Feedback: Bagels and the Art of Real-time Customer Listening

Feedback is a powerful concept.  The word itself sets you up for improvement—even success.  And, so, for your online business (as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider with customers, a blogger with an audience, or an e-commerce product with a market), you want to solicit—heart-in-hand—feedback.

Getting Enough Responses

You are looking for feedback in any form:

Great, small, lean, prolific.

Negative, positive, optional, specific.

Feedback from fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins.

Feedback by tens and dozens.

Use a feedback tool that increases the likelihood that your audience will respond.   That is, for your SaaS app, blog, or e-commerce site, don’t use email surveys—ask for feedback inside your product.  Email surveys can hope for open rates of 20% and even lower response rates.  In-app surveys regularly achieve response rates of over 40%.

Context is Everything

In-app NPS Wootric
In-app NPS Wootric Survey

Feedback is nothing without context.  Read More…

Persuasive Survey Design

While browsing entertainment options on a 10-hour trans-Atlantic flight, I spotted a “feedback survey.” Included in the survey was my seat number, a valuable piece of information that could reveal more information about me. I wondered if and how the airline would use this content to gain insights and find patterns.

The airline was off to a great start by engaging me when I had time to ruminate and provide honest feedback. Unfortunately, the feedback process quickly went downhill with too many clicks, questions I did not understand, and a lengthy feedback form.

The designers of the form had failed to consider the feedback process from the respondent’s perspective. In my chapter Persuasive Survey Design in Allegiance’s book, Delivering Customer Intelligence, I discuss in detail how good survey programs designed from the respondent perspective can lead to higher response and completion rates and provide a more engaging, user-friendly experience.

My survey experience made me think about what key factors grab consumer’s attention and keep it. I immediately thought of B. J. Fogg, a leading proponent of respondent psychology at the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab who developed the “Fogg Behavior Model (FBM)” to help our understanding of human behavior and how it can be applied to survey design.

According to the FBM, in order for a person to perform a target behavior, he or she must be sufficiently motivated, have the ability to perform the behavior, and be triggered to perform the behavior—all at the same time. Core motivators include sensation (pleasure/pain), anticipation (hope/ fear), and social cohesion (acceptance/ rejection). These are essential for perceived respondent experience.

For example, surveys that include awards increase motivation and the likelihood that respondents will complete the survey. Also, the simpler a survey is, the more likely people are to respond. Once you have persuaded the user to fill out your survey, you should use the FBM throughout the three key stages of the feedback process—invitation, response and post response.

The target behavior for the invitation is to inspire the respondent to click on the link within the email or the feedback button on your site. One way to motivate users to respond to your survey is to tell them how their feedback will benefit them, such as improved products and services, rewards and coupons. For example, the airline I used during my recent trip could have motivated me more by giving away a few extra miles for survey completion and re-wording the button as “Give feedback, earn 1,000 bonus miles.”

Bottom line: Using respondent psychology and the Fogg Behavior Model to create simple, engaging surveys leads to higher response and completion rates. It involves keeping the survey objective and respondent experience in the forefront during the entire design process.

Tulsi Dharmarajan is Director of Product Management & Design for Allegiance

Marketing Myopia and the 21st Century Automotive Business

It may seem like ancient history, but in a landmark 1960s article in the Harvard Business Review entitled “Marketing Myopia”, Theodore Levitt put forward the thesis that most companies take too narrow a view of the business they are in. He challenged executives to re-examine their corporate vision and take a wider perspective of the markets in which they compete. His argument was that organizations miss opportunities they are presented with simply because they fail to take a wider view.

An example he uses is the railroads whose failure to grow was due to a limited market view. The problem was that management saw themselves as being in the railroad business rather than the transportation business. There was a growing demand for passenger transportation but it was being filled by cars and airplanes, non-traditional competitors to the railroads. Management was railroad oriented instead of transportation oriented, product oriented instead of customer oriented.

Many credit Levitt with ushering in the era of modern marketing with many concepts we consider commonplace today. Levitt’s argument is that what usually happens is that management emphasizes selling, not marketing. The problem is that selling focuses on the needs of the seller, but marketing concentrates on the needs of the buyer. For companies to grow, he argues, they have to define their industries broadly to take advantage of growth opportunities. They must understand and act on their customers’ needs and desires, not bank on the presumed longevity of their products.

He says that an organization must learn to think of itself not as producing goods or services but as doing the things that will make people want to do business with it. And in every case, the chief executive is responsible for creating an environment that reflects this mission.

In the context of the automotive industry, product is key and I am encouraged by many of the technologies that are being incorporated in new vehicles being launched since they do seem to address genuine needs that customers have told us about. Who would complain about advances in safety, fuel efficiency, or navigation?

But a different perspective needs to be established, and this perspective must be squarely focused on customer needs. Does any new technology considered for a new model truly address a need that customers have or is it just cool technology that the engineering department has come up with? (Just so you don’t think I’m throwing engineers under the bus, I’m not. My brother and uncle are engineers and our son is currently studying to be one too!)

And in a wider context, do CEOs define their business as being in the car business? Or, taking a page from Levitt’s book, should it be defined as being in the transportation business? Defined in this way, it has the potential of broadening opportunities that CEOs will pursue for the company.

There is benefit in dusting off the old business management articles and books that we may have dismissed simply because “they’re too old.” Often the writers have already thought and written about business issues that we’re facing today and if we can learn from their insight and experience, then so much the better.

What do you think? Should manufacturers “stick to their own knitting” or should they consider seeing themselves as being in the transportation business, and not just the car business? Tell me what you think.


Twelve Qualities of Good Survey Questions

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on the CX Cafe.

Surveys are a great way to collect information about people’s perceptions, opinions, thoughts, attitudes, etc. However, the trick is making sure that you’re asking your questions the right way in order to get the data that you need, as well as ensuring that the people who take your survey will all interpret your survey questions the same way. To help you get started, below are 12 qualities of good survey questions to keep in mind when writing your surveys.

A good survey/survey question…

  1. Evokes the truth. You should avoid sensitive questions.
  2. Asks for an answer on only one dimension. You will need to phrase the question to extract the exact information you need, and avoid the possibility of someone giving you an ambiguous response.
  3. Can accommodate all possible answers. A good practice is to allow for multiple responses. Don’t assume that you know it all.
  4. Has mutually exclusive options. (i.e. There should be only one correct or appropriate choice.)
  5. Flows well from the previous question. Your question transitions should be smooth and logical.
  6. Does not make erroneous assumptions.
  7. Does not imply a desired answer. Remember to use objectivity in your questions.
  8. Does not use emotionally loaded or vaguely defined words. Also remember not to use unfamiliar acronyms or abbreviations.
  9. Does not ask the respondent to rank more than five items in a given series.
  10. Puts personal questions at the end of the survey.
  11. Gives respondents the option to not answer the question.
  12. Uses one or two open-ended questions. This invokes direct, well thought out answers.

Contact an InMoment sales representative today to inquire about InMoment Survey Design & Data Gathering Best Practices Consulting Services. And/or, sign up today for one or more survey training courses at InMoment University.

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