posted by Steve

Hi out there!  Welcome to my first MessengerSays blog posting.  I’m the new guy, Steve, and my role on the messenger team is to process all the comments, letters and other missives we get from a quarter of a billion (would that be one deci-Sagan?) customers – and make sense of it all.

By the way, we do get and read pretty much every single piece of feedback we get.  But that’s another topic for another post down the road.

There’s another way to reach us, too, and that’s through technical support.  Support’s a little different.  A customer has a problem and needs some information that they can’t find in the help pages.  This is supposed to be a dialog.  The support page asks for your email. It asks for greater detail about the specific nature of what you’re having trouble with.  And if your issue is unique enough to be something we don’t have a ready answer to, you wind up swapping emails with one of our support techie peeps – top notch folks who KNOW this system inside and out.  Great for you ‘cause you get your problem fixed and great for us because we learn more about the complex and unique ways one deci-Sagan’s worth of customers use our product.

I’ll answer the first question first.  Feedback is intended to be used for things like new feature requests: “Hey, you guys thought about doing this…?”  Think of it as suggestion box (gee, maybe we ought to rename it that?!)  And as with any suggestion box, the input is valuable but nothing ever comes back saying, “Yeah, we got that, we hear ya.”  Even though we definitely do.

What goes in support?

“Yo! I can’t log in!”  “My buddy list won’t come up.”  “My display picture’s green and I look like Ugly Betty.”

You get the picture.  It’s the place to go for issues which you can’t find in our extensive (and growing, we heard you when you told us to make that bigger and friendlier!) help pages.

As to the second question, yeah, there ought to be just one place to send “stuff” to the Messenger team.  Ideas, complaints – and *gasp* even praise.  By the way, THANK YOU for sending kudos our way, we tremendously appreciate hearing how much you love Messenger.  Particular thanks to the very touching letter from the person who recently lost her hearing and now uses messenger to communicate with her sister and kids.  Woah.  Very cool.

But yeah, all that kinda stuff should go in one big bucket and we Microsofties should sort through it and figure out what’s support related and what’s feedback.  We hear ya.  We’re moving in that direction but these things take time.

So for now – rule of thumb:  Support if you want a response.  Feedback if it’s just a suggestion. 

Now, how do I get support?  Well, first you have to use our help system.  Search for and read the pages which relate to your problem.  Chances are really good that the answer’s there already.  If not — and this shouldn’t happen very often — then click all the way down in the lower right hand corner "Get additional help"  That will bring up a page of additional help options — and Get Technical Support will be one of those options.

Ciao for now!