Do we need to reinvent how we collect customer feedback?

By Kevin Smit

According to a recent USA today article, you could be hurting brand loyalty by asking your customers to fill out “another” customer feedback form.

At every conference we run here at Conferenz we include a paper-based customer feedback survey for attendees. Increasingly we are getting fewer and fewer responses back, which is a big concern considering that these surveys provide us with invaluable feedback on the event and what we should consider going forward. We’ve trialled some electronic options but we’ve had very little uptake from the attendees.

Customer fatigue issues should have us all rethinking our approach.  Here are a few quotes from the USA today article to highlight some of their complaints:

  •  “I resent the assumption that I’m interested in helping this company beyond making a purchase. Giving them your money is enough”
  • “When the survey-taker can’t veer from a ‘totally satisfied, somewhat satisfied, not satisfied’-style script, its impossible to see how they could ever be of any use.”
  •  “It often makes more sense to comment on sites than to take surveys. ‘This way, both potential customers and management can benefit.’”

That last comment made me wonder whether at the heart of the issue is a gap between consumer media habits and our data collection trends.

Consumers are reading and posting feedback at their favourite websites or engaging in brand discussions via social media; while we continue using traditional survey methods.

One new beta-site I have come across is called suggestionbox.com. This site allows customers to provide feedback in a suggestion box format.  Customers can view comments from others and companies can review and post if/when a suggestion is implemented.

What approaches have you used to collect customer feedback?

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