Whilst we are still really excited with the new monthly billing option recently introduced, I can't help but be frustrated at the fact that as a feature it took so long for CM to consider it important enough to introduce it, or at least declare that they were looking into it.
From my estimates it took well over 2 years to introduce and in that time there were multiple threads on the subject. The threads were a mix of short snappy demands (not perhaps quite so useful) and well considered perspectives of long term users.
I can understand that introducing something like that cannot be done over night... but still... 2 - 3 years.... very disappointing... i think the worse thing of all is the fact that we have to register our interest by adding +1 at the bottom of a long forum thread... how rubbish is that? I've suggested things like Get Satisfaction before, only to be told "it doesn't work very well for us" link here
CM you have a very keen, 'interested that you do well, so I do well' bunch of users but how you listen/feedback to them needs to be improved... I hope that you do explore alternatives to feature requests via the forums (unless you start your own category) or via the help desk, as neither are very transparent, and currently only serve to frustrate people who at the end of the day only want to keep using CM.
And in case you forget ;) heres another feature that is sliding along the same way as monthly pricing - link here
I appreciate you posting this. There isn't a perfect answer here - we do listen to feedback, but we do not make our decisions purely based on the number of votes or how long a thread is active.
So having a voting system would only be misrepresenting things to the same people. I know that it is frustrating to want a particular feature and not get it, or only get it a long time later. Some features will be requested a lot, but never be done because it doesn't fit our direction for Campaign Monitor.
Others will be implemented in a different way, or after a bunch of other features have been added. There is just always going to be a balance between what one or a group of customers want, what we're planning internally, and all the other feedback we get from direct contact and other methods.
Perhaps you could elaborate on why you think GetSatisfaction would improve the situation?
Have to agree with you there Richard. I know CM are trying but the standard response does get a little tired after a while.
I think from a customers perspective more could be done to find about the user base and what/how they use the platform. A quick survey of some form would be great to leverage the perspective of more of just a handful of users on a forum! You'd have my +1 ha!
We have done those kinds surveys in the past, and we will probably do them again in the future, so we've got that covered. Part of the reason we don't always do things that appear high up in forum requests is because we do have a pretty good idea of how people use the platform, based on actual usage and discussions in many other areas.
They often don't match up with the request counts in the forums. I can see how hearing the standard response is annoying when you'd prefer "Yes, we'll definitely do that!", but we just don't want to promise something when we may not do it.
Thanks for the reply Mathew and input Jordan.
Whilst I appreciate there will probably never be a perfect solution to my overall gripe, but I think that the current process is the least user friendly solution.
1. People asking for the same thing in a variety of threads
There is no sure way that the same request doesn't get asked for but in a variety of ways by multiple people - surely this makes managing the requests considerably harder from your end, which is why it becomes easy to wonder how serious some requests are taken.
2. Being forced to write something in addition to original poster
By not having the facility to agree or disagree with someone's request you end up have to post a whole reply resulting in one of two things, either a "+1" with no reasoning behind it but also taking up unnecessary space, or the same argument posted repeatedly. Which is probably worse from your perspective as you have to repeat yourself especially when some of the threads stretch out over such a long period of time - which is why you get people like me being able to almost quote a CM request rebuffle.
3. No way of knowing what is being considered by CM at any moment in time or what they think of an idea
Now i appreciate you probably don't want to reveal everything under development, and you like to surprise users with tasty updates, but im sure half the moaning and disappointment by people who take the time to read through the forums could be squashed by giving a little more info in a more obvious manner... again a response in the forum by yourselves gets lost amongst a sea of posts (and this is also due to how your posts look identical to anyone else's)
Just because someone agrees with someone elses feature, doesn't mean you have to action it
I can understand that you don't want to promise people or mislead people, you'd get more hate doing that than my gripe, but at the same time a system like Get Satisfaction, doesn't have a strap line that says "Everything you suggest is going to be included" etc... same with a voting system it doesn't mean you're going to act on it (you can make that crystal clear in a headline), but it does allow us the forum users to more consistently and accurately feedback to yourselves.
It would be better if when someone posted an idea and it had a certain number positive comments / votes whatever you moved it to an official (but not promising to action it) thread or similar so that it was worded accurately to prevent people repeat posting... it also could allow you to write updates in one place at the top of the thread - this is our current position etc... The other benefit of somewhere that feature requests reposted / added by yourselves is that hopefully it would include the requests that come from other sources that you mention, as to be honest they sometimes feel like they are given more importance than the forum ones... and i say that because i'm still baffled as to why it took almost 3 years to introduce the regularly rebuffed monthly billing only to be introduced with much fanfare recently... I can't imagine there were many requests that outnumbered that, or the multiple tags within repeaters (another feature dying to be introduced by us your users).
I think that a simpler request system such as GS would actually see more feedback (and more importantly accurate information) to you... much like the surveys you do ( i don't recall seeing a survey in 4 years of using CM ), it would minimise frustration at you the hard working CM support team, it save users time when hunting for a repeat post of something similar etc... i could go on and on why i think its better, if there was a voting system i would ask readers to indicate if they agree with this post... but for now i'll ask for a +1
Thanks for the feedback. My main thoughts on this is that the more formal and prominent a 'voting' process becomes, the more people see it as official and supported.
Because we have made the decision to generally not pre-announce things, and also because we don't implement things just because they are the most requested, such a voting system seems likely to have just the same problems, but more so.
I do appreciate it is a pain to ask for things and not get them, or to only get things much later. There just isn't any way around that though, unfortunately.
"nd i say that because i'm still baffled as to why it took almost 3 years to introduce the regularly rebuffed monthly billing only to be introduced with much fanfare recently... I can't imagine there were many requests that outnumbered that, or the multiple tags within repeaters (another feature dying to be introduced by us your users)."
This is a great example - when you see the number of requests, you feel like we should definitely introduce something. That's not the way we operate though, as I've tried to clarify, and making the requests a more formal count is only going to be more misleading.
I'm going to keep thinking about this though, because clearly we are annoying some people and if there is a way to avoid that without making the problem worse, I'm all for it.
Thanks for the reply and sorry for slack response... been away.
I understand your policy on not implementing based purely on requests... you must get a ton of requests which need to be filtered / digested / discussed / costed / scoped all the things that good companies do when trying to improve their services. I suspect a lot of the requests you get are not feasible for one reason or another.
The example i gave of the monthly billing which you countered with "when you see the number of requests, you feel like we should definitely introduce something" - you went on to introduce it! Granted that is one example amongst many, but im sure its not exclusive.
At the end of the day only the really solid ideas will get long term interest and attention, others will fall by the wayside (are some of these any less valid? probably not but as you develop the system you obviously need to prioritise).
I still think there needs to be a request thread, where when someone posts an idea people can indicate whether or not they like or dislike this idea, this minimises all the +1 comments as people wouldnt need to, it would hopefully then mean that people posting comments would add/remove value to the idea, you guys dont have to get involved with the thread necessarily except to flag if you discussing it / not looking into it at this time etc... and that could be done facelessly. It also allows you to clearly display what your policy is regarding feature requests etc... It would in my eyes improve the mechanism for us... decreasing frustration, and also help you guys by not having to repeat the same answers over again... i feel for you guys having to do it that way.
An example of what i mean can be seen here XFactor Sorry bout the videos... (and i hate the XFactor)