Innovation Comes From Listening to Customers
A big misnomer in the tech industry is that vendors are in the business of pitching their products rather than listening to their customers. Far too many companies still think of customers as additional sources of revenue and don’t spend enough time connecting with and listening to them.
At GaggleAMP, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Both customers and prospects are a consistent source for ideas on what to add, and how to tweak the platform. Marketing professionals know how they want to work, and it’s our job to enable them anyway we can. Vendors need to keep open lines of communication with customers to hear what they like, what they don’t like and what they want to see in the future.
“One of the great benefits of working with GaggleAMP, on top of social advocacy, is the fact that they are an innovative growing company, always trying to improve their services, and have always made clear to me to suggest any improvements I believe are needed as a customer,” said Katherine Stubbs, Associate Manager of Marketing Campaigns at Alert Logic.
When Alert Logic first started using the platform, Katherine let the GaggleAMP product team know which features she felt were missing. Soon enough, the team got back to her with prototypes of what she suggested, and they did in fact solve her problems.
“We trust GaggleAMP to make constant improvements to their services so that we can focus on securing our customers,” Katherine said.
There are many features that are part of GaggleAMP today that came from customer request such as the “sort activities by tag” action, the “reply to a tweet” action and more.
The product team has a distinct step-by-step strategy it takes for formulating and executing on new feature ideas for GaggleAMP.
If the team comes up with or receives an idea for a new feature, they don’t build it right away. To determine the product roadmap, they get feedback from customers and prospects through email, idea portals, scheduled calls, meeting at conferences, and more. It’s about understanding the problem these organizations face and addressing solutions in the proper order. Both the product team and the customer or prospect work together to ensure this.
After working with customers to determine what to build, the second phase of the process is to determine the best solution. The product team develops mockups, prototypes, and other materials for a solution and reviews it with a number of customers. The feedback is consolidated and is the basis for development requirements.
Customers use a beta version of the feature, and the product team makes it as easy as possible for the customer to provide feedback. Typically, both sides come up with ideas that didn’t come up in earlier discussions.
The final step of the process is to ensure steady and open communication with customers.
In order to easily get feedback, the product team implemented an “idea portal” for customers to post requests. This works in addition to contacting product team members directly via email or calls.
The way it works is customers can anonymously post any idea they want. Other customers can see these ideas and react to them by voting or commenting on them.
“[The idea portal] has allowed me to check if people have already suggested features we need, and to vote on the ideas that I would like prioritized,” Katherine said.
People can see in the idea portal where in the development process each idea is, and whether it’s in the “Likely To Implement,” “Planned” or “Implemented” phase. Once a feature is moved along, the customer who posted it will get an email notification.
The product team’s strategy of connecting with, and keeping an open dialogue with customers, not only helps improve the platform, but builds a personal rapport that you don’t typically see between between vendors and customers, said Melissa Johnson, Product Manager at GaggleAMP.
“I’ve been very happy with the response that comes from this process,” Melissa said. “It builds a relationship that goes beyond just talking about work. It also helps me know what they want. The relationships we have with our customers is so strong that if I have questions, I’ll usually get an answer in 10 minutes.”
GaggleAMP’s product team works closely with customers and prospects on improving the platform, while the the company’s customer success team works on improving customers’ employee advocacy strategy for businesses both small and large in any industry.
To learn more about how GaggleAMP improves organizations’ marketing efforts, reach out to one of our representatives.