Make it easy for your customers to give feedback or offer suggestions

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This is something (check out the image) that I saw when Hana and I were out shopping the other day for food. Now, I applaud the different efforts companies make to engage and garner feedback from their customers……. but, for me, there was something wrong with this picture.

Here’s what I thought:

It’s a customer suggestion box in plain view near the customers queuing for the tills. Nice!

It’s an effort that says we want to hear what you have to say. Nice again.

BUT, the problem is that there’s no paper and no pencils for customers to provide feedback. Also, it’s near the customer queuing area which means it can get quite congested and many customers will not want to give up their place in the queue to make a suggestion (if they happen to have one).

If we keep the suggestion box area at the same place but think about the dynamics that happen in that area, our customers, the things that they have at their disposal and what they might be willing to do….how about this as a way of soliciting more feedback?

First of all, how about keeping the suggestion box where it is and keeping it filled with paper and pens for those that want to write something down. But then, how about adding a sign above that invites customers waiting in the queue to send a text message via their mobile phone to a suggestion number?

Do you think think this might work?

I don’t know.

But, I do think that there is a chance that it may work better than what is currently there. Why? Well, most people have mobile phones, a text message could be sent whilst they were in the queue and in doing so they wouldn’t lose their place and, therefore, you wouldn’t be asking them to do something that makes them go out of their way.

Many customer feedback and survey methods fall to live up to expectations, do more harm than good or deliver the results that a business wants because they are designed from a business’ perspective and not from a customers. Therefore, to make feedback and suggestions methods as likely as possible to success, make it easy for your customers to give feedback or offer a suggestion and make it fit with what works for them, not for you.

What cool, innovative, effective customer feedback or suggestion methods have you seen that work?

Originally posted at www.adrianswinscoe.com

About Adrian Swinscoe

Adrian Swinscoe

Adrian Swinscoe is a customer experience consultant and advisor, and has been growing and developing customer-focused large and small businesses for 20 years. He has previously worked with Shell, FT and The Economist Group as well as advising and consulting numerous other large organisations as well hundreds of smaller businesses to help them engage with their customers, build their customer retention and improve service.

He's a huge fan of organisations that do great things for their customers and their employees and a right-hand-man to those that want to achieve their own level of greatness.

He's also a lover of simplicity and advocate of the human touch with a bit of really useful technology thrown in.

Check out his blog: http://www.adrianswinscoe.com

His Forbes column: http://www.forbes.com/sites/adrianswinscoe/

Connect with him on LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/adrianswinscoe

and Twitter: http://twitter.com/adrianswinscoe

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10th Feb 2011 11:15

I think that the way that a company promotes how customers can feedback their views (negative or positive) has a direct impact on customer's perception of their willingness to listen and take on board their ideas. Comment cards that are poorly designed and a tatty old box will just demonstrate that the company doesn't really place any value on customer feedback and similarly those companies that don't provide quick and easy links on their website for customers to use to give feedback simply frustrate customers. I personally have a real dislike for sites where I get plenty of self-help facilities to use but the hardest link to find is the link that is going to give me the information and details I need to report an issue and interact with one of their employees.

A local restaurant close to where I live - The Red Lion, Water End - leaves comments cards in the middle of every table (with pen!) and those cards also give details of how to leave positive or negative comments on the manager's twitter account. The cards are nicely designed and leave you with the feeling that your comments will be used, acted on and responded to. Another nice touch is that their kids menus not only provide pictures to colour in but also a section for the child to give their own feedback - a real nice touch and something my own kids really enjoy completing!

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