Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Creating Ideas with Clicktools..

This blog entry looks at how you can use Clicktools to create Ideas. If you don't know about Ideas, it's a great tool to capture and organize any suggestions from anyone whether they be internal users, customers, partners etc. One of our customers recently asked us to look at ways of capturing Ideas from a survey and this outlines what we came up with.

The use case is fairly simple. The customer loved using Ideas internally but didn't want to expose the Ideas interface to their customers. They wanted a way of enabling customer to capture ideas, suggestions or even praise following a survey and in support emails. They would then manage the Ideas, to share praise (and criticism!?) as well as vote within their product management team on features. Once, the product management team had voted they wanted to issue a survey with the top ten Ideas, collecting comments from customers (again added to Ideas) and then voting.

Sure, it's not a pure use of Ideas but some organizations are just not quite ready to put the whole of their product roadmap in the hands of customers!

This blog entry looks at the first element in the use case - capturing ideas.

1. The survey in Clicktools
You can see an example of a survey to capture Ideas here and is shown in the mini-screen shot:

click image to magnify

The area we are focusing on is an area at the bottom of the survey. A light bulb indicates that start of the 'Ideas' area and, in Clicktools, there are three questions used to create the Idea.

1) A text question asks for a summary of the idea. This will be used to capture the Idea 'Title'
2) A radio question alongside the text asks the user to categorize the idea (these should match the categories you want people to create)
3) An essay question collects the detail to create the 'Idea Body'.

2. The mapping
is quite simple. You simply create an Idea using the questions in the survey. Additionally you may want to consider adding a custom field to your Ideas object to capture a link to a Contact or Account. That way, you can easily see which ideas your customers are creating...

This is a very simple but exceptionally powerful application for Clicktools. Please let us know if you think of any ways to expand on this...

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