This week our experts talk customer surveys and positive brand experiences.

Feedback’s gone crazy.

How to stop customer focus becoming customer harassment.

Will Lavender



3 minute read

The way customer happiness is currently evolving is very much ‘the tail wagging the dog’. In an effort to be customer-focused, the businesses we transact with, or merely contact with an enquiry, are leaping into hot pursuit of feedback – as if they’d earned it, or as if the interaction was so meaningful that we’d want to give it.
In short
  • Customers are overburdened with the expectation to provide feedback at almost every turn of their journey with a brand.
  • Brands need to have a well planned, strategic approach and ask for feedback judiciously – in proportion to the engagement.
  • Customer-driven satisfaction management, done well, is about finding your unhappy customers and doing something about it.
Feedback here, there, and everywhere.

Think of all the situations in which you’ve been expected to give feedback. How about these ones:


  • After simply making a phone enquiry to an insurance company, this single, short call can evoke an online questionnaire.
  • When you stay for just one night in a hotel, you’ve hardly unpacked your suitcase before being asked to rate the hotel and spend unjustified minutes explaining what they got right or wrong.
  • Call a Telco and a bank and while you’re waiting online for someone to talk to, you’ll be warned to stay on after the call to answer a few short questions.
  • When your visit your hair salon, they follow up with a program they’ve been sold which is seeking your feedback and asking you how happy you are.

And if you don’t respond to these requests to ‘check that you’re happy’ or ‘to make you feel valued’? They’ll often send a follow up, just to be sure…

This is not customer-focused. This is customer harassment. Our industry should not fall into this ill-considered and annoying approach. We should be thoughtful, sensitive and intelligent with our contact.

It seems we’re getting confused between customer research surveys (where customers usually receive something for investing their time) with ‘satisfaction’ checking, where customers are contacted to make sure they’re happy with a service or product – with steps then being taken to fix the problem, if it exists.
NPS has much to blame
Many boards are focused on their Net Promoter Scores (NPS) – with bonus money at stake. As a result, much effort is made to determine and measure NPS. But NPS, or survey-orientated contact, is not always customer-driven, it’s often research-driven.
Being customer-driven, instead.
Ideally, this occurs promptly after customers have made a major transaction – and they aren’t given time-consuming and arduous forms to complete. Instead, a quick check-in, a one-click experience, a light call or a Y/N style SMS should be employed.

Happy customers tend to respond and tell you – because they like you. Unhappy ones tend not to respond – because they just don’t want to. It’s human nature. You avoid speaking to someone you’re unhappy with. If you care about your customer, you have to work harder to find out how they feel. Valuable customers who don’t reply should be assumed to be ‘unhappy’. This should trigger a listening pathway to verify and solve. The key purpose of customer satisfaction checking is to search out unhappy customers and fix their issues.

When an unhappy customer is unearthed, everything within the case management armory should be used to make them happy again. Having a pre-determined strategy – a business plan – for each customer empowers customer-facing teams to know what they can do and say to fix the issue.
A positive brand experience.
It’s natural for business to want to improve customer satisfaction – and to measure improvement. But with the ‘listening tools’ and customer ‘business plans’ available it’s possible to do more – to turn these situations into positive brand experiences – as opposed to time-consuming customer annoyance.

After all, a customer whose problem is solved well becomes eight times more loyal than a customer who’s never had a problem at all.

on unique brand experiences.
With social distancing measures choking the entertainment and dining industry, companies are getting creative to satisfy consumer appetite. Childhood nostalgia is proving a popular ingredient with one Michelin-star restaurant bringing fine-dining to the Budapest Eye Ferris wheel. Even on local shores, Sydney’s Aquarium is transforming into an adult late-night playground this month.
Give the people their poll.

Instagram polls may seem trivial, but they can deliver invaluable customer feedback and insights for your brand. Reasons we rate them:


  • They’re easy – and the easier it is for a customer to feedback, the more likely they are to do it.
  • They can inform future products and financial decisions by identifying a customer appetite for something over another.
  • They’re statistically proven to have higher engagement, which in turn promotes the distribution of your content across the platform.
  • Results are delivered in real time, spanning gender, age, location, and more, creating nimbler retargeting strategies.
  • They’re well-loved because they leverage an existing customer behaviour: expressing yourself on social media.


So naturally, we couldn’t help but use Instagram polls to optimise our upcoming editions of 52 Mondays – here’s a look.

  1. Leo Strupczewski, 8 ways to crush it with Instagram polls (22 May 2020) Bazaarvoice.
  2. Target Market, 5 Reasons Why Your Brand Should Use Instagram Polling, (date unknown) Target Market.
CX Lavender acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.