How QuickBase Uses Customer Feedback

Apr 18, 2011
8 Min Read

Our customers may have noticed that lately they’ve been hearing from the QuickBase team more than usual. We’ve been in their inboxes, News Feeds, twitter streams; on their caller IDs and in some cases, front doorsteps. That’s because we’ve started multiple initiatives aimed at gathering qualitative and quantitative feedback to help us learn more from our customers. And because our customers are being so generous with their feedback, we thought it would be nice to provide a view of the various projects and share how their participation is working to improve QuickBase.

Customer Listening Tour

Product Management Leader Michele Pearl just returned from a two week-long road trip to take a deep dive with customers that represent diverse applications of QuickBase. The goal of these conversations was to better understand the ways they’re using QuickBase and how QuickBase could better serve their needs.

One customer is running incredibly complex global processes using QuickBase, with reports rolling all the way up the chain to their Japanese leadership. Another customer, an automotive company, manages everything from service calls to Quality Control issues using multiple QuickBase applications. Michele also visited with major software and pharmaceutical companies, as well as a darling of Silicon Valley.

The findings were fascinating and actionable. For example, one customer that uses QuickBase for business-critical processes stated that he is reluctant to share app creation rights with other teams because he doesn’t want to become the “QuickBase helpdesk guy” as other people build their own apps. We’ve heard that sentiment from other customers, and as a result we've undertaken a project to further improve the first-time user experience of QuickBase with this in mind. As we move on from the design stage, we will ask customers to test the redesigned experiences and will share updates on this blog as we progress.

Customer Surveys

We recently completed our largest annual customer survey and received over 2,200 responses. The input that we got from you was vast. We asked about everything from how QuickBase suits your specific business needs, to your experience with our help/support offerings, to your overall satisfaction. Looking across so many responses gives us the opportunity to prioritize ways that we can serve you better – and reminds us of the things that we are doing right. Some of our key action items based on the survey results include incorporating feature feedback into our product roadmap, improving certain communications, and exploring how we can address new needs that our customers now have. We’ll monitor how we’re doing with quarterly follow-up surveys throughout the year.

Product Surveys

Product management continues to do spot surveys and usability tests with segments of existing users, target prospects and specific customers who’ve reached out to us in the past on specific topics. The goal of these surveys is to better understand your experience of QuickBase features, UI and enhancements. For instance, the various reporting improvements recently released went through over twenty formal usability tests in addition to several quick-iteration informal usability tests – after having selected reporting as a focus area based on your responses in an earlier product survey.

Customer Interviews

In addition to understanding how you wish to use QuickBase features we also seek to understand what benefits you get from our platform – does it help you achieve a personal goal, save precious time, or make you more successful at work? To find out, we conducted a series of interviews with customers and non-customers to better understand why you’d want to use an online database, why you purchased or did not, and why you’d choose one product over another. So basically we asked a lot of “why” questions like a bunch of four-year-olds.

Here are some of the interesting things we learned:

  • You need and expect quite a bit of flexibility in your solutions.
  • You are decidedly not cookie-cutter and cannot use standard solutions.
  • You will solve your own problems; in fact, you need to because your business is evolving so quickly that only those involved in it can move as quickly as you need.
  • You use data in powerful ways that are unique to you and your business.
  • You also talk about business processes, customization and flexibility a lot.

This is all good news to us as we feel QuickBase continues to be the best way to achieve your goals, but this information helps sharpen our focus in many areas of the business including product management, marketing and customer communications.

Social Media Listening Posts

QuickBase’s social media properties are an important way of capturing the voice of our customers on a daily basis. We have someone manning our Twitter, Facebook and blog at all times to respond to your questions and comments. All customer feedback via social media gets delivered to our product and leadership teams so your voices can influence their planning.

More recently, some of you gave feedback via a blog post on the new drag-n-drop interface for reordering fields for reporting defaults. This was great because it immediately clued us in to an issue that hadn’t been revealed in our usability testing (reordering in tables with hundreds of fields) and gave us a head start on developing a fix for this important use case.

We’ve also been having fun with it. We recently ran the I to encourage our customers to share their reasons for loving QuickBase. Since the contest was a success with over 300 reasons to love QuickBase submitted, we’re going to be launching some other fun initiatives aimed at bringing out our customer’s voices. If you aren’t already, we encourage you to connect with the QuickBase communities on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn and stay tuned in May for a contest celebrating all the QuickBase Heroes out there!


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