The Challenge: Ongoing feedback from customers is essential. Have you integrated Forums into your Voice of Customer, (VoC) feedback process?
As businesses including AmEx and Pinterest have recently demonstrated, socially engaged customers are the most valuable customers. But driving revenue isn’t the only advantage of engaging your customers. Engaged customers are an essential source of VoC feedback, and product forums are an ideal way to engage them on a continual basis.
Product forums have been around for years. But mobile product designer Jawbone has pioneered innovative ways to use forums for 24/7 VoC research. In recent years, they had extraordinary success with their Bluetooth headsets and speakers. Unfortunately, Jawbone had much more difficulty last year when they launched UP, a wristband that tracked steps, meals and sleep patterns, and synced with user iPhones. It was a revolutionary idea, but it didn’t work.
Jawbone offered refunds to customers who purchased the UP band, and they conducted a thorough survey of everybody who requested a refund. More importantly, they invited customers who took their survey to join an exclusive product development forum. By doing so, they ensured that their new forum would be populated by customers who were eager to engage.
Jawbone Insiders is an exclusive forum that allows customers to provide continual feedback into product development and design. It includes directed activities like surveys and polls, as well as forums where customers can freely contribute ideas and feedback.
Forums like Jawbone Insiders can give all marketers an instant snapshot of their customers’ desires and needs, as well as indicating areas that require more in-depth VoC research.
BEST PRACTICES FOR VoC PRODUCT FORUMS:
» Reward Engaged Customers with Exclusive Offers
Not all customers are or will be highly engaged with your company. When you find ones who are, make sure they know that you find them special. Reward them special offers, including exclusive access to in-depth product development forums like Jawbone Insiders.
» Create Incentives for Customer Engagement
Jawbone Insiders incentivizes nearly every survey and poll with drawings and prizes. The possibility of winning a free product drives customer participation–and it’s an inexpensive proposition for most businesses.
» Communicate How Customer Feedback Drives Product Development
To maintain long-term engagement, make sure your customers know how their feedback is impacting your product development. When you release new products, tell customers which features you owe to their feedback. And don’t forget to say “Thank You”!
Unfortunately, Jawbone has neglected to provide any feedback or support for the UP wristband. Forums are a 2 way street, I would consider adding “Provide Feedback and Customer Support” to the “Best Practices” section of your article.
I purchased 4 UP Bracelets, 1 for myself and 3 for gifts. I submitted for credits of $150 per UP Bracelet per the CEO email and they never paid me. I have emailed a bunch of times and they always respond that they are working on it.