In September 2014, HomeAway Software held its annual user conference where our product teams announced the release of a new customer feedback feature in our vacation rental
software. The feedback feature utilizes a tool from UserVoice that enables clients to submit feedback directly in the software by clicking a simple link. Clients can submit their own ideas, see what ideas other users have submitted, and vote on those ideas
to collaborate and increase the visibility of certain ideas.
The new feedback tool has only been in place for 3 months, but our product teams have already learned
a lot from our clients. With UserVoice, we have delivered 15 improvements to our products and have many more in the works.
Nick Batra, Product Manager, Escapia
Nick initially expected the feedback in UserVoice to be for substantial additions to the software.
To the contrary, Nick noted that "UserVoice has mainly reinforced that users care as much about the little things that will make their lives easier as they do about big new features.” He added that, when planning for 2015, these small requests help the product
team to work on refining the existing product because, “ensuring clients have a user-friendly experience is just as important as adding big functionality.”
Tony Boyajian, Product Manager, V12.NET
Tony is excited by the willingness of clients to embrace UserVoice quickly and by the engagement
with the community. Tony explained that "in addition to having submitted hundreds of great ideas, we’ve had a number of users who have started commenting on suggestions from others and offering their insight and expertise. The information they share is incredibly
valuable for us on the product team and we really appreciate our users getting involved in what’s become a critical part of our development process.”
Ben Littler, Product Manager, RezOvation and Glad Mobile Products
Everything can be flagged with its status in UserVoice, and that status gets emailed to anyone who
voted on the idea. Ben found that this process prevents the product team from overlooking important requests. For example, Ben encountered a case where "we looked at including a feature that was not mentioned on UserVoice and decided against it due to our
understanding of how customers use the software. It turns out we had missed a use case that was important to our users. Subsequently, someone posted it to UserVoice and it became one of the most popular ideas in less than 2 weeks. We ended up including it
in the next release.”
UserVoice is already an extremely useful tool that our product teams and users have embraced wholeheartedly.
One user, Ian Pritchett of Oranj Palm Vacation Homes, sent us a note after he received a project completion notification via UserVoice this week: "One of my staff members raised her hands in the air and made the ‘angel chorus’ sound. One asked if Ashton Kutcher
was about to show up and said she thought she just died. I simply cried a few happy tears. Incredible and useful and appreciated beyond proper expression.” While we weren’t expecting tears of joy, we at HomeAway Software are so pleased to hear about them!
To join in on the feedback fun, simply log in to your respective software and look for the Submit Feedback link, or visit your product Support Home to learn more about how you can participate today. Be sure to describe your ideas with enough clarity to get others to help vote it to the top of the charts!
-Cliff Vars, Director, Product Management