Do these jeans make my butt look big?
Anyone heard that question before? Not the most fun to answer, but we're not going to start by talking about what you answered (we'll get back to that), but more about how you answered. When your friend came out of the dressing room, did they hand you a comment card with this question? How about a survey? Were there bubbles to fill in representing a 1-5 rating scale?
Of course not.
You had an actual conversation. So why do businesses ask us to fill out comment cards and surveys? Do they think we like it? No, they just don't know any better way to get our feedback. Is it convenient for us? Definitely not. But what does make something convenient? Usually when it's a part of our normal behavior. Now I don't know about you, but filling out comment cards and surveys is not generally a part of my every day life.
And what exactly do they think they're getting out of it? You answered some questions they think they need answered? That's not real feedback. Real feedback is your friend telling you the jeans looked great but they're already on their way out of style and will be worthless by next season. Can you get that from a filled in bubble?
Now back to what you answered. The way you answer the jean question is going to be different if you're the boyfriend vs. being a truly concerned friend. Different relationships induce different feedback because of the possible outcomes. This is where it becomes important to be receiving this feedback in a conversation format instead of a pre-scripted survey or comment card. The way you answer the first question, "do these jeans make my butt look big?" is going to change the follow-up question that will be asked. And the follow-up questions are where you truly get to the root.
So what is the best way to get real feedback? Well it needs to be convenient, so go ahead and throw comment cards and surveys out the window. And it needs to be a conversation, which means it has to be in real-time. And if different relationships can affect the answer, then it needs to be anonymous.
So where can you find a service that gives your customers anonymity, gives you the real-time aspect of a conversation, and is as convenient as sending a friend a text? Hmmm, I'll give you 3 guesses.
Hint: check out TalkToTheManager :)
photo credits: photo 1 via photopin, photo 2 via photopin