Have you ever written a letter to a company to compliment them or complain? Over the years I’ve written to many companies including Hershey Foods, the Washington Post, local restaurants, and most recently Shutterfly.com. I’ve told them what I’ve liked and would like them to improve and in each case I’ve gotten a response back.
A few years ago I wrote to ask Hershey if they would make more dark chocolate candy. In response they sent me some dark chocolate bars they were testing and asked me for my feedback. Last year when I emailed my unsolicited advice to The Washington Post.com editor he invited me to be on their design committee to evaluate new designs for their website. Two weeks ago when I emailed Shutterfly.com tech support some feedback on new product ideas I soon found myself participating in their new photo gallery social network now in beta.
Why do I do this?
Because I enjoy the products and services from each of these companies and I want them to know it. I also want them to continue to improve, innovate and offer new products and services I think would be good for their client base.
Why am I blogging about this? Because I want to encourage you to tell Blackboard your ideas about how we can improve our products and services. One of the best ways to tell us your opinions is through the Blackboard Idea Exchange. Please consider joining the Blackboard Idea Exchange.
The BIE is a group of clients from 14 countries and 42 states and all sorts of different kinds of institutions. It has helped us design the new Blackboard Grade Center, Scholar, and Application Pack 2 to name a few. The BIE is actively providing input to Blackboard’s Next Generation software. You can be a part of this community and influence the direction of your Blackboard software and the company as a whole.
BIE members have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities with a range of commitment levels. Members make a tangible impact on the priorities of Blackboard’s Product Development by:
- Sharing knowledge on issues as diverse as company strategy, education trends and evolving standards
- Influencing early product direction
- Collaborating on product analysis and design through preliminary feature reviews
- Gaining access to early builds on a central server
- Interacting with product development project leaders
What do clients think about being members of the BIE? Our recent survey revealed:
- 83% of members responding had participated in at least one BIE activity (survey, focus group, Product Development Partnership, Beta Program).
- 69% of respondents said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the experience.
- 77% of respondents said they found the BIE activities to be relevant to them or their institution.
If you’ve got ideas you want to share or want to help us design Blackboard’s future products and services and ultimately the direction of the company join the Blackboard Idea Exchange!