How we used Hotjar to pick up on a potentially critical payments issue and resolve it within an hour. This guide details a simple-but-effective morning coffee ritual for Product Managers to stay on top of new issues.
|🔥 Who’s this guide for:||
|🔥 What you’ll get out of it:||
🔥 What you’ll be doing:
Here’s what’s in the guide:
- Why Sam, Hotjar PM, starts his day with Incoming Feedback
- Set up Incoming Feedback
- Get Incoming Feedback visibility where your team works
- Pro tip - Using Hotjar Recordings to debug issues you’ve found via Incoming Feedback
Why Sam, Hotjar PM, starts his day with Incoming Feedback
Let’s begin with a mandatory inspirational quote.
“Feedback is the breakfast of champions” - Ken Blanchard
The modern product team, and specifically its Product Manager, needs to be hungry for knowledge. Specifically, the kind of knowledge that empowers them to make better decisions on what to work on next, and what to fix for users.
I asked Sam, one of Hotjar’s Product Managers, about how he uses Incoming Feedback. He told me about his morning ritual of looking at new feedback with his morning coffee: “I want to see if anything’s broken that I need to know about.” I dug a bit deeper and asked him why he feels he needs to stay on top of these issues.
But Sam! Can’t you just rely on metrics to tell you when something’s wrong? Why get feedback?
During one instance of this morning feedback ritual, fortified with his coffee, Sam picked up on something alarming.
Incoming Feedback from a user told Sam that payments might be broken… ie. we need to look into this now.
1. Set up Incoming Feedback
Your first step is to set up Incoming Feedback. It’s essentially a real-time suggestion box for your product or your site. There’s one on this very page you’re reading, over on the right ⏩ 👉
The widget is designed to be lightweight for your user. Users can open it and give their feedback whenever they want—quickly and visually. It allows them to express their emotion, as well.
Need help setting up Incoming Feedback?
For a step-by-step guide on setting up your Incoming Feedback widget, head to How to Create your First Incoming Feedback Widget.
2. Get Incoming Feedback visibility where your team works
A note about integrations
In this guide, we’ll be using Hotjar’s Slack integration for this step. If your team’s not on Slack we’ve also got email forwarding options to make sure your feedback lands with the right folks on your team.
Want to send Incoming Feedback to another comms or collaboration tool? Let us know where.
To have your Incoming Feedback for breakfast like Sam, you could log in to Hotjar and look at your Incoming Feedback responses. You'll also have the option to enable auto-forwarding feedback responses into Slack to give you more immediacy and the ability to sync with your team.
Set up a new Incoming Feedback widget, or edit an existing Incoming Feedback widget.
To integrate Hotjar with Slack, look for the forwarding option in your Incoming Feedback widget setup. There will be an option to ‘Receive feedback responses via Slack’—go ahead and toggle that on.
Want more info on the Slack integration?
Here is everything you need to know about using Hotjar with Slack.
Route Incoming Feedback to a Slack channel.
We recommend using a general ‘#incoming-feedback channel’, and then using the Reacji Channeler app (it’s free, and built by Slack) to route incoming feedback to the people who need to see it.
Reacji automatically copies your Slack post (in this case your users’ feedback) to certain channels based on an emoji that you react with—great if you want to raise awareness of the critical issue. The way we’ve set ours up is with custom emoji for all our product teams (see the screenshot below).
What to do with critical issues that arise in Incoming Feedback.
So now you’ve got the Incoming Feedback widget live on your site, and you’ve got forwarding to Slack enabled, the next time you browse your #incoming-feedback channel with your morning coffee you’ll be ready to look out for critical issues your users are pointing out. Here’s what Sam does next when something looks urgent:
In our high priority case of the user who couldn’t pay, Sam got the issue on our revenue product squad’s radar using their team’s reacji, and the squad’s PM resolved the issue within an hour and got back to the customer directly. Turned out it was a mixup of account permissions. The point is we got it solved pronto, and Sam got ahead of it thanks to Incoming Feedback. ✅
3. Pro tip - Using Hotjar Recordings to debug issues you’ve found via Incoming Feedback
We’re looking at improving this workflow with your help
We’re calling this section a ‘pro tip’ because the method is a little complex and takes some manual clicking around. We’d love your feedback on how we can make it better. Drop us a line here💡
In this last step, we’re going a level deeper to understand the pain point the user points out in their critical Incoming feedback. Using info we can gather from the Incoming Feedback response, we’ll be going into Recordings to see if we can find the user session and check out what’s going wrong for the user. Here’s Sam again on why this can be valuable.
New to Recordings?
Hotjar Recordings are renderings of real actions taken by your users as they browse your site or app. Recordings capture mouse movement, clicks, taps, and scrolling across multiple pages on desktop and mobile devices.
Connect respondent feedback to other data about their session.
This will allow you to match a user’s feedback to the session in which they gave their feedback. Make sure you’ve enabled the option in your Incoming Feedback widget to automatically connect respondent feedback to other session data.
Picked up on critical issues via Incoming Feedback? Find the Hotjar User ID.
In all your Incoming Feedback responses you’ll see a system-generated Hotjar User ID. Copy it.
Filter your Recordings list by Hotjar User ID using the ID you just copied.
Go to Recordings and filter your list by the same Hotjar User ID to see Recordings from that user if available, as shown below:
Found the session? Nice. If not, and you’re seeing multiple sessions recordings for this ID, try this.
If there are multiple sessions recorded of this user, then layer on another Recordings filter: the Incoming Feedback filter, and specify ‘hate’ or ‘dislike’ to see if you can pinpoint the exact session where they left their feedback about the issue.
Want the lowdown on Recording filters?
Have a read of our guide What are Recording filters? for more info.
If you’ve found the session recording that corresponds to where your user left negative feedback, you’ll be able to take note of what they were experiencing and provide context to the rest of your product team when you’re scoping a fix.
- What actions preceded the user leaving their feedback? Did you see them u-turn because they were confused about where they were going? Were they rage-clicking because something didn’t work?
- What happened after they left their feedback? Did they need to find a workaround? Did they quit entirely?
Linking feedback responses to session recordings
Hotjar displays Incoming Feedback and Survey widgets to all targeted users, regardless of your plan. This means that any responses submitted by a user will be captured, whether or not the user’s session was tracked by Recordings. Since Recordings may not track all your users, you might find that some Feedback responses do not have any corresponding session recordings.
If using Hotjar to find and resolve issues is something you’re keen on, let us know what you need— we’re looking into making this better.
Words by Alex Jost - Product Marketer @Hotjar
Big thanks to Sam Bower, PM @ Hotjar