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
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.
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.
The methodology for prioritizing feature requests will vary by your team's approach and requirements. Generally, though, a hierarchy might look like this:
Major bug and security fixes
Minor bug and security fixes
Small features and touch-ups that can be implemented in the short-term
Major features and redesigns that can be implemented over the long-term
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.
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.