I’ve been working on implementing Product Management tools for the last year in one way or another. Both Productboard and JIRA Product Discovery allow you to rate the level of impact that a piece of customer feedback has. If your ratings are all over the map it can be hard to really understand what signals you are getting in your prioritization process.

In the interest of having some consistency I’ve come to like this scale for rating customer interest.

  • 0 - No interest or unknown
  • 1 - Might adopt
  • 2 - Would adopt, but not a priority
  • 3 - Would adopt immediately
  • 4 - Would drive eventual expansion
  • 5 - Would drive immediate expansion

This is skewed a little towards enterprise B2B products where the expansion and adoption decisions are a little clearer and customers take their time to adopt. You can use these to consistently gauge how much interest across a broad spectrum of people providing feedback.  Product managers, sales team, technical account managers all understand these pretty well in my experience.

There are still challenges you can run into. Customer facing teams can always try to game the numbers and over commit on their customers level of interest. Really anyone can game the numbers in these systems. If you have those problems you have bigger problems than your rating scale and you need to dig in with folks about trust and honesty for overall company outcomes.

As always we can’t just take the data we get at face value.  Numbers in these systems are an indicator to help drive discovery efforts.  A lot of customer names on an idea should drive you to talk to those customers and find their level of interest. High impact scores should drive you to dig into the details of the workflow so that you can gauge complexity. Numbers are a tool to help us be systemic in our thinking, but don’t override the art of good product management.

Good luck out there.