Re: Customer Satisfaction Survey

Subject: Re: Customer Satisfaction Survey
From: Lisa Wright <lisawright -at- mail -dot- utexas -dot- edu>
To: Jennifer_Gidner -at- Dom -dot- com
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2006 17:43:45 -0600

This response is a bit late, but reading through the whole thread reminded me of something that I heard Joann Hackos say at a recent talk in discussing this very issue.

"Users are not READERS."

This is an important point. For survey purposes, it is important to phrase your questions so that they really get to whether the documentation is USED. Do they try to look something up when they have a question? Etc.

Asking the right questions can really help get you beyond the idea that "no one reads the documentation." Perhaps they don't sit down with it over a cup of tea, but they might well be using it. You'll never know if you ask the wrong questions!

You might also ask people to explain how they benefited specifically and how their jobs were made easier through use of your documentation. This would possibly require some open-ended questions, but since value is sometimes hard to quantify, you could capture otherwise elusive information.

I'd like to applaud you looking at this as an opportunity and trying to make the most of it. I'd also ask if management is open to additional measures, such as new procedures documented, departments served, etc. Remember to save every complimentary e-mail!


Jennifer_Gidner -at- Dom -dot- com wrote:

Hi all,

Our small (2-member) Technical Writing shop has been told that we will be
measured this year by the results of a customer satisfaction survey that we
must create. Yikes!

We need good numbers to justify expanding our group and to prove that TWers
really DO provide a valuable and necessary service. I am desperately
seeking hints/help from anyone who has created such a survey in the past
(or anyone who has any ideas, really)!

Such as, what are good questions? What is a good scale? I've searched the
archives and noticed a small debate on using an odd or even number of

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Customer Satisfaction Survey: From: Jennifer_Gidner

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