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Feedback on, er, giving feedback!


bigPaws
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Hi,

I think that IPS should be more flexible in the way it logs suggestions received through support tickets - I fear that good ideas are currently being lost.

For example, I opened a ticket asking how to ban users from spamming our Nexus support desk. I was told that there's no built in filters and that I'd have to do this at server level (which is fine, but not very newbie friendly). I suggested that they might want to extend the ban filters over to Nexus in future versions. At this point I was told to go and, effectively, re-post this suggestion on the forum - i.e. they wouldn't log it otherwise.

Some users might think that, having made a suggestion, it's a bit 'off' to be told to go and repost it all over again on the forums. No doubt I will be told that this is due to making it easier to track suggestions, but ultimately IPS should be grateful of all suggestions received and, if necessary, start the relevant topics themselves if the user fails to. Otherwise, as I said at the start, I fear how many ideas are left to die within tickets.

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  • Management
We do this for two core reasons: first our development staff doesn't read support tickets :)
Second and more importantly is that we get a lot of random suggestions all the time. We want these on our feedback forum so discussion among all our clients is available. We can then guage both the suggestion and the reaction from the client to sort out the just-ok suggestions from the one that people really like.
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You'll spot that I did predict the 2nd reason there would be the first reply on this topic :smile:

My point is that, by the support staff effectively 'ignoring' all suggestions made within tickets, you run the risk of losing good suggestions all together. I'm not saying your dev team need (or should) read support tickets, I'm saying that if a decent suggestion is made in the process of dealing with a ticket, then it should be logged rather than bounced back to the customer to log - they've taken the time to make a suggestion at at the moment they're being told "la la la we can't hear that suggestion unless you tell us again elsewhere".

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Consider this (possibly quite common) workflow if what you ask for gets implemented:
1. User opens support ticket, and in process of getting support adds suggestion for improvement
2. Support staff creates new topic on feedback forums in appropriate area and alerts user
3. User doesn't use the forums at all, so doesn't bother checking back on the topic once there aren't any replies after a day (or maybe even after a couple hours), if they even check to begin with
4. Someone posts a reply after that period asking for clarification or some sort other sort of response that requires more knowledge on the issue than what was posted originally. Who's going to reply? The support staff can't read minds and are probably busy enough as-is, and the one who originally raised the suggestion is not only nowhere to be found, but may never come back to the topic.

There are quite a few advantages for everyone by keeping the system as it is versus your suggestion. On the IPS side of things it means the support staff don't have to take extra time on possibly quite a large number of tickets typing up new feedback topics. On the user's side of things it gives them an opportunity to reword and better clarify their feedback as its own thing rather than an idea tacked onto a support request. On the community's side of things it gives them the ability to have a conversation with the original author about it without having to worry as much that they may never get a reply back. Finally, on the random forum reader's side of things they aren't confused seeing staff opening feedback topics and thinking that it means those things are going to be implemented (considering random forum reader as someone searching for an answer for something and finding that thread, not being familiar at all with how anything works here).

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No doubt I will be told that this is due to making it easier to track suggestion

Thanks for your points, but I did acknowledge this in my very first post - as quoted.

Are you saying you can't see the risk of ideas being lost completely with the current system? i.e. The staff say "thanks, but we won't process that great suggestion unless you tell us again on the forums" and what if the user doesn't do it - then IPS and the community loses a great idea.

I wasn't really expecting IPS to change their systems, that's a pipe dream, I was merely highlighting this risk :)

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That's cool then. Flexibility is key and large companies need to avoid the "because that’s how we’ve always done it" mentality.

My feeling is that while there are preferred methods for getting feedback, companies should ultimately take it however it comes - after all, they're not paying for the advice and one day they might receive an idea that really works out for them, both on a financial basis as well as benefiting the development of their software.

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fwiw one benefit of having the customer file the suggestion is the customer can lay out the reasons/desires separate from the ticket itself which may contain sensitive info. a tech posting it from the ticket would most likely copy/paste and could make error there and post something you don't want seen.

no system is perfect, but all in all this setup seems pretty decent. and the company does listen, so that helps.

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The main point of this thread is to get reassurance that they're not too inflexible with their protocols - i.e. a good suggestion will, some way or other, be recorded (or at least discussed at the cooler) and won't be lost if it's never posted by the user on the forums.

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I think the most important point is the one in Charles post. What might be incredibly important to me when I make a suggestion may not be so important for anybody else, so naturally it should not be prioritised. That's what the community developers can do for you - make a bespoke change for you to suit your needs. By contrast, if I post a suggestion and a hundred customers scream in agreement that adds real value to the feedback forum and IPS know they've got something urgent/important to deal with.

Having come from a support background I can tell you it is futile trying to get any value out of all the "you know what would be a good idea?" comments. They are simply too far reaching and varied to manage. A single forum is manageable.

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I think you make a really good point.

Although we do have a sense from the support team about what is coming through in support requests, a topic just guarantees the development team will see it directly, which is really helpful for us.

So if you have any suggestions, it's awesome to see them posted here :)

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I just want to clarify and ease bigPaw's concerns a little bit....

A truly GREAT suggestion can be immediately taken on board. It's rare, but there are instances where a client (via support ticket or whatever method) points out something extremely obvious we can change that would make the software fundamentally "better" beyond simple opinion. These are sometimes immediately discussed or logged somewhere for later review.

The problem here is, 99% of suggestions are actually just that - suggestions. They need more thought, fleshing out, and we need to find out how the rest of our community might react to a feature, if they would find it useful, what else the feature might need to fulfill its goals and so on. So, while we are not inflexible and do have the capability to act on feedback even from support tickets, the reality is that 99% of the time the feedback in support tickets is not of this nature, hence why we would suggest posting in the feedback forums. :)

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  • 5 weeks later...

I think there's absolutely no support and on each support ticket and absolute bloat reply is generated. Never ever in the history we're using IPB we received a relevant answer from supprt. Most of the time we received "your forum is too old and not supported anymore" and were forced to do the upgrade to latest. And now if we want to do the uprage again, support is with no help at all saying "Unfortunately we are unable to support test or development sites via the ticket support system. If this issue occurs on your live site we are happy to investigate further, however we're unable to assist you with this issue at this time."

Great answer indeed, is there anybody else who's such a fool who will break down his live site trying upgrade from a very old IPB to the latest 3.4.6??

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I think there's absolutely no support and on each support ticket and absolute bloat reply is generated. Never ever in the history we're using IPB we received a relevant answer from supprt. Most of the time we received "your forum is too old and not supported anymore" and were forced to do the upgrade to latest. And now if we want to do the uprage again, support is with no help at all saying "Unfortunately we are unable to support test or development sites via the ticket support system. If this issue occurs on your live site we are happy to investigate further, however we're unable to assist you with this issue at this time."

Great answer indeed, is there anybody else who's such a fool who will break down his live site trying upgrade from a very old IPB to the latest 3.4.6??

the one time I had issue like that I setup the test site as clone of live to show the issue as the working on it would cause issues.

techs were willing to work with me on that as they could see it affected live site and the experiments were done on the test site as we were not sure how the fix would work.

forget details now but it was an oddity in file ownerships due to php handler.

and no, nobody here is foolish enough to run an upgrader on a live site in that scenario w/o first doing it on a cloned test site.

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