How To Leverage “Smiles & Frowns” To Improve Customer Experiences

by | Nov 13, 2019 | Voice of Customer & Insights | 0 comments

You’ve probably seen signs in restaurants, hotels, and other locations requesting customers for feedback about their experiences. It is common practice more than ever before, even in unusual places like public bathrooms. Focusing on customer experience (CX) and capturing the Voice of Customers (VOC) feedback is smart business. Yet if the execution is not done right, it is wasted effort.

One CX Approach:

Customer Feedback and Customer Experience

Photo source: Stacy Sherman

Take a look at my photograph from a bathroom wall at Newark airport. Do you see what’s missing in this scenario? While the user interface (feedback button) is easy and intuitive, there’s no way for visitors to explain WHY they rated ? versus ? and ☹️. It is not clear what is causing people to feel happy or dissatisfied, which is needed for improvement planning. Likewise, there’s no indication of WHO pushed the buttons. A frequent flyer may have different expectations than someone who rarely visits airports, thereby impacting the rating. I’ve learned from chatting with Forrester that “many customers capture customer satisfaction (red/yellow/green) data alone and leverage real-time threshold alerts to quickly respond to trouble spots.” I am a fan Forrester and believe there is value in that. Yet, I frequently see young kids push the buttons as if it is a game, resulting in unreliable data.

Improved CX Feedback Methods:

Customer Feedback and DoingCXRight

Here’s another wall sign I saw at the airport. It includes a phone number for visitors to call about their customer experience. I believe this is a better approach than the first example because the company rep can ask questions about visitor pain-points, demographics, and other details to influence business decisions. I also like how clear the brand promise is and informs exactly what the company wants to know from visitors. It’s simple while also specific. My only question is whether or not the phone number is unique to each building or restroom. I recommend it so that the customer service rep knows which location the visitor is calling from and can personalize conversations.

customer feedback and DoingCXRight

Source: Stacy Sherman

Let’s look at another example on the left. I like the approach as it references a specific question about the level of satisfaction with the cleanliness of the restroom. It leaves no room for misinterpretation. Yet, there is no way for visitors to explain why or why not the restroom is meeting expectations. Without the details, the feedback only provides half the facts.

A Better CX Approach:

Similar to the above “Project Clean” example where a customer service number is provided, I recommend also offering customers the ability to text their feedback. SMS provides a fast and simplified way to communicate, resulting in people sharing their views more frequently. As technology continues to get more sophisticated, such as voice to data translation and QR codes, feedback volume will exponentially rise.

5 Takeaways About Customer Feedback:

  1. Ask customers for feedback. Be sure to apply best practices per examples above.
  2. Never underestimate customer intelligence. People know when companies are claiming to be customer-centric but are actually “checking a box.”
  3. Make the process easy and convenient (and sanitary). Offer customers options on how they provide feedback, such as calling vs. texting vs emailing.
  4. Improve the customer journey based on qualitative data that explains the quantitative. A smile or frown by itself does not reveal much. You need to know “WHY” and “WHO” factors.
  5. Personalize experiences. Leverage technology (and big data) to know your audience.

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*All views expressed are mine & do not reflect opinions of or imply endorsement of employers or other organizations.

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*All views expressed are Stacys and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.


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