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Methods of soliciting feedback from customers

A followup to the thread regarding worrying about what customers are saying about your products -- rather than what competitors are doing.

What methods are you using to solicit meaningful feedback from customers?  What about prospects?  Do you do any outbound calls/emails/etc. for this purpose?

Thks.

dir at badblue dot com
Monday, March 08, 2004

Nothing outbound. Our three best sources for feedback:

* the "Send Feedback" menu item in CityDesk. Goes right into our bug tracking database, and generates so much (excellent) feedback that we simply can't reply to any of it; we're lucky if we have time to tally votes for feature requests.
* a general policy that there should be an email link at the bottom of every page on our website
* online discussion forums

These three methods get us more than enough feedback. I generally tell Dmitri (who handles most of our technical support) to keep an eye out for things of the form "I like your product but I can't buy it because X."

These are much more important feedback points than "Why doesn't your product have X?" which does not necessarily represent a "final objection" but might just be general ranting or creativity, for example, someone read one of my articles linked from slashdot and now they want to know whether CityDesk runs on Linux... this does not necessarily represent a person who is sitting with his credit card in hand. Or someone might use the software and have a "great idea" for some clever new feature, which is good to hear, but not as important as "I like your product but I can't buy it because X."

Joel Spolsky
Fog Creek Software
Monday, March 08, 2004

I think youve mentioned four times that X is missing from your products. Why dont you implement X and be done with it? And what is it about X that is so darn important anyway?



;-)

Eric Debois
Wednesday, March 10, 2004

:-)

Seun Osewa
Sunday, March 14, 2004

Voting with your dollar it the most honest form of democracy. 

Mr. Analogy  (formerly The real Entrepreneur)
Sunday, March 14, 2004

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