Recently I took a flight from London to the U.S. for work. Before getting to the airport, I made sure I had checked in online and had my boarding pass available on my phone. So, on arrival at the airport, the only thing I had to do before going through security was to have my passport and visa status checked by the airline staff that I was flying with.
Having done that, I then headed through security and Duty-Free into the departures area.
On arriving there, I was then surprised to receive a text message from the airline that I was flying with saying:
Reading the text message, I thought “What?….. I haven’t even gotten on the plane yet.
Rereading the text message, I was further confused as it was not clear what they wanted me to do.
Did they want a comment?
Did they want a score? But, if so, out of what?
What was even odder to me was that after I had landed at my destination, I didn’t get another text asking how my flight was. I thought this was unusual given that the flight tends to be the central and most important part of the flying experience.
My experience with the airline was not an isolated incident. I’ve had similar experiences with other brands, where their requests for feedback have been ill-timed, not clear, too frequent or their surveys have just required too much effort to complete, and that has put me off.
Why is it that so many companies still get it so wrong when it comes to asking their customers for feedback, particularly when there is such a lot of talk and activity around customer journey mapping and better understanding the customer’s experience right now?
To not align a feedback request with a customer’s journey feels clumsy and suggests that their surveying effort is driven more by process than anything else.
But, to not take the time to make sure a survey request is unambiguous in its meaning is just plain lazy.
So, when it comes to asking for feedback from customers, companies should remember two things:
One, their ability to ask for feedback is a gift given their customers don’t have to provide feedback; and
Two, their survey process is still part of their customers’ experience so to ask for feedback too often, in an unclear way, in the wrong place or in such a way that it requires too much effort can undermine the whole experience.
This post was originally published on Forbes.com.
Thanks to Pixabay for the image.