Painting the Forest

09-24-2020 09:24 AM
Esri Community Moderator
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Written by Thomas Edghill and Kory Kramer | Esri Customer Experience


Do you ever sit around and wonder, “I wish I could tell Esri about how <Enter Product Here> works for me”?  Do you have some burning feedback in your pocket with nowhere to toss it?  If so, we're excited to share some of the ways that Esri listens, including a new product survey that we'd like to talk about!


You may have received an email recently about this survey, which requests feedback about Esri products that you use.  If you completed that, thank you!  We really appreciate your honest input as it helps us continue to shape our products to serve you better.  If you did not receive an email or did not complete the survey, use the link at the bottom of this blog to tell us what you think. At this point, you’re probably wondering, “Hey, wait a sec.  Why didn’t you just give me the link right there?” 


Totally fair question.  While we have you here and we’re on the topic of communication, we wanted to paint the whole picture for you. Allow us to take you up the elevator to the scenic view if you will, in order to contemplate the entire forest rather than just this one, albeit important, individual tree that is the product survey. 


Did you know that there are a number of ways we listen to our customers throughout the year?  Since you’re here reading this, we’ll assume you’re aware of GeoNet!  While primarily designed for peer-to-peer support where community members can help each other, staff from Esri product teams often participate in the community and gain valuable insight about pain points or generally how to improve a product or workflow.   


And you might be aware of ArcGIS Ideas, where you can submit requests for new features or functionality and the community can vote and comment to help teams gauge interest and fully understand use cases.  And then there is technical support, there are public holistic testing sessions, early adopter communities, user research studies at conferences and events, web page feedback, commenting capability on blogs, among others. 


Some of these listening channels are unstructured and less formalized, others are very structured, providing tracking numbers and statuses, and others are somewhere in between.  While it can be helpful to get specific, explicitly actionable feedback from you in the form of a bug, an idea, or a correction to online documentation, we understand that what you have to say doesn’t always fit neatly into those buckets.  What you are trying to convey to us is more expansive.  It’s on another level.  What you have to say is mighty, it is of the ilk that cannot be bound by the quotidian constraints of one technical support case.  “Oh, yeah!  That’s what I’m talking about Mr. Blogwriter.  What do I do then, huh?” 


I’ll tell you what you do.  You fill out the 2020 Esri Product Survey.  That’s what! 


The product survey is an Esri Customer Experience initiative designed to provide you, our customers, with a new way to stay in touch with us about the products you use.  It is an opportunity to provide more context and texture to the ongoing conversation around continuous product improvement, and the listening channels we already described. Offered two times per year, survey input is delivered to product teams, ensuring that the customer voice remains a strong influence in the software development process. 


So, if the numerous ways that Esri currently listens to feedback – ideas, enhancement requests, blog comments, bugs, GeoNet threads, online documentation feedback, error reports, and so on - are like the individual bushes, ferns, and trees, then the newly-debuted semi-annual 2020 Esri Product Survey helps to give us a “big picture” understanding of how Esri products rise or fall to the occasion for you at this point in time.  In other words, it helps us paint the forest. 



About the Author
Thomas works on the Customer Experience team at Esri. Originally from Barbados, his time spent living, studying and working in the Caribbean, Canada, Wales and the U.S. has fueled his love of all things spatial. He is particularly interested in exploring the interconnections between human and physical geographies, and how GIS can be used to tell compelling stories about them. Thomas has been a proud member of Esri since 2013.