The new Phoenix NAP community is an area where its cloud users can suggest ideas to be reviewed by its cloud staff. Other users can vote up ideas, or comment on ideas, similar to the way Reddit works.
Phoenix NAP said while it continues to improve its cloud solution with additional features and functionality, its users may be able to submit ideas that they have not considered yet, or a tweak to an existing element of its offering.
“Phoenix NAP cloud will keep being enhanced to help create a robust virtualization solution that is capable of meeting any need. Our core philosophy is not changing,” Scott Reiland, Phoenix NAP communications and public relations manager said. “What is changing is with the addition the Community, you can now easily let us know what you want to see. After all, there is nothing wrong with getting a little help from our friends.”
There is nothing wrong with getting help from customers, but where some web hosts go wrong is when they don’t actually act on that feedback. A WHIR blog post from Nick Nelson on Tuesday describes the disconnect web hosts have in “soliciting for customer feedback and actually learning and improving from that feedback.”
Since Phoenix NAP has focused on one segment of its business and customers – cloud services – it is likely to be able to refine its process in reviewing and responding to customer feedback. Launching this specific community will make it easier for Phoenix NAP to collect feedback, for customers to submit feedback and ideas, and ultimately, for Phoenix NAP to be held accountable.
Phoenix NAP emphasizes transparency when communicating with its customers. For example, when it did its first annual data center test to measure overall facility redundancy and operational uptime, it made sure to be “overly communicative with [its] customers.”
The idea is really interesting, and would be fairly easy for other web hosts to implement. Of course, it helps that Phoenix NAP has an existing social customer base who isn’t afraid to submit their recommendations on Facebook or Twitter, where it has a substantial following. Phoenix NAP said some of the ideas may be promoted on its Twitter feed.
So far, the ideas include requests for a SecuredCloud WHMCS billing module, adding API functionality for Android and iPhone, and the ability to license the SecuredCloud software to use on a private stack.
While the online community officially launched Wednesday, it seems that some of the ideas date back to nearly a year ago, suggesting this is more of a relaunch or perhaps general availability of something that was previously in beta.
Talk back: Would you consider launching a similar community site to collect feedback from your customers? What are some other ways through which you solicit and act on feedback from your customers? Let us know in a comment.