Collecting and Integrating Customer Feedback: A Case Study of SaaS Companies Working B2B
Abstract: Even though companies are aiming for an agile way of working, and by that mainly focusing on providing value to their customers, it is challenging to get accurate customer data. Software companies are struggling in effectively and efficiently integrating customer feedback in their development processes. The purpose of the study was therefore to describe and understand structured approaches whose purpose is to achieve incremental improvements to the company’s offer through the integration of customer feedback into different functional units. The study primarily focused on SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) companies working B2B. Moreover, the master thesis was conducted as a multiple-case study where the research methods included literature review, selection of five case companies, and semi-structured interviews. The analysis of the empirical data showed six general shortcomings pervading the companies: unstructured documentation, lack of data-driven prioritisation, insufficient validation, lack of routines for collecting feedback, insufficient use of quantitative collection methods, and inefficient communication of superordinate goals. Furthermore, five factors affecting the approaches of collection and integration of customer feedback in a given company were identified. These included: company characteristics, customer characteristics, offer characteristics, type of network, and market maturity level. Lastly, recommendations that could be applied by companies were provided in terms of a conceptual model for collection and integration of customer feedback, as well as five further recommendations. The recommendations emphasised the importance of the role as product manager, active participation of R&D, focus on both customers and users, communication of superordinate goals, and taking advantage of cloud setups.
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