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Feature Request

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How do you write a feature request?

💬

What is a feature request?

A feature request is a comment, message, or ask from a user to implement a specific feature into your product. Feature requests can be used to decide how to iterate on an existing product.

Alongside finding a channel for reaching out to the developer, users must be descriptive about a feature request in these ways:

  • State clearly what the feature is

  • Describe how it might work

  • Explain what problem the feature would solve

  • Describe a scenario that shows the proposed feature at work

abstract/users emoji

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How do you raise a feature request?

For requests to be raised, your team needs a system in place for making these suggestions in a way that everyone on your team can quickly see. For instance, GitHub makes it easy to request features that your entire team of collaborators can see. 

How do you ask a customer for a feature request?

There are several ways to ask your customers for feature requests. First, you must have some form of open communication between you and your customers. Even if it's an automated chatbot, having a Contact Us page where users can submit requests is key. 

Second, look through user reviews. Here customers will leave direct ("Please add form optimization") or even indirect ("It takes too long to fill out forms") requests for new features. 

How do you prioritize client feature requests?

The methodology for prioritizing feature requests will vary by your team's approach and requirements. Generally, though, a hierarchy might look like this:

  1. Major bug and security fixes

  2. Minor bug and security fixes

  3. Small features and touch-ups that can be implemented in the short-term

  4. Major features and redesigns that can be implemented over the long-term

Feature request examples and templates

Feature request templates are a great way to structure the feedback your team receives from users.

Without one, you'll find it difficult to collect and structure feedback from customer support and product review channels.

Most feature request collection apps provide templates for structuring the feedback you receive

If you're looking for inspiration for writing effective internal feature requests, you can skim through this page.

Templating feature requests makes managing feature requests much more sustainable.

Via a feature request template, requests arrive as structured, complete data — making managing feature requests easier for product managers. A feature request template should feed directly into the feature management system and include:

Details about the requester

1.Requested by

2.Request channel

3.Request date

4.Requesters contact details

Details about the feature

5.The product the request is for (a predefined list of products)

6.The function(s) the request relates to  (a predefined list of functions)

Details about the request

7.Request name

8.Type of request (a bug, an enhancement, a new feature)

9.A detailed explanation of the request

10.  Helpful attachments

Details about the evaluation

11.  Request status

12.  Request priority

13.  Effort required

14. Request outcome 

Top tips for managing feature requests

Feature requests can come through various channels and from diverse sources. Emails from sales teams based on feedback from their contacts, messages directly through your product from users, and even comments from colleagues.

Managing feature requests starts with standardizing these channels and collecting feature requests into one place for evaluation. Evaluation starts by categorizing the requests. There are three basic types of requests:

1.    Broken features (bugs)

2.    Enhanced features

3.    New features

The team then prioritizes requests. Letting a user change the background color is less important than a critical security patch. Prioritization is discussed in more detail later.

Product managers then need to decide on the correct response to the feature request. Is this feature already planned, or a duplicate request? Does it need to be incorporated into the development roadmap? Perhaps the feature already exists but needs to be more visible.

Properly managing feature requests means closing the loop. The requester should get a  response (personally if possible) thanking them and with the result of their request.

How to respond to a feature request 

Responding to a feature request is known as "closing the loop". When closing the loop, it's important to acknowledge the feedback, let the user know if/how their feedback is being addressed ("We already have a plan to implement this in the next update!"), and then end the conversation. 

Reach out to airfocus for tools to help you organize, structure, and refine your feature management process.

abstract/users emoji

Get our Customer Feedback eBook

A comprehensive look into all the core topics of customer feedback: what is it, how to collect it, what types of feedback we have and many tips and common mistakes you should avoid when you want to work with customer feedback effectively.

Get the eBook

Feature Request

General FAQ

What to expect once you've opened an issue?
Once you've opened an issue, you can expect a response from a team manager and a follow-up on when/how the issue will be addressed.
What types of feature requests are there?
The different types of feature requests are bugs, improvement suggestions, and new feature requests.

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