Have you had trouble finding something, or have you wanted to ask a question or comment about something you saw or read at LDS.org?
A link to Feedback formerly on the right of each web page is now at the bottom and remains a valuable tool for getting answers and communicating with the Church through its official website. The Church uses feedback to identify what is most important to site visitors who may or may not be members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and who may reside in many countries and speak many different languages.
Since 2009, over 276,000 feedback items have been submitted at LDS.org. This 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 question or a text-based comment. Additional fields ask for contact information, a reason or purpose (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 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 “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 and delegate it to someone else or research and find an answer, which is re-translated 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.
It might interest you to know that Response Team members also research and provide links that answer doctrinal questions, and have back-ups 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 Conference brings a surge of comments and questions. Technical glitches, such as broken links or download errors, and spelling or grammar mistakes often generate feedback.
LaRue Stuart, a Church Service Missionary on the Response Team for several months, shared feedback examples which included many “Where can I find…” type questions. Other questions were requests for improvements to the appearance of the home page, and conversely another was a commendation to the web programmers for doing a “fantastic job.” One person asked “Is Noah in the Book of Mormon the same as Noah in the Bible?” Other feedback comments came from genuine seekers of truth with requests to talk to “Mormon missionaries.”
If you have a question or comment, this is an opportune time to submit feedback at LDS.org. You’ll need an Internet connection and provide an email address to reply to, and you may choose to remain anonymous.