and your users won't need to spend time filling out a feedback form.
But picking the events you want to track is only half the battle. Once you have the data, you need to figure out how to pull insights from it.
Step 3: Interpret tracking data to gauge users' feelings
Event tracking data alone doesn’t indicate users’ opinions. You’ll need to do some interpreting before you can walk away with product feedback. Luckily, there are tools product managers can use to turn raw tracking data into actionable insights.
- Segmentation: Event tracking becomes more meaningful when you divide the activity by user segments. Once you understand how different user groups react to events, you can create personalized flows to encourage product engagement.
- Goal trackers: Instead of just tracking whether a user completed an event, use Appcues' goal tracker to see whether people come back and finish their tasks within a certain time period. You might set a goal around how many users complete their profile within seven days. This goal tracking helps you set reasonable expectations around user engagement and determine which touchpoints should see a faster rate of user activity.
- Event visualizers: You may have collected the event tracking data you need—but without the right presentation, the insights behind this information are unclear. Use a visualization tool like Events Explorer to compare data from multiple events. You can even filter by time period or segment to get more granular results. By having all of this data in one place, you can find feedback through data trends. For instance, if you have several ways to navigate your product, you can set event trackers on each one and compare that data in one place to determine which ones your users prefer.
Segment your audience into your most vital cohorts, set goals that reflect the feedback you want to see, and take a step back to see your data visualized before you. You’ll see how much more you can learn about your users if only you stop asking them and start tracking them (not in a creepy way, we promise).
Just one (important) piece of your product feedback puzzle
Event tracking is a powerful tool that every product manager should use, but it's not the only tool at your disposal for collecting product feedback. Continue using other methods like user surveys and customer support forms to complement your event tracking. Customers can provide detailed info about what they love (or don't love) about your product through forms, so you know what events to focus on via tracking. By embracing different forms of customer feedback, you'll be able to deepen your understanding of what users think about your product.