It was just like any other day. A typical grey cloudy English sky and occasional rainfall. I needed some lunch and being out in meetings I pulled over to use the services and bought myself a coffee and a sandwich – healthy option of course, because along with millions of others I had a good Christmas holiday season and it’s time to get back in shape!
Just like any other day I finished my coffee and got back on the road following the sat nav instructions and was soon in my next meeting. Later, just like any other day, I checked my email and as is often the case I had a survey from one of the brands I had bought from earlier.
And just like any other survey, it was long and boring, asking questions that bore little relevance to the experience I had had with their company. All they really wanted to know was “how happy was I with the overall experience?”
A Service Focus
It’s a common occurrence that brands and organisations feel they need to assess their delivery of service across a number of their key internal measures. The operations teams are often highly effective individuals running a tight ship and I can understand why they feel the need to assess their delivery of product and service. However, they are rarely survey specialists and also rarely do they think ‘from the outside in’ – or in other words, ‘from the customer’s perspective’.
In our work with HappyOrNot we meet with many clients who all have a willing desire to get closer to their customers and to provide a great service. It’s understandable therefore that organisations often run surveys to ask their customers what they think. The trouble is that all too often their survey is just like everyone else’s survey, focused on their own internal measures. These long operationally-focused surveys just add to the noise and are slowly becoming less and less effective.
Less is More
So what is the answer? I would say “less is more”. By asking the key question and getting straight to the point, responses massively increase and so does accuracy.
Let me explain. Human nature means that we inherently want to communicate and that’s why the right kind of feedback can be very effective. We want to tell you how it went. We’re happy to rate a service. We like to give praise and sometimes complain. However the issues arise when we do that and find ourselves in the middle of a load of questions which we don’t really want to answer. And that’s where the errors come in. We will rush to complete a survey, no longer truly engaging in the process and the accuracy of our responses falls away. Results are inaccurate and at worst misleading.
This also occurs when surveys are over promoted or incentivised. Respondents can complete all the questions simply in order to enter the competition or win the prize.
The solution? Less is more. Keep feedback short and sweet – getting straight to the questions that really matter.
…And then in the middle of someone’s ordinary day, you can provide a truly great way for them to give you their feedback.