Proxy votes

Not all customer feedback can come straight from the customer. Great ideas can come through a support ticket, or through conversations between your customers and internal teams. To capture that feedback, use proxy votes. 

Proxy votes let someone vote on behalf of someone else. This lets you aggregate customer feedback all in one tool.

There are two ways to think about proxy voting.

As an Aha! administrator, you will focus on enabling settings, adjusting layouts, and managing proxy votes as they are added to ideas in your internal portal. If this is you, read this article from start to finish to learn how to enable and manage proxy voting in your Aha! account. 

As a portal user, you will focus on adding proxy votes to ideas on behalf of organizations, keeping customers informed of updates to the ideas, and reviewing a list of all proxy votes you have created as you prepare for your next conversation with a customer. If this is you, read the sections of this article focused on adding proxy votes, and on proxy vote notifications

Click any of the following links to skip ahead: 

Enable proxy voting

To enable proxy voting, you need to be an administrator with customization permissions. You can enable it for any private ideas portal

Navigate to Settings ⚙️> Account > Ideas portals, click on any private ideas portal, then in the Settings tab, scroll down to Voting rules and select Allow portal users to create votes on behalf of others. Click Update all portal settings to save your changes. 

Note: Proxy voting should only be enabled in internal portals that are available to your employees.

Once you have enabled proxy voting for an ideas portal, here is what happens:

  • All users on that portal will be able to vote on behalf of others.
  • Portal users will see a new section called My proxy votes on the left side and as a tab on every idea's detail page.
  • The Vote button beside every idea will turn into a Vote dropdown, where portal users can choose to vote as themselves, or add a proxy vote

Note: The other voting settings in your ideas portal settings do not apply to proxy voting. In other words, proxy votes do not have to respect a Set number of votes per user, and do not count towards the total available Votes per idea

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Manage organizations and contacts

When you proxy vote in Aha!, you add a vote on behalf of an organization. Organizations can be companies, accounts — how you configure them is up to you. Each proxy vote needs to be linked to an organization. 

You can also go a step further, and add contacts to your organizations. Contacts are people associated with the organization. Adding a contact to a proxy vote helps everyone know who to followup with, if needed. 

There are three ways to create organizations and contacts. 

  • You can import organizations using a CSV import
  • Administrators can create a list of organizations (and contacts associated with them) in your account settings.
  • Any ideas portal user can create a new organization when adding a proxy vote to an idea, then link that vote to an existing contact, or create a new contact for that organization. 

To create organizations and contacts ahead of time, navigate to Settings ⚙️> Account > Ideas portals > Organizations. Click Add organization to create a new organization. 

Note: Organizations can be used across any ideas portal in your Aha! account that has proxy voting enabled. 

To add contacts to your organization, click the organization's name. This will open up the organization's detail drawer. From here, click Add contact to add contacts. You can include first name, last name, or email address. 

You may also need to manage your list of organizations — users in your portals might be creating duplicate organizations, or misspelling organization names. From your list of organizations in Settings ⚙️> Account > Ideas portals > Organizations, click any organization to edit its details, or hover and click Replace to merge it with another organization. Replacing an organization merges it (and all proxy votes associated with it) into another organization that you select. 

Since only Aha! administrators can manage the list of available organizations, you can use this page to provide proxy voters in your ideas portals with a consistent list of available organizations.

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Import proxy votes and organizations

In addition to importing ideas and ideas portal users, you can also import proxy votes for an idea, and ideas organizations by using the CSV import

Note: Depending on the tool you are importing from, Aha! organizations may also be called "accounts" or "companies." 

To do this, navigate to Settings ⚙️> Workspace > Import from CSV. In the first step of the import:

  • Choose Idea votes to import proxy votes. Choose a portal, and whether you would like to email the vote Creator — the person voting on behalf of the organization. To import a proxy vote, you must include an Idea where the vote should be added, and an Organization to link the vote to. If you want to email the vote creator, include their email address in the Creator field
  • Choose Ideas organizations to import organizations. You can import organizations, but you can not yet import organization contacts. 

Note: Remember, any organizations you import will be accessible from any private portal in your Aha! account that has proxy voting enabled. 

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Customize the proxy vote form layouts

With your organizations created, it is time to customize the form that people will see when they add a proxy vote. The goal of this form is to link the proxy vote to an organization, and to gather any other information you might need to assess the demand for an idea and the value of adding it to your roadmap.

Note: You may wish to add custom fields to your proxy form layouts to track information such as priority level, expected revenue, or level of effort. Create your custom fields first by navigating to Settings ⚙️> Account > Custom fields, then add them to a proxy vote layout.

To customize the proxy vote form layout, navigate to Settings ⚙️> Account > Custom layouts. You need to be an administrator with customization permissions to access this page. 

From here, you have two proxy vote forms that you can customize. 

  • The Ideas portal proxy votes layout adjusts what portal users see when they add a proxy vote on an ideas portal. 
  • The Ideas proxy votes layout adjusts what users in Aha! see when they add a proxy vote internally. This form gives you the option to include fields that you might not want available to an external audience. 

The only required field is Organization — every proxy vote needs to be tied to an organization. Beyond that, you can require a Description, add a custom field for priority, add the ability for the submitter to include a link, or any other information that's useful to capture.

With your custom layouts complete, make sure you add them to the appropriate workspace. Navigate to Settings ⚙️> Workspace > Configure, then select your layout for Ideas proxy votes and Ideas portal proxy votes. You can also choose to do this at the parent line level of your workspace hierarchy, so that child workspaces can inherit their layouts from that parent line. 

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Add, edit, and remove proxy votes

Once a private ideas portal has proxy voting enabled, you will see a Vote dropdown on the vote count by every idea. Click that dropdown to Add my vote, voting as yourself, or Add proxy vote, voting on behalf of an organization. You can vote both ways for the same idea. 

Note: An idea's total number of votes includes proxy votes and regular votes. 

Click Add proxy vote to open a proxy vote modal. You can customize the layout of this modal to capture any information that's useful for you — the one requirement is that you select or create the organization that you are voting for. 

Click Save proxy vote to save your vote. Congratulations! You have just added a proxy vote. 

Note: Don't see the idea you are looking for? You can add a new idea yourself and then add a proxy vote to it on behalf of a customer.

To edit your proxy vote, click the My proxy votes link, which you can find either in an idea's detail page or on the left side of the portal. From there, click the Edit link next to the proxy vote you want to edit and adjust the proxy vote form. 

To delete your proxy vote, follow the same steps to open the proxy vote form, then click Delete

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Proxy vote visibility and notifications

Once you proxy vote on an idea, you are subscribed to that idea — you will receive notifications about any updates to or comments on the idea. Even if the user who proxy voted is not part of your Aha! account — for example, if a salesperson proxy voted on behalf of a potential customer — they will still receive email updates whenever the idea updates. 

Since proxy voters often have a relationship with the organization they voted on behalf of, these notifications let proxy voters stay on top of the ideas that are most important to that organization. 

Note: Neither the organization nor any organization contacts will be subscribed to the idea, nor will they receive notifications.

To see every proxy vote you have added, click the My proxy votes link on the left side of the ideas portal. Use the filter at top right to filter your proxy votes by organization — this is useful if you are about to contact someone at that organization, and want to give them a picture of ideas they are interested in. 

Note: The My proxy votes section of the ideas portal shows you only the proxy votes that you have personally added on behalf of an organization. The proxy votes you add are not visible to any other portal users.

If someone would like to see all the proxy votes for a given organization, you can add them to your Aha! account as a viewer, or create a report for them and share it as a webpage, or export it.

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Manage proxy votes

Proxy votes communicate customer demand for an idea, just like regular votes do. As you manage submitted ideas for your portal, proxy votes become an important part of the conversation. 

Proxy votes count towards an idea's total votes — so on the Ideas > List page, if you sort your report by votes, the Idea votes column will reflect the total demand for an idea. 

From an idea's detail view, you can see more information. Click on any idea in Aha! to see details about it. Under the Activity section, click the Votes link to see a breakdown of votes — proxy and regular — and subscribers. 

You will also see a new section on the detail view called Proxy votes

  • Click the icon here to add a proxy vote (remember, this uses a different customizable form layout than a proxy vote added from the ideas portal). 
  • Use the Proxy votes table to see information from every field in the proxy votes form. From here, you can click on the vote submitter's name to email them directly, or adjust information in the form.
  • Click View in list report to navigate to a pre-built list report on votes for the idea. Like any list report, you can sort and filter columns here. 

Note: The proxy vote table layout on an idea's detail view depends on the Ideas portal proxy vote layout. If you are adding proxy votes through an integration, make sure you have the Link and Value fields enabled in that layout, so that that information will display in the proxy vote table. 

Finally, as with any idea in your portal, if the customer demand for an idea aligns with your strategic roadmap — promote the idea! Ideas can be promoted directly to features, master features, or even strategic initiatives in your account without losing their link to the original idea and everyone subscribed to it. 

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Proxy votes and integrations

If you integrate Aha! with Salesforce or Zendesk — two integrations that help you capture requests from your sales and support teams — you are used to seeing a section on the ideas detail page called Requests

Now, that section is called Proxy votes, and it shows you all the proxy votes for an idea, and whether those proxy votes came through Aha! or through an integration. 

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Report on proxy votes

Part of ideas management is the ability to analyze idea votes. With proxy voting enabled, you can build reports that separate proxy from regular voting, use a pre-built list report to examine the voting breakdown for a specific idea, and even report on and filter by a new data element: organizations. 

  • To view a breakdown of proxy votes for an idea (or group of ideas), create a report that includes the idea votes record, and then add idea organizations or idea contacts as a related record. Any vote with an associated organization or contact is a proxy vote.
    aha-proxy-vote-report-record.png
  • To view a pre-built list report for an idea's votes, open the idea in Aha!, then click on the View as list report link next to the Proxy votes table. 

    Note: This report is filtered by default for votes where an idea organization is not blank. You can adjust this filter to expand the information in your report. 
  • To see all proxy votes for an organization, create a report that includes ideas, idea votes, and idea organizations, then filter for a particular organization. 

You can share any report you create on proxy votes by selecting one of the export options under the Share menu on the top-right of the screen. 

  • To fold your report into a presentation, select Add to presentation. In your presentation you can select the report's update frequency.
  • To invite people outside of your Aha! account to view your report, select Share as webpage
  • To export a list report for further analysis, select Export to Excel or Export to CSV. You canimport from CSVto update data later. 
  • For a static version of your report, export your report to PNG image or PDF document.

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