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A New Way to Crowdsource Customer Feedback

Napkin Labs gives businesses access to crowdsourcing and some big ideas from their most devoted fans. Consider this case study with a Boulder, Colo., startup.

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By Jason Ankeny

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Ben Wills of Ontolo used Napkin Labs to harness customer feedback.
Ben Wills of Ontolo used Napkin Labs to harness customer feedback.
Photo© Don Cudney/Wonderful Machine

Just because you're a search engine optimization guru doesn't mean you always know where or even how to find the answers you're seeking. Ask Ben Wills, co-founder and CEO of Boulder, Colo.-based startup, which supplies a suite of automated link-building tools and data-prospecting services targeting SEO consulting firms, web marketing agencies and other small businesses. More than three years after writing the first lines of software code that now makes up the Ontolo platform, Wills knew the time was right to expand the business by introducing new features and tools to help clients further improve the quality and quantity of their web traffic. The catch: He didn't know what additions and enhancements customers wanted most, or even how to most effectively solicit and collect their feedback.

"We felt we'd built our product as far as we could conceptualize it," Wills says. "Now we had a list of potential new features with 100 things we could build in. But we required feedback to know what we needed to build in next. We wanted to have a dialogue with our customers."

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