Why LinkedIn Connections are a great pool of feedback!

In February this year, DocRead was well into it’s 3rd month of being an officially ‘live’ product. All the hours of design, development, testing and documentation finally brought what I think is a truly amazing product to SharePoint.

During this time I sent a mail out to all my LinkedIn connections (about 3000) asking for constructive feedback on the product, site, documentation… the whole works. I wasn’t sure what to expect and was very worried about being labelled a mail pest or god forbid a ‘spammer’. Anyway, I took a leap of faith and went for it and I was so chuffed with the responses I got and also the changes we made as a result of this.

As a thank you and progress update I have sent all of my connections a letter (shown at the bottom of this post). It illustrates the kind of areas that we got feedback on. I mentioned 5 but there could have easily been another 20 to add into that list of changes made. My advice, if you are in a similar position to us – launching a product on the world – use your LinkedIn network and ask for open and honest feedback, you will be surprised how many responses you get!

Dear LinkedIn connection

In February, I sent an email to my LinkedIn connections asking for opinions on our new product – DocRead for SharePoint? At the time, I was unsure whether to send the email and was also sceptical about the kind of response I would receive. To be honest, I was hugely surprised by how many of you took the time and effort – not only to look at our product site – but also download and play with DocRead.

After digesting and collating the feedback we spent long days (and nights), tweaking, implementing and changing several things, ranging from the marketing and documentation perspective, to adding new content to our site.

Here’s an example of four points raised by some of you that we acted upon:

  • “You need way more product information in order to make a decision on a product like this!” : DocRead tour
  • “Can you explain your licensing model – is it per server?” : How is DocRead licensed
  • “Who are Collaboris? Customers will want to know this.”: About us
  • “I think you should get a copy of Camtasia and make some videos as a lot of people prefer to learn this way.” : Video Center (By the way Camtasia is one cool bit of kit, thanks Paul!)

We also built in several improvements to the product and are well underway with introducing new features such as quizzes and digital signatures. This again, came from your input! As you can imagine when launching a new product there is so much to think about, so much to do and it’s hard to see the wood for the trees. These responses helped us focus on what was really important and what really mattered at a time when the ‘to do’ list doubled daily.

Since implementing these key changes we have seen significant improvements in our product sales and also general interest in DocRead. Now, in just 10 months I am very proud to say we have successfully sold to customers from around the world in industries ranging from pharmaceutical and shipping to construction and education. We have even sold DocRead to the US government!

All this would not have been possible without those replies! If you were one of the many that helped me out – I wanted to take 5 minutes writing to say a big THANK YOU for your generosity! Please, don’t hesitate to contact me if you are in a similar position and need constructive feedback on your product or service!

Best Regards

Mark Jones
SharePoint Solutions Architect – Collaboris Ltd