For most support organizations, the enhancement request process is broken. It unfolds like this:
- The customer opens a case to request a new feature
- After checking it’s not a bug or a user error, the support engineer logs an enhancement request.
- No one in the product management or engineering team looks at the request, at least not on a predictable schedule.
- The customer contacts support again.
- Support escalates the request.
- Circle back to step 3.
There is a better way, ideation. It works like this:
- The customer logs ideas for new features in a special section of the online community.
- Other customers vote and comment on the ideas.
- Community moderators, developers, and product managers can ask questions, clarify and confirm the ideas.
- Product managers assign a status to the ideas as they review them, from in progress to not considered, to delivered, duplicate, etc.
- Customers can check the status of ideas, their own or others’, online, in self-service.
Ideation is not just a theoretical concept. You can see it in action in the Topliners Dream It community (no login necessary to view). It works because ideas are improved through collaboration, and it’s easy to show ROI because of the voting feature.
And if you have an ideation process, please tell us how it’s working for you.