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Getting product feedback


in a previous question about "the competition" I noticed you said:
"All I cared about was that people were telling us that they wouldn't buy our software until you could attach files to bugs. So now you can."

I can not help but wonder how did you get non-customers to give you this type of feedback? Most of the time it seems you get downloads and that might result in a sale, but never in something like "I'm not going to buy unless ..."? Is this feedback a result of  the popularity of the JoS forum, and therefore hard to replicate, or are there some quick and easy fixes you can point out that could apply to everyone?

Just me (Sir to you)
Monday, March 8, 2004

Oh, they tell you, trust me, they tell you.

As long as you have a phone number or an email address and you haven't outsourced your customer support, you're going to hear why people aren't buying your software.

Joel Spolsky
Fog Creek Software
Monday, March 8, 2004

Incidentally, make your email address (or a very++ simple email form with no required fields) available on your website; preferably under a link on the homepage of either "support" or "contact us" (or both)


Monday, March 8, 2004

People often post in Joel's forums for CityDesk and FogBugz when they decide not to buy. Usually they'll ask a few questions while they're evaluating, and they'll tell you what they don't like about the software and what's missing (from their point of view).

Darren Collins
Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Hmmm. Maybe your potential customers (developers) are more vocal in this respect then the general public.

Just me (Sir to you)
Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Lemme tell you about my experience with applying for membership points for frequent flyer and auto rentals.

Starwood was perfectly smooth, but it was hard to find their membership program on the front page.

Marriott had a couple snags, but an e-mail to them was quickly replied to, and everything was smooth.

Avis also had a couple snags (can't update after creating), but their customer service was quick, friendly, and very knowledgeable.

I am using their special programs, and through that, their services.  They win my money.

Now let me tell you about National and Budget. 

National charges for their membership service.  $50 a year, which is a sneeze compared to the amount of money I will be spending on car rentals.  But... to charge us frequent users for a loyality program?  The minute I saw this, I fired an e-mail scorning them for that, and got absolutely no response.

Budget was worse -- they provide a registration page that include REQUIRED credit card information.  That web page was not a secure page.  After noticing that, I cancelled what I was doing, and fired off an e-mail scorning them for that.  They responded going, "Oh, it is not required, and you could call us instead."  They lost me as their customer permanently for that.

I am in a job that will require rental cars and hotels almost every weekday.

Now on to airlines:

US Airways, United, and Delta was smooth sailing.

American Airlines hated my address.  I could give them my address WITHOUT the apartment, and they'll take it.  I definitely do not want my post office to try to guess which apartment I am in.  So I fired an e-mail to them scorning them for strict validation of addresses.  They replied, "Oh.  Call us to fix it."  They lost me as a customer.

Why the HELL do people think that I am going to call them?  I am deaf, and I am NOT going to use the phone and depend on a Relay Service to get things done.  If you have a working registration on your web site, make it WORK SECURELY.

And for christ sake, if you want to build loyality, don't be a damn British Banker about it, and charge us for it!

Tuesday, March 9, 2004


How on Earth was the other guy supposed to know
that you are deaf? For normal people, using the phone
is much more convenient. They were probably trying
to be friendly and practical asking you to call them.

Phones are normal. Talking to people is normal. Emails
and horrid machine interfaces are not normal.

Did you try replying to them
"I'm deaf and can't use the phone, please forward my
email to the appropriate person" ?

They can't read your mind, you know.

Tuesday, April 6, 2004

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