Feedback mechanisms that aren’t helpful

The other day I was trying to figure out how to schedule a post to appear on this blog on a future date.  I invested some time in trying to figure it out on my own, and when success eluded me I went to the trusty “Help” link.

Long story short, I was not able to find anything about this topic.  At one point I had clicked on a promising link and not found my answer, and I noticed at the bottom of the page a question: “Was this what you were looking for?”  It had two radio buttons, Yes and No, and a submit button.  Wanting to be helpful, I clicked “No” and submitted it.

I am not sure what I was expecting to happen.  I suppose in my wildest dreams some nice chat guy from India would have appeared on my screen and asked me if he could help me find the answer to my question.  At the very least I think I should have been asked to “please tell us what you were looking for, so that in the future we may improve our help system.”But none of those things happened.

Actually nothing happened.

I don’t even think I got a thank you.  But that didn’t even bother me, what bothered me was the fact that they asked me a question, the answer to which was completely useless to them.  Like… why bother?  This type of stuff only makes me LESS likely to give you feedback in the future.

I read somewhere recently that “your web site should not have any features that aren’t easily explainable in an online FAQ.”  I think it was in David Meerman Scott’s latest book (I’ll be posting more about this fabulous book later).  It’s not news really, but I like the way it’s phrased, and Juntopia [Grouvia] will follow this principle.

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