Category Archives: Philosophy

4 Ways Product Management Can Leverage Online Communities

Leveraging your community for product management (2)

As a former product marketer, I understand the delicate balance of gathering valuable market research, managing a backlog of enhancement requests coming from multiple departments including support, marketing, sales and more and staying true to the mandate of the product.

People are more connected, and the ease with which people can share their feedback grows, in turn increasing the noise. So how can you, product managers and marketers turn the noise into a positive force in delivering excellent products that delight your customers and meet your business goals? Continue reading

Smart Customer Service for Smart Products

Smart customer service for smart products

My wife gave me a smartwatch for my birthday. It does all kinds of cool things: it displays text messages, tracks my steps and lets me hail an Uber. The watch I usually wear, a “dumb” watch, costs 10x more and doesn’t do much. In fact, it doesn’t even have a battery and stops working if its not worn for a couple days.  

A fancy watch can be made by a watchmaker. A smart watch is made by a team of people within a company that rely on a global supply chain and a collection of third party developers that provide the apps.   Continue reading

Enhancing Your Existing Support Channels Digitally

Enhancing your existing support channels digitally

When respected publications like Harvard Business Review discuss crafting great “digital customer experiences”, the issue is now well entrenched into the corporate world.

Digital transformation is adding technical complexity to many things that were once simple and disconnected. Everyday appliances are getting “smart”. What was once a simple heating/cooling system is now a sophisticated environmental control tool: think Nest and Smart Bulb. Even washing machines from Samsung and Whirlpool are now connected.

Everyday services such as insurance and banking are all moving towards online transactions instead of slow and error prone paper processes.  All organizations are becoming technological to a certain extent. Having a web presence is no longer a nice to have. It’s now vital to the very survival of your organization. The alternative means almost certain obsolescence. Continue reading

Forums in a World of Social Media Support

Last week was a momentous moment in social customer service. Apple Support joined Twitter. Apple, for many years, had a support community, but the push to social media was seen somehow as Apple “finally” offering a public support channel.

The truth is, opening a Twitter account is really just following the concept of omni-channel marketing, being where your customers are.

Sure, we are a forum software company, so we have an interest in the forum community space. However, it’s also clear there is space for both forums and social media.

As the Apple Support channel on Twitter has shown quickly, Twitter is just another channel to funnel people into their other channels.

Apple Support Twitter

Twitter is a great way for people to feel they can be heard quickly, but the real work will happen in their community forums, their ticketing system and email. Continue reading