Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lesson Learned: Feature Requests

Lets say you want or need a new feature in a software product. How do you go about getting it added?

Last week, for perhaps the first time in my life, I was actually able to achieve this feat! Here is my advice. First contact technical support to confirm that the feature does not already exist. Then forward the confirmation to sales and explain further what you need and why you need it. It will help if you say how much you love the product and that "unfortunately" you will need to switch to a competitor if said feature does not get added. It is worth noting that it is OK to contact sales even if you don't pay for it. Mine for example was a free web service.

In the past I've made the mistake of sending feature requests directly to technical support or engineering. Engineers like to think that engineers run the world but alas this is not the case. New features are driven from sales & marketing not engineering. You are often far better off lobbying sales directly for the feature than if you rely on technical support / engineering to lobby for it on your behalf.

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