How Figma leverages AI to scale its product feedback loops

Tiffany Go
Head of Product Marketing
September 20, 2023

Our CEO, Varun sat down with Michael, who leads the Research Ops and Insights team at Figma to learn how his team is leveraging AI to scale its product feedback loops. During their conversation, Michael shared his journey for establishing and scaling a voice of customer program and his perspective on how AI can power a user-focused product strategy in the present and future.

Starting the Voice of Customer function at Figma

As Figma was launching the FigJam beta, Michael was hired to build a Voice of Customer program to organize and make sense of all the incoming customer feedback.

To start, Michael focused on these core challenges, many of which are common for companies that aspire to build great products.

  • Where do I find feedback? Many folks didn’t know where feedback was shared and how to find submitted feedback.
  • No single source of truth. There are too many places to look and people to ask to find relevant feedback.
  • Feedback is good. Feedback with context is better. Feedback without context rarely inspires action, creating a frustrating result for everyone involved.
  • Closing the loop isn’t great. Internal teams aren’t totally bought into the practice of sharing feedback because they’re not sure how it’s used.

These challenges might seem small on their own, but for a company like Figma that focuses on building with their users, these challenges add up. Solving these challenges isn’t just a nice-to-have; it's key to keeping their user-focused culture strong as Figma grows.

The building blocks of a Voice of Customer program

So how is Michael tackling these challenges at Figma? The team is taking a page from the Voice of the Customer strategy pioneers, who back in the '80s and '90s laid the groundwork for a customer-centric approach in business.

While the tools and technologies have evolved, the core principles of putting customers at the center of the loop remain the same.

  1. Listen: Collect customer feedback from various channels (social, surveys, sales, and support interactions).
  2. Understand: Make sense of feedback to gain a deep understanding of customer needs.
  3. Act: Product builders prioritize new products or improvements to existing products to solve customer needs.
  4. Respond: Communicate with customers to ensure they feel heard and valued, leading to satisfaction and loyalty.

Scaling Voice of Customer is part of Figma’s product strategy

Scaling a VoC program isn't just about collecting more data or involving more teams; it is about knowing where to focus and which audiences to prioritize. Michael tackled this challenge head-on by organizing the VoC initiatives and tools around three core capabilities:

  • Alignment Conduct a ranking exercise as an input to each planning cycle
  • Awareness Standardizing the feedback loop between customer-facing teams and product builders to foster trust and increase awareness
  • Analysis Aggregate and automatically label feedback using Enterpret as the single source of truth for customer feedback

Michael’s tips for scaling your VoC program

  1. Customize to Optimize: Start by diving deep into the intricacies of your existing product development cycle and organizational culture. Grasp how customer insights are currently woven into each stage. This foundational knowledge will empower you to craft a VoC strategy that's not just effective, but tailored to your organization's unique strengths and needs.
  2. Think Infrastructure, Not Gatekeeper: Design your VoC program as a scalable platform that serves the entire organization, rather than a bottleneck or a function limited to one department. This mindset shift is crucial for avoiding common pitfalls and for enabling cross-functional success.
  3. Minimize Friction, Maximize Value: The goal is to make engagement with the VoC program as effortless as possible for all roles involved. Whether it's a straightforward feedback capture method for sales or real-time delivery of insights to product teams via tools like Asana, aim to add value without adding complexity or extra steps.

The practical power of AI in streamlining customer feedback

Manually tagging and labeling customer feedback is often a tedious, low-value task. It's a common bottleneck that hampers the effectiveness of many customer insights programs. That's where AI, and specifically a tool like Enterpret, comes into play.

“Enterpret automatically aggregated our feedback and labeled it accurately. It unlocked all of these use cases we always wanted but couldn’t attain due to bad data. Even better, we were pleasantly surprised by other use cases we weren’t expecting.”

Unlocking use cases across the product feedback lifecycle

With Enterpret as the singel source of truth for customer feedback Figma is able to unlock a wide range of use cases using Enterpret.

  • VoC is used to corroborate top down and bottoms up planning: Half of the company wide objectives reference VoC as insights motivating their strategy
  • Supporting teams that typically struggle to find customer feedback: Standardized VoC workflows has transformed the way the partnership teams collects and acts on integration requests
  • Facilitating deeper connections between customers and product: PMs and PMMs are able to easily identify customers for betas and who can then be showcased for customer stories during launch using VoC data
  • VoC is included in new hire onboarding for PMs and Designers: PMs are empowered with the established process and are able to triage VoC feedback with less handholding
  • Unlocking new ways qualitative data is used to make decisions: Customer feedback is connected to revenue data to inform business decisions like pricing and packaging strategy for a big launch
  • Our VoC infrastructure positions Figma to leverage AI: Experimenting with GPT to automate routing and triage process

Key benefits of using Enterpret

Michael and the Figma team are seeing these benefits since using Enterpret:

  • Dynamic Taxonomy Updates: One of Enterpret's standout features is its flexible taxonomy. You can easily update it to label new topics you want to track. It retroactively labels past feedback based on these new topics. The team has integrated this into their release checklists, ensuring that Enterpret dashboards are ready to go on launch day.
  • Rapid Customer Intuition: Forget the old-school approach of spending a day answering support tickets to understand your customers. With Enterpret, the ability to query and find out what users are saying about specific product areas or features across all channels is possible in just hours. This has been invaluable for onboarding new PMs and designers, helping them quickly tune their product sense.
  • Free Up Time for Value-Added Activities: By automating the tagging and labeling process, Enterpret frees up team members to focus on more impactful activities. Whether it's directly assisting customers or diving into new research, the time saved is now redirected toward generating new insights rather than just organizing existing information. By leveraging AI and the specific capabilities of Enterpret, we've not only streamlined our feedback processes but also unlocked new, data-driven opportunities. These range from real-time planning workshops to personalized follow-up campaigns, all fueled by more organized and actionable customer insights.

Michael shares, “With Enterpret powering Voice of Customer we're democratizing feedback and making it accessible for everyone across product, customer success, marketing, and leadership to provide evidence and add credibility to their strategies and roadmaps.”

Future-proofing your product strategy with AI

The benefits of using AI in your VoC program aren't just immediate; it also lays the groundwork for more advanced capabilities and strategic opportunities down the line.

For example, Michael imagines a future where any team member can interact with a bot trained on customer feedback. This bot could search and synthesize vast amounts of qualitative data, on-demand and provide real-time insights that inform decision-making across the organization. But, to get to this state, a solid foundation is needed - that's where the steps of aggregating and labeling your feedback become critical to unlocking these opportunities.

For teams to get to this future state, Michael believes investing in AI today is critical for paving the way for future innovations that can transform how your organization understands and responds to customer needs. By investing in AI-driven tools like Enterpret today, Michael is setting Figma up for a future where the sky's the limit in terms of what they are able to achieve with customer insights.

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Wisdom saves me hours every week. With 'Summarize with Wisdom,' I can condense feedback with a single click, replacing the tedious process of reading through hundreds of tickets. It’s life-changing!
Jil McKinney
Director of Customer Support, Descript
Before Enterpret, organizing research data took an entire day. Now, research synthesis is 83% faster - it takes just 15 minutes to pull the data and another 15 minutes to start synthesizing. Enterpret removes the manual work, allowing me to focus on strategic thinking with a clear mind.
Mike McNasby
User Research Lead, Descript
We are laser-focused on giving customers more than they expect through a hospitality-first, individualized approach to drive retention and loyalty. Enterpret has allowed us to stitch together a full picture of the customer, including feedback and reviews from multiple data points. We now can super-serve our loyal customers in a way that we have never been able to before.
Anna Esrov
Vice President of Customer Experience & Loyalty
Enterpret allowed us to listen to specific issues and come closer to our Members - prioritizing feedback which needed immediate attention, when it came to monitoring reception of new releases: Enterpret picked up insights for new updates and became the eyes of whether new systems and functionality were working well or not.
Louise Sellars
Analyst, Customer Insights
Enterpret is one of the most powerful tools in our toolkit. It's very Member-friendly. We've been able to share how other teams can modify and self-serve in Enterpret. It's bridged a gap to getting access to Member feedback, and I see all our teams finding ways to use Enterpret to answer Member-related questions.
Dina Mohammad-Laity
VP of Data
The big win-win is our VoC program enabled us to leverage our engineering resources to ship significantly awesome and valuable features while minimizing bug fixes and" keep the lights on" work. Magnifying and focusing on the 20% that causes the impact is like finding the needle in a haystack, especially when you have issues coming from all over the place
Abishek Viswanathan
Since launching our Voice of Customer program six months ago, our team has dropped our human inquiry rate by over 40%, improved customer satisfaction, and enabled our team to allocate resources to building features that increase LTV and revenue.
Abishek Viswanathan
Enterpret's Gong Integration is a game changer on so many levels. The automated labeling of feedback saves dozens of hours per week. This is essential in creating a customer feedback database for analytics.
Michael Bartimer
Revenue Operations Lead
Enterpret has made it so much easier to understand our customer feedback. Every month I put together a Voice of Customer report on feedback trends. Before Enterpret it would take me two weeks - with Enterpret I can get it done in 3 days.
Maya Bakir
Product Operations, Notion
The Enterpret platform is like the hero team of data analysts you always wanted - the ability to consolidate customer feedback from diverse touch points and identify both ongoing and emerging trends to ensure we focus on and build the right things has been amazing. We love the tools and support to help us train the results to our unique business and users and the Enterpret team is outstanding in every way.
Larisa Sheckler
COO, Samsung Food
Enterpret makes it easy to understand and prioritize the most important feedback themes. Having data organized in one place, make it easy to dig into the associated feedback to deeply understand the voice of customer so we can delight users, solve issues, and deliver on the most important requests.
Lauren Cunningham
Head of Support and Ops
With Enterpret powering Voice of Customer we're democratizing feedback and making it accessible for everyone across product, customer success, marketing, and leadership to provide evidence and add credibility to their strategies and roadmaps.
Michael Nguyen
Head of Research Ops and Insights, Figma
Boll & Branch takes pride in being a data driven company and Enterpret is helping us unlock an entirely new source of data. Enterpret quantifies our qualitative data while still keeping customer voice just a click away, adding valuable context and helping us get a more complete view of our customers.
Matheson Kuo
Senior Product Analyst, Boll & Branch
Enterpret has transformed our ability to use feedback to prioritize customers and drive product innovation. By using Enterpret to centralize our data, it saves us time, eliminates manual tagging, and boosts accuracy. We now gain near real-time insights, measure product success, and easily merge feedback categories. Enterpret's generative AI technology has streamlined our processes, improved decision-making, and elevated customer satisfaction
Nathan Yoon
Business Operations,
Enterpret helps us have a holistic view from our social media coverage, to our support tickets, to every single interaction that we're plugging into it. Beyond just keywords, we can actually understand: what are the broader sentiments? What are our users saying?
Emma Auscher
Global VP of Customer Experience, Notion
The advantage of Enterpret is that we’re not relying entirely on human categorization. Enterpret is like a second brain that is looking out for themes and trends that I might not be thinking about.
Misty Smith
Head of Product Operations, Notion
As a PM, I want to prioritize work that benefits as many of our customers as possible. It can be too easy to prioritize based on the loudest customer or the flavor of the moment. Because Enterpret is able to compress information across all of our qualitative feedback sources, I can make decisions that are more likely to result in positive outcomes for the customer and our business.
Duncan Stewart
Product Manager
We use Enterpret for our VoC & Root Cause Elimination Program. It's helping us solve the issues of aggregating disparate sources of feedback (often tens of thousands per month) and distilling it into specific reasons, with trends, so we can see if our product fixes are delivering impact.
Nathan Yoon
Business Operations,