Your a customer that uses a business application provided by a outside vendor. You want to provide details about that feature to your vendor in hopes that they will see the value and hey if you have the need, more then likely another customer would also. You look for an email, web site or forum that allows for this kind of feedback. You notice that the only location that you can submit this information seems to have little or no activity from the vendor. You know that this feature would be a great thing and you just want to explain it in a way that your vendor can understand it and create a valid use case. You submit to the forum, but get no reply or acknowledgement that it was received, or reviewed. Then you try to email it to an internal resource, only to get a reply to post it to the forum, or worse get no response at all.

From a development companies point of view this is extremely incorrect as a business practice. No other source can provide a better feature set for the next iteration of a product then the people using it. Of course there will be some features that are not high on the priority list, or just do not make sense in the current or future architecture, but it should be acknowledged as so.

As a development company you should open up as many channels of communication for your customers to take the feedback, as generally the cost of collecting feature requests, or defect items is lower then having your internal team come up with all of the features without external input. Provide a forum, an email address and even a phone # for your customers to provide input to your product. There are different customer types and they way they effectively describe the needs vary as well.

I have not decided if the support line in a organization can be used for this feedback. I am actually believing that this needs to be more of a Sales Engineer role that can understand both the technical side of things as well as the business. Always reply back, even provide a feature ID and some kind of status such as ‘Under Review’ , ‘Targeted for Release’, or even Deferred’ with a reason. This way your customer is going to feel attached to the process of making this product more relevant in their business scenarios.

In These things I believe and when my company starts to provide products you will be guaranteed that I will take your feedback with all of the value it provides with my thanks.

– Mark

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