I was traveling last week. When I checked out of the hotel, the clerk at the desk circled the web address on the statement where I could go to take a survey and earn reward points towards a free night’s stay. I stopped for gas and if I took the survey at the bottom of the receipt I could be entered to win a $500 gift card. The rental car company offered a 10% discount if I filled out their online survey. At the airport I stopped for something to eat and I could get a free donut if I completed a survey. Four survey offers within 30 minutes!
This is a testament to the value of the customer’s opinion. If we are willing to listen, our customers will tell us exactly what they think. If we can incorporate that feedback into producing a better outcome, they will be loyal customers for a lifetime. I remember reading about a grocer who pictured a $100,000 bill on the forehead of each customer in his store. That was the estimated amount (many years ago) that a customer would spend on groceries over their adult life. The forehead location was to remind him to look each customer in the eye.
We still have the luxury of seeing and talking to our customers, eye to eye. Many industries have moved to all automated order gathering and fulfillment (i.e. Amazon). I booked the hotel and the rental car online and used the pay at the pump option at the gas station. Breakfast still had personal contact, but was a fast transaction. Surveys are a way to gauge the effectiveness of these faceless transactions. We can still ask ‘How did we do?’