Ideation Software vs. Customer Intimacy


“The customer only knows what she thinks she wants based on her experience with the current product. The innovator can take into account everything that’s possible, but often must go against what she knows to be true.” (Ben Horowitz, from his book ‘The Hard Thing About Hard Things’)

I’ve spent much of my career in product management roles and have spent countless hours trying to build winning product roadmaps. One of the toughest parts of the roadmap exercise is explaining to a big customer or to sales why the feature they need soooo badly didn’t make the list.

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Deflecting Negative Reviews From Social Media


Improving on customer support and reducing bad experiences are two things that all businesses strive to do. Victoria Rossi, Managing Editor at Software Advice, recently wrote an article about tactics companies are using to successfully intercept or deflect negative online reviews. “Honest feedback can be a great way to help a business grow and improve, even when it’s negative,” Rossi says. “But when that feedback appears online, it can also really hurt companies. The companies and experts I spoke with had some great feedback-gathering tools to help keep customer complaints in-house, so that owners and managers can make preventative adjustments before complaints get to social review sites.”

To keep complaints off social media, where they will stay forever, Ms. Rossi suggests making it very easy for customers to complain directly to you. This makes a lot of sense and is one of the reasons companies are deploying customer community forums.  Here’s how a customer forum can help:

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Ultimate Vanilla Forums Theme Guide

Ever wanted to customize your Vanilla Forum theme more? Are you curious how to use conditional elements? Move your search box? Change the location of your side panel? Customize the look and feel for Q & A  or Ranks? We have constructed a guide that brings together all the tricks, tips and hints into one document. We hope this guide will let you tap into your creativity so you can take your theme to the next level. Continue reading

The DOs and DON’Ts When Making Changes to Your Community


In a recent meeting with a client, I was asked ‘What can we do to increase engagement.” It’s a question that we get a lot and one that sometimes leads to a difficult conversation about ‘change’. Sometimes you can make improvements by adding things but often you have to change things and change can be difficult.

Here are some DOs and DON’Ts to help make sure that changes to your online community have a positive outcome:

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Creating A Membership Only Forum with Your WordPress Site

Members Only
Do you have an amazing WordPress blog or site where you offer premium content? With over 20% of people choosing WordPress for blogging or as a CMS platform, at some point you may consider adding a forum too.  If you are ready to add a forum, the following are some things to consider:

Before we start “charging” ahead…

Making a forum part of an existing and thriving premium blog can be a great idea. People have already shown interest in paying for access, so adding a forum is an extra perk. It should also make it easier to get people engaged and there are relationships likely already formed that can thrive from now having a “space of their own”.

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