Have Feedback for LDS.org? Comments Helpful for Improving Site
Contributed By Sharon Howell, LDSTech.org
Have you had trouble finding a resource on LDS.org, or have you wanted to ask a question or comment about something you saw or read on the site? Perhaps a video didn't work as expected and you want to let someone know.
A link to Feedback (formerly on the right of each web page) is now at the bottom of each page on LDS.org. Feedback remains a valuable tool for customers to find answers and provide comments to the Church through its official website. The Church, site developers, and product managers use feedback to make improvements by identifying what is most important to LDS.org visitors (who may or may not be members of the Church and who may reside in many countries and speak many different languages).
Since 2009, visitors to LDS.org have submitted more than 276,000 feedback items. This number does not include many other Church websites that have their own feedback mechanisms.
How does the Feedback link work?
When you click on the Feedback link, an online form opens. The main field is for a visitors to type a question or comment. Additional fields ask for contact information, a reason or purpose for visiting the site (selected from a drop-down list), and some additional information to help feedback responders understand the comments.
Feedback “customers” do not need to sign in at LDS.org to submit feedback. Checking the box for “Keep my feedback anonymous” shields the submitter’s email address while allowing communication to go back and forth.
Where does the feedback go?
A data sweep every 15 minutes moves feedback items from the website into an independent online database. There items are numbered and classified into categories.
The database has tools to manage and store feedback items. Responders log into the database and work from a web page. Each item has links to details and additional fields for replies and keeps a log of all transactions.
Who responds to feedback questions?
Feedback responders are faithful Church members who serve as Church-service missionaries and volunteers. As a group they are known as the LDS.org Response Team.
Response team members are, in many ways, ambassadors for the Church on the front lines for many general issues submitted through the feedback link. For things they cannot answer or resolve, they use designated channels to forward feedback to other Church departments, web programmers, and product specialists.
Team members are spread around the world on almost every continent and come from many different backgrounds. They use their own computers and Internet access and donate from a few to many hours supporting customers and fellow team members.
According to Ray Maness, a feedback coordinator for the Church, response team members are encouraged to “respond in a way that is personal so that customers feel care and concern expressed in the communications they receive from email replies to feedback questions.”
Where do responders find answers?
Feedback responders become very familiar with Church websites. They are aware of upgrades, have experience using Church apps, and know what is trending in media channels. They use an extensive internal FAQ knowledge database of Church-related topics. Team members become specialists for particular things, and key people are continually improving and updating the FAQs. They use search engines and help files and rely on translation software such as Google Translate to overcome language barriers.
A team member, for instance, may machine translate a feedback item to get an idea of what it is about in order to delegate it to someone else or to research and find an answer, which is retranslated and then verified by a language specialist for accuracy before sending. If no specialist is available, the English response is sent along with the machine translation.
Response team members also research and provide links that answer doctrinal questions and have backups for just about anything they would encounter beyond their ability.
What types of questions are likely to be asked?
Feedback varies depending on what is featured on LDS.org or the timing of upgrades and product enhancements. General conferences, for example, bring a surge of comments and questions. Technical glitches, such as broken links or download errors, and spelling or grammar mistakes often generate feedback. These types of feedback are valuable for improving the quality of LDS.org.
LaRue Stuart, a Church-service missionary who has served on the response team for several months, said feedback often includes “where can I find”-type questions, requests for improvements, and comments about the appearance of a web page on the site. One person commended web programmers for doing a “fantastic job.” Another asked, “Is Noah in the Book of Mormon the same as Noah in the Bible?” Often feedback comments come from seekers of truth with requests to talk to “Mormon missionaries.”
If you have a question or comment, submit feedback at LDS.org. You’ll need an Internet connection. Provide an email address if you want a reply, or you may choose to remain anonymous.
You can find the information about the LDS.org Response Team and how to serve at the following website: https://sites.google.com/site/aboutldsresponseteam/