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I agree that incentives don't have to be material. But
I submit that if a company acknowledges your comments
and actually implements them in the next release--and
it would be even better if they continue to follow up
by telling you that they've implemented something you
suggested--that would be a material enough incentive
for me. Plus, I would tell all my friends about the
good customer feedback I got from company X. Just like
I tell my friends about the intangible but impressive
phone answering technique I've witnessed at my local
under-car specialists (they visibly stand up straight,
plant a smile on their faces, and then pick up the phone
with a professional-sounding, "Good morning, [name_of_
company].") It takes very little more time and makes
a HUGE impact on me, not just when I call there but
when I'm in the office watching them do business.
That was off the track, but maybe if companies tracked
the people who DO respond (if the numbers are so few,
it shouldn't be a huge task), and let them know how much
their feedback is appreciated and how it was used in
making decisions about future products, it would pay
off in additional feedback down the road.
Karla Saari Kitalong kitalong -at- mtu -dot- edu
Department of Humanities
Michigan Technological University
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, MI 49931