Shout out to to those organizations that not only encourage their clients and customers to provide unadulterated feedback, but that host a forum from which to do so. No windowless, one-way mirror, focus group here — but an outward-facing, hashtagged, back-and-forth conversation. Refreshing, no doubt.
Spiceworks provides free online IT tools to help sysadmins, network engineers, technicians, and others manage their IT infrastructure. They also happen to have a dedicated and impassioned community (a.k.a. “SpiceHeads,” naturally) to whom they really listen — so much so that it’s routine to invite influencers from both inside and outside that group to talk directly to SpiceWorkers at Austin HQ.
Why? To learn. To get frank feedback. To take the good with the bad so Spiceworks can truly deliver on the promise to help SpiceHeads stay on top of their game at work. It’s that approach and attitude to growing a deeply authentic network that’s seen this start-up founded in 2009 grow and grow into today’s community of 6,000,000 IT workers and 3,000 technology vendors.
We’ve been privileged to listen in and visually capture two of the conversations, the results of which hang at Spiceworks HQ as a reminder that it’s the community that ultimately keeps the company humming. So obvious, yet so often overlooked as too many successful companies fall more in love with the sound of their own voices.
Be like Spiceworks. Listen to the right people. Often. (And if you’re looking for a little help with the capture of a colorful conversation — give us a call. We’re good at listening, too.)