Thirty years ago, marketers only had two choices when they wanted to understand what their customers liked: complaint cards and mystery shopping. And even then, those selections were so limited and the information gathering techniques were so basic, you couldn’t be sure whether you were getting the most accurate information.
Let’s start with the complaint cards. With the name alone, we’re already biased toward what that card should be used for: so people can gripe and complain about how they didn’t like something or their experience was terrible. Some people called them comment cards, but no one ever seemed to do anything but complain on them.
I’m not saying that’s not important or valid, but imagine being a restaurant or store owner, and the only time you ever hear from people is when they want to complain about you. Imagine if Yelp were only for one- and two-star reviews, and that gives you an idea of what restaurant managers must have gone through in the 1970s.
Nowadays, we have more choices for customer feedback. Not only do we have customer satisfaction surveys (the nicer, more pleasant name for “complaint cards”), but those can be done online rather than filled out in the store or restaurant. Plus, invitations to complete the surveys are usually shared on purchase receipts, although they can be sent via email or text messages. Some restaurants will even promise a free item, such as a free cookie (Subway) or a Buy One, Get One Free sandwich (McDonald’s).
Speaking of mobile phones, the text survey is one form of mobile feedback. I’ve also seen text messages and emails sent from places where I made purchases on a Square or similar credit card processing app. When my receipt is emailed to me, there is often a survey accompanying it.
The survey is usually just a question and two options: “How did we do?” followed by a smiley face and a frowny face. Click the option that best reflected your experience, and you will be taken to a website for a short, 4-question survey.
Another type of mobile feedback is usually given through a business’ app where you can ask customers to fill out a short survey and even upload a photo of their receipt as proof of their purchases. Or you can ask customers to scan a QR code at your business, and have them taken immediately to your mobile feedback site where they can answer your questions.
Mobile feedback is a regular part of measuring customer satisfaction these days. Gone are the comment cards and “I’d like to speak to a manager” complaints. Now, you can solicit negative and positive feedback from people and get a better idea of what people are happy with and what they don’t like.
If you’re interested, we have a white paper on the benefits of mobile surveys and mobile feedback that you can peruse at your convenience.