Working Together: The OXS Washington Customer Council

By Carsten Dirks, Chief Operation Officer, Open Xchange

carsten_dirksLast week we were proud to host our inaugural US Customer Council. This was a part of our hugely successful annual OX Summit, the first part of which was in Washington this year (check out the photos here!). Following the success of last years’ Chicago Summit, and the requests we received for an opportunity to share customer feedback, we decided to bring the Customer Council State-side for the first time.

At OX, we strongly believe in a culture of openness. It underpins everything we do. Just as we accept bug-bounty feedback on our products, we’re keen to receive customer feedback on our software and services. The council session offered customers a strong knowledge exchange for providing constructive input and feedback across core topics. More importantly, this is a shared platform. It helps us to listen to our customers and modify the way we engage with them directly. It also allows us to shape the direction of our  products and the partnership model with input from members of a trusted ecosystem. In this way we can deploy the best technological standards for strengthening Internet value.

Frank Hoberg, OX Co-Founder and EVP of Sales led the first session which focused on a key new initiative: the introduction of Technical Account Management. We wanted another interface to bring us closer to our customers. This new role is designed to provide on-going account management for our strategic customers and to ensure that a central point of contact is available in addition to existing support channels. The feedback at the Customer Council proved that our customers understand the crucial role they can play in improving the OX experience.

The second session was just as valuable, giving customers the chance to feedback on OX products and roadmaps. The key takeaway from this session was the value of sharing feedback data between customers. The creation of a repository of customer experience would help them access best-practice knowledge and unlock the full potential of our products. We’re always happy to hear how we can better serve our customers and this was the perfect occasion for it.

Constructive feedback is crucial for creating products that really reflect the market‘s needs. Through the Washington Customer Council we’ve learned the importance of involving customers closely in our product roadmap discussions. It’s our responsibility to provide the framework for customers to provide this feedback and then act on it.

We look forward to inviting the most engaged service providers to the next Customer Council, which will be hosted ahead of OX Summit in Bruxelles, October 12-13.