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  • Dominic Stinton

Concerning the enigma that is the deadly dull feedback survey

Imagine you’re in the hospitality trade, and you’ve been given a budget to create the bar of your dreams. Your co-investors and Board are 100% committed to creating the most incredible experience, and encourage you to go hell-for-leather designing the most exciting rococo nighttime adventure that would make even Earnest Hemingway raise an eyebrow over his whiskey sour. Come opening night, all the beautiful people are there, and the place is heaving. You want to find out what they think of it all, but instead of asking your charming French Maitre D’ to do the honours, you instead bring one of the pot washers out front, the one with the least charm of all, all introversion, baggy trousers and zero charisma. Yet you persist in shoving him forward, and watch as he tries and fails to engage with your beautiful customers, who barely notice he’s even there, and when they do, get irritated by his butting in on their conversations.

Welcome to the enigma that is the deadly dull feedback survey

Why do brands persist in using software that looks like a 1970s Grange Hill maths exercise book, whilst their Boards simultaneously trumpet about customer experience being their number one driver for growth, and the bedrock of digital transformation? Aha, they may say, it’s all about the analytics and the insights; but there’s no point harping on about the results if 95% of your customers ignore the survey in the first place.

The medium is the message, so Marshall McLuhan claimed sagely in the 60s. He was referring to television and the fact that the experience of watching television would profoundly change society more than the actual content being watched. But in 2021, he could equally apply the same philosophy to survey software. Taking a glass-half-empty view, one would come to the sad conclusion that most of these businesses mustn’t actually care about what their customers think if they’re prepared to put things like this in front of them:

Can feedback surveys drive growth?

But if you follow McCluhan’s train of thought, and you’re prepared to think glass-half-full, then customer feedback surveys have the potential to actually engage consumers, as opposed to being a grim hairshirt that’s easy to skip after the first question, when it becomes apparent that the second question has been asked in exactly the same unambitious way. And what generally happens to consumers when they become engaged? They start wanting to find out more, they remember you more, and they demonstrate more propensity to buy and become loyal customers. And what does that lead to? Growth. Imagine commercial growth being something that your surveys could contribute towards, rather than just being a cost that gets shuffled around the research department? Suddenly your surveys become just as important as all the other micro-interactions that you’ve already invested millions in, such as the recommendation engine, the guest check-out, basket and PayPal integrations, not to mention your CRM systems etc etc etc.

Of course, it’s sometimes still acceptable to put this style of survey in front of people:

And that’s because some surveys are concerned with very important matters of life and death, or matters where our sense of civic pride compels us to take part; we’re thinking surveys concerning COVID-19, the Census and what-not. But even in these instances, one wonders how much more effective these surveys would be if they breathed a little more life into their frontend user experience. But it’s also a truism that a good number of these survey-style use-cases are accompanied by some kind of financial incentive, which research departments and agencies must pay to get the insights they require. But most importantly, the vast majority of surveys do not concern life or death matters – they concern how easy it was buying that dress, or what was the call with customer services like, or would you recommend this engine oil to your friends and family? Questions that most of us don’t have time to answer unless they are put to us in a more compelling way than the majority of survey software platforms currently being used.

In addition to this, drawing out insight and feedback from your customers doesn’t need to cost the earth. Invest in a tool like Give My View, and you will see engagement levels rocket, completion rates double and customers coming back for more.

Now imagine if your surveys could look like this; isn’t this more in keeping with your brand’s customer experience aspirations? Like the decision to treat this customer interaction as being worthy of engagement like your other touch points, you’ll be pleased to hear that accessing the backend analytics is also not rocket science; after all, you will need to devour the insights that all of these engaged customers have provided as soon as you get them.

We therefore envisage a world where Give My View is the go-to platform for all customer feedback at scale, whether that’s in regard to your latest brand campaigns, tenant and occupier satisfaction, sports and leisure stadium experiences or … well, how long is a piece of string? But of course, we would say that. If you want to have a look at our surveys, try this one for size. Hopefully, the engagement you’ll feel from using the product will be enough to convince you of its worth more than this single humble blog post.


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