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The 90’s Called, and They Want Their Survey Back

This story starts with a whinge – which breaks the first rule of marketing – but people keep asking me why we started AskNicely, and frankly, it was because I was steamed up about something...I’ve always flown a lot for work. On my favorite airline, and I’m a patriotic points collector. High status is an addiction - everything runs smoother; no check-in lines, priority for security, a lounge with power points and little sandwiches …Ultimately the rewards become expectation. I hate to admit it, but I think I became spoiled. I might well have been the Jaden Smith of frequent flyers. But they made me feel special and important.Then one day my bag got lost. The airline did a poor job of sorting it out and I was disappointed because there were things that could have been handled better (mainly that my bag had got wet, left on a frozen runway somewhere for two days in the rain and then returned to me as a block of ice. I’m not making this up). I was still loyal, just disappointed.

But I wasn’t mad. Not yet.That happened when I got emailed a survey from the airline.I knew it was old school (because it offered me the chance to win an iPad), and the first question asked me to list the flights I had taken with them that year. Surely THEY should already know what flights I’ve taken? And where I lived, my age (which they also went onto ask)… because we had a special relationship. Right? Apparently not.The crux of the long survey was a simple Net Promoter Score question. Would I recommend the airline to others? Yes, despite the lost luggage incident, I probably still would. And a general comments box! Bam! I had my chance to vent, to tell them how they’d disappointed me. I wrote a detailed account of what had happened. I was clearly annoyed. But I still loved them. We were still tight. Weren’t we? I hit send. And waited for an  apology.Then.Nothing.The survey, was just that. A survey. So while I felt like there was a dialogue it was just one way traffic. I was a statistic on a graph. I was not special or important to them.At the point where they’d surveyed me on my customer satisfaction, on my loyalty, they’d actually made me mad! Meanwhile other businesses had changed the way they gathered customer feedback. Instead of a 90’s style survey, after every Uber ride I get a one touch star rating (ONE TOUCH!) and if you’ve ever given a low rating on your ride you’ll know that Uber are all over that stuff.So this is how AskNicely came into being. We decided to make that kind of Uber style one-touch instant customer feedback available to any business, big or small, and by integrating with CRM systems we’d be able to attach the feedback directly to individual customer records. Individual people instead of just graph points.

There really is a customer feedback revolution going on, and AskNicely is right in the middle of it. Because once you have real-time customer feedback inside your CRM and other systems, it becomes so much easier to use that feedback and turn it into more meaningful customer interactions to drive expansion from your existing customer base. I'll talk more about that next time...In the meantime, why don’t you send a sample survey, to yourself? It will take you about 30 seconds, and it will show you just how powerful one touch feedback can be.

About the author

Aaron Ward

Aaron is the Co-Founder and CEO of AskNicely and one-time undefeated boxer (because it was only one time). He's a passionate evangelist for the new religion of advocacy but when he’s not spreading the gospel of NPS, he’s spending time with his lovely family. Or binge-watching Rocky movies.

Other posts by Aaron Ward

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