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Customer Feedback Gone Wrong: What Message Are You Sending?





No words needed…..


This is a sad state of affairs – this was recently seen by a colleague on a road trip. I forgot to ask, but it appears that this was in a restroom. For feedback. And it’s empty.


What message does this send to customers? “We want to know what you think?” “Please share your feedback with us!” “We care about your opinions, really!”


Not likely any of the above. It sends a message that customer feedback is on the back burner. Sure, they may really want to know – after all, they took the time to put up this display and at one time it likely housed survey forms – but it’s just not a priority. At least not today.


Customers want to be heard, and seeing this will tell them that you really don’t want to hear them, even if that’s not the message you intend to send.


If your company is still relying on paper surveys, make sure that the display is visible, well stocked, and sends the message that you really want to hear the voice of the customer. Better yet, keep the paper surveys and include other options for providing feedback – website forms, toll free numbers to call, reviewing and reacting to comments on social media sites.


Customer service is a big piece of the puzzle, and competition is fierce. If customers do not feel valued, they will go elsewhere. Don’t let that happen!


The above image is just a reminder to keep your customers in the front of your business, and make sure you’re sending the right message.



Hotels Have It Right When It Comes To Customer Feedback


I recently read a great article on the New York Times website on how hotels are capturing customer feedback. I thought it was a great model for all businesses to learn from.


In a nutshell, hotels realize that traditional customer feedback is only going to touch a very small percentage of their customer base. Response rates from traditional feedback methodologies are steadily decreasing, and hotels know that the web is where to be.


Realizing that many people may not have the time or desire to call a toll free number, visit a website, or fill out a feedback form, they will take their opinions online, whether it’s on a review site, like TripAdvisor, or on their Facebook or Twitter pages. That’s why many hotels have made it a point to monitor online content for feedback, reviews, and consumer perception of their hotels.


They also realize the importance technology has in the world of feedback, and have devised ways to capture this information with a variety of technology, so that customers can communicate through the channel they’re most comfortable.


From QR codes to ipad survey kiosks, hotels are offering as many forms of feedback as possible. This has done well for the industry, allowing hotels to collect valuable data and make changes to enhance the guest experience.


Another thing they are doing is moving away from more traditional questions, such as “rate the cleanliness of your room” and leaning toward open ended questions and those types of questions that revolve around the “emotional” aspect of a hotel stay. Hearing from the customer, in their own words, can provide even more information than they’ve seen with other feedback programs. The open ended responses are run through text analytics programs to group themes, look for trends, and make necessary changes to their business model.


It is an ever changing process, but it looks like hotels are on the right path. It will be interesting to watch how customer feedback methodologies continue to evolve as technology becomes more sophisticated.



Sprint Goes Old-Fashioned


I have been a Sprint customer for a few years now, and got quite the surprise a couple of weeks ago…..


I was checking the mail with my young son, and he handed me an envelope that was addressed to me. Hand written envelope, but no return address. As I am still sometimes five years old, I surmised as to who it could be from (rather than just open it and find out). I saw the post mark was from out of state, and I didn’t recognize the handwriting. It was the size of an invitation, so I thought for a second to see if I could come up with any possibilities of what was inside.


After a few moments and coming up empty, I gave in an opened the envelope. It was a simple thank you card, with the front bearing the Sprint logo. Even more to my surprise was a HAND WRITTEN note from a Sprint representative, simply thanking me for being a customer.


I stared at the card for some time, partly in awe. There was no reason to send it; I hadn’t been unhappy with the service or called to complain. There was no sales pitch, discount, or marketing material enclosed. Just a simple, hand written thank you card.


What a nice surprise on a Monday! More companies should go old fashioned and periodically thank their customers, just for being a customer.


Way to go, Sprint!