Re: Customer feedback

Subject: Re: Customer feedback
From: KAREN_OTTO -at- HP-SPOKANE-OM2 -dot- OM -dot- HP -dot- COM
Date: Tue, 28 Jan 1997 09:09:10 -0700

Item Subject: cc:Mail Text
We have a number of ways of getting customer feedback, but absolutely
none of them can get comments on the docs only. Our customers don't
care about the documents, they only care about getting their job done,
and a flaw in the firmware = flaw in doc = flaw in hardware = flaw in
software. They just get ticked off, and want to know the right answer.

Our methods:

1) customer feedback form (allows any comments): this is gathered by a
database, and any comments that apply to us are forwarded to us.
Produces a lot of "this wasn't right on page xxx", but no fundamental
comments on how they use documents.

2) Relayed messages from field and sales engineers: usually only
reflect what the engineers want us to change. They usually want us to
change anything they don't know the answer to.

3) visits to customers as part of a sales visit: produce few comments
from users, unless we get some time to just talk at length about
documentation. Usually this meeting is driven by a demo.

4) contextual inquiry: our best method to date. We get a little
friendly with a customer, then get permission to follow him/her around
for a day or two. We learn TONS about how they do their job, and
usually have plenty of time to elicit comments on how they use
manuals, what they really want from the product, and how they learn to
use the product. Gives us a lot of information about usability of the
product, too.

karen otto
karen_otto -at- hp -dot- com

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