Communicating product releases to customers

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Andrew Harding
Andrew Harding Member Posts: 3 Navigator
Investigating customer request/ticketing systems and how to tie product development back to those release notifications so the right customers get targeted release notes. (Over and above a general product release.) Any recommendations?

If it helps we have:
- Intercom
- Hubspot
- Jira

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  • Russell Bourne
    Russell Bourne Member Posts: 61 Expert
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    edited August 2020
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    @Andrew Harding, my experience has been in SFDC paired with either Marketo or Conversica but I imagine a Hubspot+Intercom stack should have similar capability.  

    In your Hubspot instance, is there a field for the software version each customer is running?  If so, does it auto-populate based on some kind of connection to a customer portal?  Or if not, how do you make sure the data is updated?

    I'm imagining you could run a report that groups customers by version, and then use Intercom to send targeted notes to each group (assuming the notes are different depending on the version).  If there's a call to action involved (like, "if you're on x version, you need to upgrade"), you can re-run that report as needed and re-send the communication.

    ------------------------------
    Russell Bourne
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    -------------------------------------------
    Original Message:
    Sent: 08-26-2020 15:55
    From: Andrew Harding
    Subject: Communicating product releases to customers

    Investigating customer request/ticketing systems and how to tie product development back to those release notifications so the right customers get targeted release notes. (Over and above a general product release.) Any recommendations?

    If it helps we have:
    - Intercom
    - Hubspot
    - Jira


    ------------------------------
    Andrew Harding
    VP of CS | Rivet
    ------------------------------
  • Andrew Harding
    Andrew Harding Member Posts: 3 Navigator
    edited August 2020
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    @Russell Bourne We currently don't have versions (both a relatively young company and we have configured permissions for product/package options). I am considering in Intercom where you can create tags and relate those tag back to Jira ticket numbers so that when Jira-1234 is completed, we can pull all customer chats/convos about that specific issue.
  • Brian Hartley
    Brian Hartley Member Posts: 185 Expert
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    edited August 2020
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    Hey Andrew - we are currently using Jira to populate what tickets are relevant to a release and then our Product Marketing Manager is populating that information into HubSpot for deployment.  We are still refining but that is where we are today.
  • Andrew Harding
    Andrew Harding Member Posts: 3 Navigator
    edited August 2020
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    Thanks! We are looking into Hubspot's service hub as well so may be able to pick that workflow up pretty seamlessly.
  • Nicholas Ayala
    Nicholas Ayala Member Posts: 13 Contributor
    edited August 2020
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    Hey Andrew!

    The following process isn't the most optimal (at all), but it typically gets the information needed.
    1. Intercom request comes in
    2. Ticket in Jira is created with a tag that includes the Customer Name
    3. Releases have all the associated tickets referenced and/or attached to that ticket
    4. Pull a report of all the tickets with their labels
    5. Clean the labels and you'll have a list of the customers
    Note: If one Jira ticket feature requests is requested by multiple customers, you can create separate tickets (and then merge them) or add another label for that n+1 customer.
  • Jarren Pinchuck
    Jarren Pinchuck Member Posts: 38 Expert
    edited August 2020
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    Hey @Andrew Harding,

    We used Intercom for support but also our knowledge-base for customers. It all depends on how you create your tickets to begin with but Intercom and Jira have a few integrations that make this work.

    However, as a previous PM (product manager), I can tell you that feeding back product requests to customers (as awesome as it is when it happens) can leave you on very thin ice.
    As you may already know but most definitely every single PM knows, you'll never get to all your customers' requests and many of them won't even be worth getting to. Often what customers think they want and what they actually want are two VERY different things.

    We had a great system that also helped drive the community. We had an ideas portal. So we let customers raise "ideas" and not actual product tickets. Then any of our customers could log into the ideas portal (directly from our platform) and upvote other ideas. What this did was show you which ideas were actually important or common across all customers. Our product team would then take on 3-5 of these per quarter, led by the PMs. Your product team should own the above but the CSMs can drive the community side of things.

    When a feature or update was to be released we would actually tag the individual champions (and their company) in the release to say thanks for the idea.
    This way customers see that their ideas matter but without the ticketing system. they don't have an expectation on delivery.

    This may not answer your question directly, the short answer for that is there are many integrations to help with ticketing between Hubspot, Intercom and Jira. Whatever you can't link between them just use Zapier (it's awesome).


    Jarren

  • Anna Alley
    Anna Alley Member Posts: 67 Expert
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    edited August 2020
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    We do something similar as @Jarren Pinchuck but using Salesforce. We're working on getting a community where customers can upvote, but for the time being, we have an "ideas" button in the application itself that customers can click on and submit enhancement requests. For the time being, we look at how many similar submissions we get to influence quick wins on the product (do we have 20 customers asking for the same/similar thing), and we do personally respond to each of those customers when that functionality is released. I love the idea of tagging the submitters  in the full release notes as well! May have to steal that :-)
  • Tiffany Morin
    Tiffany Morin Member Posts: 20 Thought Leader
    edited August 2020
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    Previously, i've used an email plug in to track requests right into Salesforce - this was a custom feature; however, my dev team at the time created. Using Pardot, we'd sent out automatic emails when those features request were put into place for those who requested it specifically. I've also taken on the less automated approach and emailed customers directly when a feature requested was executed upon. I also would mention large new features in quarterly newsletters so the larger customer base new of the updates. 

    Also, let's not forget about sales. The first approach we took kept in mind prospect feedback. They received different messaging but with the same goal of letting them know we released what we promised :)
  • Chad Horenfeldt
    Chad Horenfeldt Member Posts: 57 Expert
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    edited August 2020
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    There are a few tools we use to capture feedback and communicate changes:
    • We use Canny to capture customer feature requests and allow customers to vote on requests. When those features are submitted, Jira tickets are created. When features are released from the Canny board, we update Canny which informs those that voted on the item. We also communicate this in a monthly email to clients.
    • We use Beamer to communicate product updates in-app and via a chrome notification. If you use Slack and use see that gift icon in the top right - that's Beamer. 
    • We have Jira integrated with our Support platform which is Kustomer. Our Support team creates a Jira ticket if there is an issue. When Jira is updated, it updates Kustomer and we inform the customer when the Support team feels the item is done.
    • CSMs have Asana boards for our high touch clients where we closely monitor high priority features and provide input to the Product team. We'll update clients directly in our regular meetings.
    • We also communicate product updates in our Slack community.