How to capture and prioritize customer ideas

Note: Depending on your workspace type, this article may refer to Aha! record types differently than your team does. 

Customer feedback often drives innovation. But managing ideas goes beyond just capturing feedback. It also requires storing, sorting, and determining the next great idea to include in your roadmap — the one that will bring joy to your customers and value to your business.

You likely already receive feedback and new ideas in a number of ways. Perhaps the ideas are scattered everywhere — sticky notes, emails, spreadsheets, or even tucked way back in your head. So, ideas are never properly reviewed, or worse, lost all together.

Aha! eases this pain by providing a unified system for capturing and scoring ideas. Once ideas have been prioritized, they can be promoted to features for development. As progress is made by the engineering team, customers are notified that their idea is being worked on.

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This use case explains how to create an ideas portal and enable your customers to submit ideas, prioritize the ideas you receive, promote them to your roadmap, and keep everyone in the loop as the ideas are developed. 

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Step 1: Create an ideas portal

Get started by creating an ideas portal. You can add one or more workspaces to your portal or create one or more portals for each workspace — the choice is yours. Follow the steps below to capture and prioritize customer ideas.

  • Create an ideas portal and enable the ideas menu in your Aha! account.
  • Choose your portal type.
    • Submit only: Creates a form that users can fill out to submit new ideas. Choose this option if you want a central place to collect bug reports for triage, collect private feedback on a new beta product, or to embed a feedback form in your own application.
    • Private: Creates a portal that is only available to registered customers of specific, predefined email domains. A private portal is useful if you want to provide a way for select groups (employees, partners, key customers, etc.) to provide feedback and new ideas. Private portals can still capture feedback from a wider audience through use of proxy votes.
    • Public: Creates a portal that is visible and available to anyone who knows the URL. Choose this option if you want anyone to have the opportunity to submit ideas — while also having the ability to vote and openly discuss with other users. To see an example, check out the Aha! ideas portal.
  • Customize your ideas portal so customers feel like it is a natural extension of your product, project, service or brand.
    • Settings: Customize the header of your ideas portal and define a custom URL.
    • Portal branding: Take full control of the look of your portal by adding your own HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
    • Email communications: Choose to include your company name in the From field, add your company's colors, or personalize your portal's notification email templates.
    • Terminology: Override the default button and field names throughout your portal.

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Step 2: Collect ideas from customers, colleagues, and partners

Unlimited portal users are included with every Aha! plan. This means that you can have customers, colleagues, or stakeholders use your portal(s) to submit ideas and provide feedback in a central place.

In addition to customers submitting ideas through your portal(s), you can also collect ideas through the following ways:

  • Salesforce integration: Sales and support teams can use Salesforce to submit requests to Aha! while automatically having the opportunity value added as well.
  • Zendesk integration: Enables your customer support team to add ideas to Aha! via Zendesk or link to existing ones.
  • Email: Allows anyone to submit ideas by emailing the unique email address assigned to your ideas portal.
  • Proxy votes: Once enabled, any user in a private ideas portal can add votes to an idea on behalf of someone else. Portal users will be automatically subscribed to ideas they add proxy votes to, and can keep their contacts informed as the ideas are updated. 

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Step 3: Discover trending ideas

Once people start using your ideas portal, you will quickly realize the value — a clear path to understanding what they want to see in your product, program or service. But it is ultimately up to you to decide which ideas matter most. Capturing good ideas is not enough. They also need to be vetted. Aha! has numerous reporting capabilities built in to help you do this — so you can organize, visualize, and analyze the ideas.

  • Use our powerful reporting capabilities to discover customer trends. Visualize the most requested ideas by themes and identify popular ideas based on recent votes.

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Step 4: Review and respond to ideas

Now that you are collecting ideas and analyzing trends, it is time to get busy. People are going to want to know what happened to their suggestion. But do not panic as the ideas pour in — Aha! helps you review every single customer idea. Put a plan in place to review what has been submitted on a weekly basis. This will help you be responsive and drive innovation.

  • Prioritize ideas: Use the Aha! scorecard — informed in part by the popularity of the request — to rank new ideas.

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Step 5: Promote important ideas to your roadmap

Once you rank ideas by their business value and effort, you need to promote the high-value ones to features so they can be implemented.

  • Promote ideas: When a feature is created, a link is established between the idea and the feature. This ensures that everyone who is following the idea is automatically notified when it is implemented.

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Step 6: Keep customers up to date

You no longer need to manually provide status updates to everyone who has given you an idea. Aha! gives you a powerful, built-in notification system that helps you automatically close the loop. When a user creates, votes on, or comments on an idea in your portal, they become a subscriber to that idea. Subscribers are notified of important status changes as the idea progresses through different statuses (e.g. future consideration, planned, shipped).

You should now be able to create an ideas portal and start capturing requests. Providing customers and the team with one place to send ideas gives them all a voice. And it gives you a way to capture and prioritize what matters most.  

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