Get Engineers Involved

This post idea came from reader and fellow-blogger Alan Hart. His question is “how do you get engineering groups to think abotu service while they are designing products?”

Communication between engineers and customer service people is essential and is something I have written about in the past (see here and here), but there is always more to talk about regarding this topic.

  • The best way to make engineering groups aware of the challenges involved with customer service is to ask them to do customer service. Even if it isn’t that frequent (have each engineer answer support email one day a month). 
  • Some companies require that all employees (engineers included) talk to customers or respond to customer feedback on a daily basis. 
  • Another simple solution is to submit copies of customer feedback to engineers at the company. Let them review what customers are saying and call those customers if they have questions. 
  • A less common, but still very feasible solution is to “embed” a member of the customer service team in the engineering team. Have the customer service representative participate in the product design meetings and provide feedback from a different perspective. 

All of these methods will provide an often needed “reality check” to people who might not talk to customers very often. The methods help engineers a feel for what customers are thinking and what the challenges are. Getting engineers involved means letting them know what’s going on.

2 Responses to “Get Engineers Involved”

  1. Heavyset » Imagineering Customer Service said:

    Feb 23, 09 at 11:12 pm

    […] Untitled posts today on the problem of getting engineers to think about customer service as part of the product […]

  2. Service Untitled» Blog Archive » Respond to Feedback said:

    May 05, 09 at 10:29 pm

    […] does your company do after it receives feedback, though?  You can share the information with engineers, pass on praise accordingly, and so on. However, those options and the procedures that most […]