In addition to setting up customer listening posts to capture insights, it is also important to create structured feedback opportunities. These generally fall into two main areas: feedback on individual transactions and feedback on the overall customer experience and relationship. Many mechanisms can be used to gather customer feedback; these include surveys, customer advisory panels, and customer interviews. Surveys are probably the most widely used by companies of all sizes. The following tips can help you and your company make more effective use of surveys for gathering customer feedback.

Make It Easy for Customers to Answer Your Survey

At a recent conference, I listened to a Disney Institute instructor share how the company works to remove perceived customer barriers to taking surveys in the theme park. He explained that on some days, the survey at the entrance gate to the park might ask only for a customer's zip code. However, on days when lengthier surveys are needed from park visitors, the conversation might go like this:

Disney:. “Hi! Do you have some time to take our guest survey? We would need about two hours of your time.” Guest:. “Uh, no, that would take up a big chunk of my day here.” Disney:. “Well, how about if we take care of you for tomorrow?” Guest:. “No, I would have to change my flights, my hotel . . .” Disney:. “What if we took care of all that? Would you be willing to give us your time then?”

Now that is commitment to listening ...

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