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  • Community Manager Tip: Don’t Just Listen, HEAR Your Customers

    Community Manager Tip: Don’t Just Listen, HEAR Your Customers

    We constantly tell our customers that their opinion matters. They receive surveys after implementation, once they go live with the product, when they’ve contacted support … we are constantly telling them that we want their feedback. They know we are listening. But how do they know we hear them? (Yes, there is a difference, as is clearly spelled out in this White Men Can’t Jump scene.)

    Two words – community ideas. While we still send surveys to our customers, we use the community for all product-related feedback. Do you need additional functionality? Want to tweak how something works? Let us know online, publicly. Now we’re accountable to the entire customer base. Like I tell my Mom (and you should probably tell your kids) – the internet is forever.

    Our product managers are really active in the community, accounting for most of the conversation around ideas. They’ve tweaked the topic statuses to mean specific things for our product development process.

    Under Consideration – This is an idea we’re interested in (read: think is awesome) and have begun researching. They offer different scenarios of how the idea could work, post links to set up calls with customers, and share mock ups of the new feature to get customer feedback.

    Planned – This idea is being built or is ready to go. You’ll be seeing it in the next release or two.

    Blackbaud's community prioritizes customer feedback

    When we switch ideas over to implemented, we go beyond just updating the community post. We have links on our new features page, letting customers know just how many (and which) of their ideas we used. We also highlight it in all our release communications.

    Customers can see we take their advice and put it to good use – in the last year we’ve implemented 70 customer ideas … and have about 150 more we’re thinking about. They know we aren’t just listening; we’re hearing.


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    Kristen Gastaldo

    About Kristen Gastaldo

    Kristen Gastaldo is the Altru Community manager. Kristen Gastaldo joined the Altru team in March 2012, leaving behind the late nights of the music business. For the past eight years she's been lucky enough to work in the music industry, managing venues in North and South Carolina. In 2010, she founded the Lowcountry Artist Market, a seasonal market that features local vendors selling handmade and vintage goods. Her background in event management, marketing and ticketing in the arts and cultural community led her to pursue a career with Blackbaud, as Altru’s Community Manager. She connects users with information, each other, and helps foster a sense of community.


    1. I am writing about WeTopa…one of your customers. The rule of thumb is “Community Manager Tip: Don’t Just Listen, HEAR Your Customers”. that’s hogwash. WeTopia has bee freezing up and running so slow they are losing many neighbrs. go to their feedback page and read all the MANY CRIES reaching out for help in there. They only ignore our pleas for help. This has been going on for a month now. Is there anything GET SATISFACTION team can do to help us with your customer “WeTopa”??? THANK YOU!

      • Hanna J

        So sorry to hear that you’ve been having trouble with WeTopia. Get Satisfaction is a software company, so we only supply the software that powers WeTopia’s forums. The “people power” is their responsibility. We provide a lot of education and training, and do our very best to help our customers use our tool in the very best possible way, but we really can’t mediate disputes between our customers and their customers. I really am sorry for the frustration that you’re having with their game, but hope you can understand our position, too.

        You might try emailing WeTopia if you haven’t already. I found their email address listed on their community page: wetopia@sojostudios.com. Sojo Studios is the company that makes WeTopia, so you might be able to get more contact information from their website: http://www.sojostudios.com/ Thanks!

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