Customer Advocacy: Who’s who and what do we do?

Blog Post created by KKramer-esristaff Employee on Nov 28, 2017

For those of you who are active in the ArcGIS Ideas space, we’re sure you recognize our names.  Maybe you saw Katie change an idea’s status to In Product Plan, or Scott ask you to provide some more details about your use case; Kory marked something as a duplicate, Thomas provided an update, or Nana reached out to discuss why a certain functionality is important to your work.


We’re active in this space, you see us, you hear from us, but do you really know us?  We thought that it would be a good idea to do a little get-to-know-us blog to provide context about Esri’s Customer Advocacy team.


Customer Advocacy Mission and Ideology

It’s our mission to help improve Esri software by identifying and delivering customer feedback themes important to our users and the future of ArcGIS.


We believe that gathering customer feedback to tell meaningful stories and influence software development:

  • Empowers you to use ArcGIS in innovative ways to solve world problems
  • Challenges decision makers to push the boundaries of Esri technology to meet your needs
  • Builds confidence and trust that Esri is listening to your voice and that your input matters


What do we do?

User stories are at the heart of our work.  Our team is plugged in to several customer feedback channels such as:

  • ArcGIS Ideas space
  • GeoNet: The Esri Community
  • Enhancement Requests logged through technical support
  • Technical support cases and surveys with product feedback
  • User Conference surveys
  • Internal communication (e.g. with Solution Engineers and Instructors)


By tuning in to the customer voice through these channels, our team builds and conveys important stories to our development teams to improve Esri products.


Here’s some more detail about what we do when we’re listening to the Ideas channel.  Once your idea has been submitted, you'll notice that it has a status of New (check out Submitting a New Idea for tips on how to make the most of this space!) At this point, Customer Advocacy reviews the idea.  We don't dig in super deeply on a brand-new idea – we just want to make sure that it isn't a duplicate and we double-check those categories and tags that you diligently included. If all looks good, we simply mark the idea as Reviewed. That's what you see on your side. We also check to see if we have a similar request already logged through our technical support system. This would likely be in the form of an Enhancement Request. If so, we make sure that the idea is linked with the Enhancement Request. By doing this, we gain a better understanding of customer demand for the functionality.


As time goes by, ideas get votes and comments from the user community. Customer Advocacy frequently monitors the space and reports trends to various product teams.  Ideas may be discussed because they have a high overall score; however, that isn’t the only criteria.  We also look at things like how fast an idea’s score is growing – how many votes this month? – how many votes this year? 


Sometimes we also see an idea collect a wide variety of user stories.  It may not have an incredibly high score, or even be growing as fast as other ideas.  But what if, out of 15 votes, the community has provided 15 unique and compelling user stories in the comments?  Those user stories may reveal that the functionality could be used across several different industries, meaning that implementing the idea would have a broad impact.  This is a really good reason to not only vote for ideas that you’d like to see, but also provide your user story in the comments!


Ideas typically move from Reviewed to Under Consideration or In Product Plan. Under Consideration means the development team is researching and considering an idea. In Product Plan means that we have scheduled the idea for inclusion in a future release. Take a look at the stages for ArcGIS Ideas to understand the finer details about what each stage actually means.


As we go, ideas that are In Product Plan will usually graduate to Implemented.  Many ideas that are Under Consideration will move to In Product Plan.   Finally, some ideas will be marked as Not In Current Product Plan, though this is often done after leaving an idea open to voting for a long time.  Regardless of stage, commenting remains open so we encourage you to continue the conversation.  As you enthusiastically submit more great ideas, the cycle will continue.


Who’s Who?

The Customer Advocacy team is structured around major platform functional areas. Each advocate is the owner of a core area.


Customer Advocacy Team


Kirsten Pinkston - Program Manager

Katie Cullen - ArcGIS Online

Kory Kramer - ArcGIS Desktop

Nana Dei - Geodata

Scott Prindle - Apps

Thomas Edghill - ArcGIS Enterprise


We hope that introducing our team and pulling back the curtain on the Ideas space is insightful.  We wanted to thank you for participating in the process and let you know that we’re listening!