Feedback forms that make you go “huh?”


If you want to get good, quality feedback from customers you need to speak in their language not your company’s jargon. Simple and straightforward, right? Well just last week I received two feedback requests from major companies that made me go “huh?”

The first request came from Black & Decker. It was six months since I registered a product with them and they wanted to know if I liked the product and if I would be recommending them to others. Well I would have been happy to reply if I knew what product they were talking about in their email. Their email request (see below) asked me for feedback on their FS618C2. Well that made me go “huh?” What was this product? I had to search online to find the actual description because I didn’t remember what product they wanted me to review.

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The second request came from Blockbuster (see below) asking me when I mailed a particular movie back to them so they could see if their process was efficient . It made stop and go “huh?” After trying to remember when I mailed it back to them, I remembered I didn’t mail it back to them. I dropped it off at one of their local stores. Not only that, but they gave me three days to select as the date I mailed it and it was rather hard to remember the exact day. I wonder how accurate that data is for them. Since I dropped it off at the store, don’t they know that, and can’t they record that date?

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I do want to applaud each of these companies for asking for feedback to improve their products and services. But please, make it easy for customers. Speak in their language and be sure to have at least a few people test your feedback form and process from the customer’s point of view.

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Are company executives afraid of their customers?


fear_man1.jpg  According to the 2006 Customer Experience Management Global Survey by Strativity Group 65.8% of company executives don’t meet frequently with customers. The good news is that this year’s number is down a whopping 1% from last year’s.  Which makes one wonder, why do so few executives talk to customers on a regular basis???

Is it due to lack of time, of resources, or tools? I doubt it. It’s probably because most executives don’t know what it costs them NOT to talk to customers. How many know the cost of a customer complaint, or the cost of a lost customer?  As an executive, do you want to be the first or last person to know of problems?

Maybe it’s because there is no process around customer conversations.  Where do you start? Since all customers are not equal, try to get diverse perspectives with these three groups:

  1. Recent, first time buyers
  2. Long-term loyal customers
  3. Lost customers

To get the conversation flowing in the right direction, what one question would you ask each of these type of customers?

Here’s my list for now:

  1. Recent, first time buyers: What was it that convinced you to use our product/service?
  2. Long-term, loyal customers: What is it about us that keeps you coming back?
  3. Lost customers: What one thing could we have done to have earned your repeat business?

What would you add to this list?

Changing Relationship Between Advertisers and Consumers


A well done video demonstrating the importance of a two-way conversation between adverstisers and consumers.  It also points out how consumers have changed and how advertisers need to change to continue to be relevant. The key is listening to your customers.  This involves doing more listening than talking.  We were given two eyes, two ears, and one mouth – we need to use them in proportion.  It’s also about confirming what we heard.  We all have filters that we use to process what hear, read, and see.  Great listeners learn to limit their filters and clairfy that what they heard is accurate.

BTW, the video is done by the crew at Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions – who’d have guessed it!  Nice job.