Re[2]: useful customer feedback

Subject: Re[2]: useful customer feedback
From: bkane -at- ARTISOFT -dot- COM
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 1996 16:16:58 MTN

<snip> If you have a technical support line, you should be getting
> all the feedback you need.

David is right on target! Who knows better what the
customers are having problems with than the techies?
Of course, there are always customers who won't open
the book at all. And there's the problem of
convincing the techies they should tell you what
they're getting calls about. They're so busy, they
don't take the time.

Here are some things we have done to get more useful
feedback:

- Tell the product beta testers they must fill out
a questionnaire, and put doc-related questions in it
-- and also place persuasive text in the beta docs
intro asking them to fax us copies of pages with
markups on them, or send e-mail about mistakes they
find. Some beta testers are so thorough and
dedicated, they fax back almost every page with
comments.

- Start a documentation bulletin board on the
company e-mail, where everyone in-house can post
problems they find or hear about from customers.

- Ask a tech support supervisor to assemble a team
of techies to help us draw up a new and better
troubleshooting section. Then give them credit on
the copyright page.

- Attend usability tests and take notes on where
testers have problems, then improve documentation of
those things -- through better wording for clarity,
better formatting so they'll notice the
instructions, or better indexing so they can find
the instructions. Also, interview them after the
test to further explore what gave them problems.

- Hang out with techies during their breaks and ask
questions.

All of these things have helped a lot!

Beth in Tucson
bkane -at- artisoft -dot- com


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