We’ve all worked with companies who have the standard issue taglines about “putting the customer first,” “the customer is always right,” or some variation on that theme.
But how many businesses or vendors do you know where you, the customer, is actively sought out to provide your direct feedback to the people in that business who are actually empowered to make the changes you want or need? And you don’t even need to leave your office or business to do it.
We’re not talking about your standard issue in-product surveys or boring, third-party focus groups.
We think it’s so important to collect direct feedback from the people who use our products every day that we created an entire program to be sure it happens.
We call it the Customer Experience Outreach (“CXO”) program .
So, what’s it all about?
Our software engineers, researchers, and designers, from the newest employee to the longest-tenured, and from the least senior on up to the General Manager/CEO, all participate. No one is too busy or high up in the food chain to take time to meet our users.
Some of our product folks on a customer visit.
The purpose is to physically leave our desks, drop our assumptions of what we think our customers want at the door on the way out, and go ask our users how we can or should be building better products to enable small businesses and nonprofits to do more.
Simply put, we are happy to travel to you, our customer, and sit down with you to learn about your business firsthand and understand how you use our products. The conversations enable us to figure out where we’re falling short and where we’ve exceeded your expectations (so we can keep doing the good stuff, too!).
Why do we do it?
It’s not always easy to hear the tough feedback . That’s especially true when we may have spent weeks, months or even years working on a project. But we’ve come to be OK with hearing that something we have been laboring over just isn’t working for our users.
We widely share your feedback with our internal teams to prioritize the work that needs to be done to improve Constant Contact, and we also capitalize on the information you give us to try and anticipate what you’ll need next.
Your feedback actually becomes product changes. We found out through a few visits that many nonprofits were using our Events tool to capture yearly memberships from subscribers. However, at the time our Events were designed to last for just 3 months. Our customers told us that they needed a one-year expiration to allow them to continue managing member registrations. We never realized this was a way our customers would be using Events! So we went back to work and changed this aspect of the tool. Thanks to some great customer feedback, the kind you wouldn’t typically hear from a simple troubleshooting support call, we were able to accommodate a lot of users who needed us to pivot how we did things. This is just one example of why digging deep with customers through in-person conversations is so valuable to us!
Do you live within a few hundred miles of Boston or Loveland, CO (where we have another office)? Do you want to chat with software designers and developers to help drive where we take our products next? The CXO team is always on the go and seeking out customers we can learn from and grow with.
Send an email to customerexperienceoutreach(at)constantcontact(dot)com to learn more and find out when we might be in your neck of the woods.
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If I asked you to envision Constant Contact’s team of software designers and developers, what image comes to mind? Is it mole-like tech geeks who rarely emerge from their cubes for human interaction, peering into crystal balls to try and guess what their customers want and need, and relying only upon indirect channels of customer communication that don’t require actually speaking with a user face-to-face?
Luckily for us - and for you - that’s definitely not the case.
Well, we may be a little geeky. But we definitely don’t shy away from talking to our users. In fact, we think that if we’re not asking what YOU want from US, we’re letting you down - after all, our entire mission is to support small business & nonprofits, and we’re not afraid to get out on the road to get it done.
On August 9th, a group of us will be traveling to the Providence, R.I. area to take in not just the delicious Italian food in Federal Hill but also the feedback, ideas, opinions, and thoughts of our users there. We’re based in Waltham, MA, but we think it’s absolutely critical that we go to where our users live and work to hear from you about your email marketing needs.
We’ll be hosting a free “open house” style Live Support Session, where our customers can chat with us (no reservation required!) about specific product questions (“How do I use this new feature?” “How do I get better open rates?” “How do I add an email newsletter sign-up form to my website?”) that you need answered, or just give us your ideas or input about product improvements. Just bring your Constant Contact login information and we’ll sit down with you to troubleshoot your concerns and, if you like, offer some suggestions on how you might improve your email marketing efforts.
Why do we bother, you ask? Wouldn’t it be easier just to send a survey, or use the information we get from our customers’ calls to Support to make decisions?
Well, sure, it might be easier for us to do it that way. No time away from the office and the commute would definitely be shorter.
But, we truly feel we are not doing our jobs properly if we’re not in your communities, actively seeking the input and feedback of the very people who rely on our products to market your small businesses and nonprofit organizations. And we are happy to travel to you to do it!
We want to understand where you struggle when you create your email campaigns, get a better sense of features you need (and don’t need!) to expand your marketing efforts, and what more you need and want from us .
That information is delivered back to our researchers, product designers, and engineers at the Mother Ship in Waltham, so that when changes are considered, we’re making decisions based on actual user input.
Interested in joining us? The live, FREE, in-person Support Session will be held on Wednesday, August 9th from 1pm - 3pm. This session will take place at the 3rd floor conference room at the Providence Public Library, 150 Empire Street Providence, R.I. 02903. We would love to see you there!
Want us to head your way? If you’re not located in the Providence area, but you’d like to see our minivan full of customer experience specialists, engineers & developers swing by your town, send an email to customerexperienceoutreach (at) constantcontact (dot) com . We’d love to have you show us around your neighborhood!
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