Customer surveys range from the simple Ultimate Question, to highly in-depth, multi-question surveys. The validity of any of these approaches is suspect. Just like political surveys are proving inaccurate much of the time, customer surveys are likewise. If you want valid customer feedback, what might you do?
Many types of unobtrusive observational techniques are being developed, and “experts” don’t lack for opinions. The issue is getting the “truth” from a valid sample. As we know, the valid sample is the tough part, especially when those who love you and those who hate you are the most likely respondents; and they don’t represent the majority of the customer base. And, of course, their average is meaningless.
I have seen now two effective approaches. The first is pictured above. It was placed outside the public restroom at an airport I recently visited. Simple, quick, timely feedback that is easy to understand. While I have no idea how many responses they get, I suspect it is meaningful.
The other one I saw a several years ago in a fast food restaurant. After you ordered your food, the only way you could turn to exit the line/counter was in the direction of a wall. On the wall was a red phone. A sign above the phone read: “This phone is connected to the owner. If there is something I should know about your experience today, please pick up the phone and tell me.”
Sometimes simple feedback is the best feedback.