Do you ever contact users regarding new idea submissions?

  • 10 October 2022
  • 3 replies

Userlevel 1
Badge +1

When users submit new ideas via the Portal, they don’t always provide enough information to understand their idea/request. How do you handle these insights? Do you ever reach out to the user (via email) to gather more information? 

I’ve been considering developing an internal process for this, but I am usually not involved with customer communications. I would at least need a template for the email and we’d need to include something in our use-facing documentation so users expect this and aren’t taken by surprise… right?

I’d love to know how others handle this and if it’s worth the effort. Please share!

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3 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +13

@Ashley at Tevera surprised no one has chimed in here, so I’ll share my thoughts based on my past experiences as a PM.

  • generally nothing wrong with reaching out to get more clarity when needed. I’m sure your customers and/or stakeholders would be thrilled to share or chat more with your team. Ideally your portal cards can help you with not needing to do this too much -- a good description with a clear call-to-action or outline of what feedback you need can help a ton.
  • I usually use the comments on a note to record that I’ve reached out the person and to record any other followups and also suggest tagging notes where that reachout has happened so you can find them (and a collection in Productboard).
  • your customer newsletters, communications, or your blog, can be a great place to communicate your approach plus how and when you might reach out and expectations.
  • create new notes in Productboard with new learnings from the conversations and get them processed quickly so the team can leverage those insights.
  • on the email side, I’d suggest keeping it brief and to the point while making it worth their while to respond. You could include:
    • a clear intro that tells them why your reaching out
    • tell them what you want
    • ask for their availability if you want to connect over a call and share a link (e.g. Calendly) where they can book time easily, and let them know you only need a short amount of time (e.g. 15 minutes)
    • A suggested email example below:

Hi {customer name},

I see you recently shared portal feedback. I’m interested in getting some more details about your experience and needs about {list the topic, feature here}. Do you have some time next week for a brief 15-20 minute call over Zoom? If so, you can book a time here: {insert link to Calendly}

Userlevel 6
Badge +13

I’m going to have to 100% agree with @scott.baldwin on this one. 

Seeking clarity is never a bad idea, especially in the situations where you’ve come up with a few potential solutions but need someone to “scope the funnel” so that you’re appropriately targeting the right pain points. From the general product manager/maker perspective, asking for a quick 15-30 minute discussion and giving them access to your Calendly is going to show that you value their perspective and genuinely care about their pain point that you both want to solve. 😊

From the Productboard-perspective, Scott nailed it across the board. Making sure that your portal cards are well-defined and have a strong prompt/call-to-action about specific feedback can really form that “funnel” without much effort from you or your team members. 

And look at that… Scott even gave you a straightforward template. That’s pretty much streamlined from end-to-end. You can’t go wrong with any of the advice, but wanted to echo my support as well.

Userlevel 1
Badge +1

Big thanks to both of you, @scott.baldwin and @david.morgan! I will definitely be moving forward with your suggestions.