Your feedback is really really important. Really.
Is it just me or is there a new wave of popularity for places asking you for your feedback? Because ‘your views are very important’. I seem to be noticing a lot more incentives to encourage feedback too. If all goes well I’ll be off on a cruise with my new iPad before the end of the month.
Fundamentally this is good. It makes absolute sense to check with your customers that you are delighting them, find out what else they want and provide better products and services that meet their needs.
But you have to make it easy.
There have been several occasions when I’ve wanted to win an iPad (sorry – give feedback) and haven’t been able to. For example recently I was with a friend in a restaurant and we were given a card asking for feedback with our bill. You had to scan a QR code, which took us to a web page where we had a lot of questions to fill in about the service, the look and feel of the restaurant, food choice, standard of food, waiting staff outfits… and the list went on. There was a serious amount of questions. The page froze when we were halfway through so we tried again. It took ages so we tried again. This time we just put any answer to get through the system (yes bad I know but that’s what people do if you don’t make it easy). The web page still froze us out and we gave up. We didn’t win an iPad.
So while I’m a big fan of asking your customers for feedback, if you are going to do it, then do it well so that you get feedback that is useful. Below are some tips that might help you.
- Make gathering feedback part of everyone’s role. Insights that you get from a chat over coffee, or speaking to a participant at an event or speaking to a donor on the phone can highlight lots of opportunities for improvement without the need for formally asking for feedback.
- Make sure there is a place for feedback to go. It might be a person, or an email address. But there needs to be somewhere where this valuable information is collected.
- Make it easy – if I have to scan a QR code, or go to a web page that doesn’t download or have to answer a lot of questions I’m going to get bored or not bother or just tick ‘good’ for everything to get to the end and a chance to win an iPad.
- Ask the relevant questions – what areas do you really want to know about? Don’t ask me everything and anything. This is a good example. Heathrow just want to know one thing about their toilets.
- Test it – get someone to sense check the feedback form/website process/whatever it is, get someone to fill it in that knows nothing about your business. (I’m sure it wasn’t only me that got bored, couldn’t access the site and then gave any old answer)
- Thank people – ask for their data with permission so that you can go back to them with offers/information or whatever is appropriate. (Presumably the one I tried did this – if only I had got to the end…..)
- Do something with the feedback – if it just sits on a spreadsheet then it’s a pointless exercise.
This blog talks about customers in the commercial sector, but the same rules apply to charities. More then ever before it’s our job to ask for and respond to feedback in order to better understand how to provide an exceptional experience for staff, supporters, donors and volunteers.