socialmedian offers a lesson in listening

6 10 2008

I belong to a social news sharing site called socialmedian. It’s a niche social network of sorts, now in public beta, that launched a few months ago.

socialmedian enables you to share and follow news that matters to you and to the people who share your interests.

Essentially, you can use your socialmedian account to “clip” news stories and blog articles from around the web. People follow and comment on your news clips and you, in turn, do the same.

There are of course a whole other slew of features to socialmedian that I won’t get into right now. Not because they’re not of interest but because a) they aren’t the focus of this post, and b) you really should go and explore socialmedian yourself.

After you’ve finished reading my post of course. 😉

What I wanted to discuss is that as a beta participant, I was invited last week to participate in a survey about the service. The survey asked all kinds of questions around what I like and don’t like about socialmedian, where improvements could be made and what kind of features would I like the service to develop as part of its product roadmap.

Well this week I received an email updating me on the outcome of the survey. What the socialmedian team didn’t expect was for the majority of survey participants to vote so highly for one suggested feature to become a new feature on the site. So what did socialmedian do?

They took a look at their development timeline and re-prioritized some things in order to move this feature to the front of the line. Aside from announcing that this feature is now available on the site, the email they sent me today conveyed two messages on two different levels:

  1. Prior to the survey, they never consided the development of this feature to be much of a priority
  2. That as an organization, they listened to their users

It’s the listening part that conveys the real message here. The results of the survey helped them to understand their members’ needs and wants. Which enabled them to act on that understanding. This kind of approach is what it means to be a customer-focused company.

  1. You ask your customers for their opinion.
  2. You listen to their response (negative and positive).
  3. You act on the feedback they give you.

It’s that simple.

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