Re: Effective mechanism to gather end-user feedback

Subject: Re: Effective mechanism to gather end-user feedback
From: Bill Swallow <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Laura Chris <tw_asks_u -at- postinbox -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2006 09:57:22 -0500

> In our company most of the customer calls reach the help desk and I see
> the big bosses complaining about increase in support costs during the
> reviews. If my stars are aligned correctly, I get to know what the exact
> problem was, otherwise the requirement comes as an enhancement request
> for the documentation with no trace about the history of the problem.

Work with tech support to design a workflow that traps the specific
info you need - every time. Don't make it anythign too extra for them
to handle, and suggest it be kept in their own customer database,
which you then will need access to.

> There was an instance where a user was not able to locate the
> installation details in an installation manual and the request came as a
> documentation enhancement request for the next release of the product. I
> do not have the luxury to try out the product installation as there is
> always a shortage of systems and most of the times I have to go by the
> developer's words.

Sounds like an easy fix is to ensure you have access to machines that
you can install and run the products on. I can't fathom documenting
anything without using it.

> Most of our manuals are in the PDF format and uploaded to our support
> website. The manuals are also a part of the product CDs that reach the
> customer. We have a very inviting line such as "Send your comments
> about this user manual to the following e-mail address:, in our support
> site but have not found any takers for this so far over the years!

You gotta make it painlessly simple for them. No one is going to go
out of their way to provide you with info.

> This is proof that suggests end users do not like the idea of typing a
> mail and waiting for the response on mail. I would like you to suggest
> an effective feedback mechanism that you might have come across or
> something that you could suggest.

If your docs are served HTML, then you can at least track what topics
are visited more than others with zero user interaction (other than
them using the docs online). You can include a quick "was this topic
helpful: yes/no" button at the bottom of each topic that sends a
response to a tracking database. One click, no typing, people will
click it occasionally. Combine that with tracking the topic visits and
you begin to have some data to work with. As for quality descriptions
of their thoughts, those are rare gems. Do provide them with some
capability of providing this type of feedback, but don't expect to
receive any.

> At present, I have user forums and chat as options in mind, but we as
> writers are not supposed to contact the customers directly.

Forums work. Chat will increase your support payload.

Bill Swallow
HATT List Owner
WWP-Users List Owner
I support Char James-Tanny for STC Secretary.

Now Shipping -- WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word! Easily create online
Help. And online anything else. Redesigned interface with a new
project-based workflow. Try it today!

Doc-To-Help includes a one-click RoboHelp project converter. It's that easy. Watch the demo at

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- infoinfocus -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to lisa -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Effective mechanism to gather end-user feedback: From: Laura Chris

Previous by Author: Re: Hourly vs. Salaried
Next by Author: Re: Do you have a hybrid job?
Previous by Thread: Re: Effective mechanism to gather end-user feedback
Next by Thread: Effective mechanism to gather end-user feedback?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads