TaxWise customer advisory board bringing more voices into product development to further benefit customers
TaxWise Online kicked off a new improved version of its customer advisory board in April 2020. The board places TaxWise users at the very core of the software.
“At TaxWise, we want to make sure we get it right the first time, improve speed to market, and ultimately deliver products and features that customers value,” says Brad Fleener, Director of Product & Technology. “The customer advisory board helps us to do all of that.”
The customer advisory board is meant to give TaxWise customers a seat at the table to help influence the product roadmap while providing direct access to TaxWise product developers and leaders.
A key part of the customer advisory program is that customers on the board cycle in and cycle out. That helps to ensure that TaxWise is representing all segments of the customer base, including the four divergent markets that use TaxWise: nonprofits, the military, service bureaus, and tax preparers.
Capturing Instant Customer Feedback
Another key part of the program is that all customers, including those not serving on the board, can provide instant feedback to the TaxWise team from within the software. The “ideas portal” is a channel to capture customers’ voices right in the product itself on the home page. The TaxWise team then scores these ideas based on a number of attributes, including request frequency, and the suggestions feed into future product development.
TaxWise leaders are interested in hearing from customers about their pain points in their business, and then, if the product is able to do a certain task, how that feature would help solve that pain point.
“For people who want to grow the business, they can have an influence on the whole industry,” Fleener says. He also says that serving on the board of 10 people means being a leader in the industry and advocating for all TaxWise users. “People on the board have to have an open mind to help drive it for all customers. They have to focus on what delivers the most value.”
Partnering for Success
Using this model, the TaxWise team can demonstrate new features every three to four weeks to the customer advisory board beta-users. These beta-users test can test and try features, allowing for the features to become refined and improved before wide release.
This model allows for TaxWise to release new features earlier in the year and improves efficiency, go to market speed and quality all around, Fleener says.
“We want to partner with our customers. We want to listen to our customers,” Fleener says. “This is what sets us apart from our competitors.”
The board rotates in various customers from all four segments using an application process and criterion. Please contact us if you’re interested in participating on the board.
Look for upcoming stories from customers who are on the TaxWise customer advisory board about their experiences with the board.