“Shake it off” may be a useful mantra in achieving calm in your everyday life, but if you’re a product manager, UXer, or any other person trying to improve your product, “haters gonna hate” is not a helpful refrain.

Collecting feedback from your users is perhaps the most important thing you can do in order to drive continuous improvement and growth. But anyone in the business of collecting feedback will be familiar with the dilemma of how much weight to assign certain voices. You can’t simply discount the “haters.” After all, their gripes may be your best weapon to fight churn. “Look, there are all these people that love my product!” you might say, but does that push you toward innovation? And what about those who are using the competition’s product? What can be learned from them?

In our poll this week, we wanted to find out which group is the best source for product feedback – lovers, haters, or those who use the competitor? 51% percent voted for the haters, a sense that customer complaints still drive a lot of products. 22% voted to look at the competitor’s users for feedback, and the other 27% think that your product’s lovers are the best source of feedback.

Depends on Your Objective

All of the above; however, if I need to prioritize my resources, I would rank the source according to my strategic objectives. For example, am I looking to drive a competitive takeaway initiative – well competitor information for sure.  Am I looking to retain and grow share of wallet with existing customers – well, better know who loves and hates it.

Kristen Butzow

Product Coach, Pragmatic Marketing

All of the above

I agree with Kirsten that all of the above are important sources of intelligence. Those that hate and those that love will likely have respective distortion fields that influence the feedback. Much like Yelp, the most valuable reviews are usually the 3 stars that give a balanced perspective – not the 1 star or 5 stars at the extremes.

Patrick Tickle

CPO, Planview