Whoa – Twitter went a bit wild last week with some strong takes on campaign software tools. The good, the bad, and the yikes! Our customer success and engineering teams felt all of the love when they saw the tweet above.
Given the strong opinions, we thought we’d pull the curtain back on how we build our campaign fundraising software, why people feel so strongly about it, and how you can influence what features we build next.
Here’s what some of our teammates said:
Stacy: Jillanne, you’re the head of our customer success department, how does your team filter and prioritize feature requests?
Jillanne: The Customer Success team receives about 20-30 feature requests per week. We record every single one and add them to a product development dashboard. We’ll either create a brand new request or, if the feature has been requested previously, we’ll upvote it with the campaign requesting it.
Each week we review the board with our engineering team and assign points for difficulty, time to implement, and demand for the feature. Once a feature is approved for build out, we reach out to customers and ask for feedback on potential designs and functionality to make sure we’re building the features to suit the needs of our clients at large.
Once the feature is ready, we release it and send out in-app updates as well as highlight the new feature in our monthly newsletter.
Stacy: What’s an example of a recent feature release that came from a customer and how long did it take from suggestion to implementation?
Jillanne: Four different clients asked us for the ability to do multi-zipcode searches (for example, “Show me donors who live in 90210, 90211, or 90212”). We also thought this feature would be useful for multi-city search. Within 4 weeks of this feature being requested, we released both multi-zip code and multi-city search to all of our customers.
Stacy: How often do you release new features?
Jillanne: We usually release 2-5 new features per month, but the number per month can vary. If it seems like there were fewer features released this month than the last it is very likely that the engineering team was busy working on improving backend performance so that for example, your filters run quicker, your call loads faster and you can get through more calls per hour!
Stacy: What’s your tip for Finance Directors wanting to increase the likelihood of their feature being built?
Jillanne: “If you don’t ask, you don’t get” holds a lot of weight in our roles. We don’t know about your need for a feature if you don’t let us know about it. The more upvotes a feature has, the faster it will work its way through the build process. Also, the more example use cases you can provide us with as to how the feature would be used, the better. If you’re currently using a tool that has the feature let us know how it works for you and how it could work even better if Numero built that feature. Don’t wait for a check-in meeting to let us know about your need for a new feature- shoot us an email at [email protected] whenever a new one comes to mind!
Stacy: Karan, you’re our CTO and co-founder, why do some products feel bland and frustrating to use, and others feel like they fit like a glove?
Karan: We’re product-led founders which means that Brian, Susie, and I are invested in the concept and design of each product, and we build everything in close collaboration with our customers. We don’t farm it out to a product manager or design by committee. We have a clear point of view, our product is reflective of our personalities and obsession — like an artisan.
When you see a bland product that’s confusing and frustrating to use, the reason it’s like that is because the CEO and co-founders are no longer involved in developing the product. Usually it’s because a company has been acquired or is acquiring other companies and the founders have left the company.
Stacy: You’re in the middle of building out Electables, our NFT grassroots fundraising platform. When did you come up with this idea and why did you decide to launch it this May?
Karan: We actually started working on it over a year ago and knew it would take more than a year to develop because of the magnitude of the project. A significant amount of grassroots fundraising will take place this summer and fall so we pick projects that will launch during peak demand. And there is a lot of demand, more than 700 campaigns are on the waitlist for this product.
Stacy: What are the next products you’re thinking about launching after Electables?
Karan: We build two types of products at Numero, one that has never been invented before like the Call Time App, Numero Live, and Electables, and the other is a radical rethinking of an existing product, like our donor database. We have a few ideas on what we’d like to build next, but honestly I’d love to hear from our customers and others in the community about what campaign fundraising tools they’d love built or reimagined!
We put a lot of thought into the products we develop and love working with our clients to make sure that Numero is working for them. If you have any new feature ideas, please don’t hesitate to reach out to [email protected].