Whether you run a reseller eCommerce business or offer professional services to clients across the globe, your customer relationship management (CRM) strategy can make or break your brand. However, while traditional CRM can indeed help you manage your customer data more easily; you can go a step further and integrate user-generated content (UGC) into your product management via an idea portal.
According to My Customer, 49% of businesses intend to adopt professional CRM software solutions in 2019, with 74% of them stating that it has improved their customer information management significantly. Idea portals are uniquely suited to accommodate UGC, customer interaction and social proof data gathering in one CRM solution. With that said, let’s take a look at several tips and guidelines on how you can create an idea portal for your business and engage your customers in a more personal and engaging manner.
The Basics of Idea Portals
Before we get into it, it’s worth noting what idea portals actually are. As the name suggests, an idea portal is an online platform dedicated to user-generated ideas, feedback, content, reviews and other information in regards to your brand.
Depending on the depth and complexity of your idea portal, you can use a platform such as Craft.io to create custom categories and track user ideas with the goal of capturing the voice of your customers, wherever they might be.
Business Advantages of Idea Portals
Given the fact that idea portals consolidate a lot of CRM tools typically associated with specialized software in a more accessible, cloud-based package, it’s worth mentioning the advantages they bring to the table. Coupled with a writing platform such as Trust My Paper or Evernote, an idea portal can help your brand stand out in the industry through its unique take on CRM.
Utilizing an idea portal for your business will streamline your CRM, data collection processes and feedback management, as well as open new doors for user-generated product and service ideas to develop. Apart from that, some of the key benefits attached to idea portals include, but are not limited to:
- Ability to run multiple idea portals based on current business goals and developments
- Reliable access to UGC for marketing purposes
- Constant and professional communication channel with the global customer base
- Fast and efficient correction of underperforming products and services through feedback
- Facilitated interaction, discussion, and brainstorming between customers from different regions
- Emphasis on brand personalization, user engagement, and brand recognition
Idea Portal Tips for Your Business
1. Ideate Relevant Categories
The first step in terms of creating an idea portal for your business is to create relevant categories on the platform itself. Depending on the industry and niche your business operates in, your categories will vary from other companies. For example, if your product portfolio consists of digital marketing services, your categories can be:
- Digital marketing innovation ideas
- Digital marketing campaign ideas
- Digital marketing SEO ideas
- General feedback and ideas
- User-generated content ideas
Don’t create too many categories of ideas for your idea portal in order to streamline the user engagement process and let people express their thoughts more quickly. Make sure that your categories reflect your business culture, vision, and long-term goals, as well as the types of products and services you have on the market.
2. Ask Coworkers to Pitch In
Try to fill out your categories with a few ideas, comments and bits of information through internal colleagues and associates to liven it up before users come in. This will create a sense of live environment for customers who approach your idea portal with their own thoughts and feedback to share.
3. Engage the Users
Once customers, visitors, and users start sharing their ideas, suggestions, and comments on your idea portal, it’s important to let them know that they are on the right track. Take time to read through user feedback and the fruits of creativity before engaging them through comments and responses.
Spark a conversation on each comment that your customer base might come up with and see if you can deepen or expand the initial idea. Let your users feel appreciated and engaged – this will ensure that they come back with even more thoughts and suggestions down the line.
4. Highlight the Best Ideas
In order for your idea portal to grow over time, you need to make sure that new users come with more ideas as time goes by. One of the ways to keep things interesting is to create ideation and brainstorming cycle on your idea portal which can last several weeks or a month.
At the end of each cycle, you can highlight the best idea your customer base came up with in order for everyone on the platform to focus on that particular topic for a short time. This strategy will allow you to consolidate everyone’s creativity into one, potentially lucrative, idea.
5. Implement Ideas into Product Management
Lastly, the best reward your customers might receive from using your idea portal is to see their feedback and suggestions in practice. Don’t be shy about implementing constructive criticism, development suggestions, and product ideas into your production management.
This type of CRM strategy will paint your business as pro-consumer and help your brand recognition and online awareness grow in a very positive light. Take your idea portal results and data into serious consideration in your product management – you might be surprised as to what you will discover along the way.
Creating an idea portal can be beneficial for your business regardless of the development stage or scale you currently operate at. Best of all, an idea portal will differentiate your company from others in a very positive light due to an intuitive and user-friendly take on CRM and feedback collection. Start your idea portal today and discover unique user ideas for the betterment of your product portfolio and brand reputation tomorrow.
Diana Nadim is a writer and editor who has a Master degree in Marketing. She combines her passion for writing with her interest in research and creates thought-provoking content in various fields. Besides working as a contributor writer for GrabMyEssay