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Just to vote on the other side: at many places, we've gotten lots of
customer comment cards. It's usually thousands of cards. Once, we got nearly
20% response on a mailing of 10,000.
I may venture to say that it might depend on how you write the response
card's text. If it is friendly "Hi! We really want to hear your comments
on how we can improve our product or service" and sign it with a real
name, then people will write. It does seem obligatory that a postage-free
card is used.
It would seem proper to use a non-existant name and title ("Lucy Rogers,
VP, Quality Assurance) so that cards will be collected to the right box,
even when you leave the company. i too would sooner respond to a VP etc,
instead of a nobody.
We always read each card, sorted them, and passed them around to the
various depts (programmers, tech support, writers, etc.). Yes, there were
often shoebox fulls of cards.
Negative criticism is much better than "I like your program". Then you
know what to fix or change.
For users who sent long constructive criticism (sometimes five pages or
more), I often called them and thanked them, and sent them pre-releases
or other software.
Andreas Ramos, M.A. Heidelberg Sacramento, California