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"Time-out Sucks" or, How To Turn a Customer Complaint Into A Positive and Productive Experience

.: My friend and colleague, Rafael Sidi, Product Manager of Engineering Village 2, illustrates how the receipt of an angry e-mail from a user of his product can be turned around into something productive and positive. Excerpt:

This was the subject of an email that I got from one Engineering Village user. And the student was absolutely right, if I were in his place I would have sent similar email.

Below you'll find some of the correspondence (with his permission) that I had with this Student. I think one of the beauty of this open conversation is at the end the customer who was initially upset with your poduct is telling you how to enhance the product. In graduate school, one of my professors used to emphasize that we should "trust the process"; my motto in product development and business has been "trust the customer, they will tell you what is right and wrong and help you to create a better product.

Another lesson for me: We all talk about "workflow" (and sometimes we abuse the term) and about integrating our products into the "workflow" of our customers. I wonder how many of us thought that lunch break was in the workflow of our customers.

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