Why Even Bother?

I ate at Wendy’s for lunch today.  It’s the only fast food restaurant I eat at partly because I think the food is better but largely because they have real, brewed iced tea.  It is the simple things in life that make all the difference.

I noticed on the back of my receipt that there was an option to take a customer satisfaction survey.  While there were no big “issues” regarding my visit, there were a couple of comments I felt like making so I went to the web address provided on the back of the receipt.

Once there, I answered each of the questions dutifully entering the string of numbers that identify the location, the date and time of my visit.  I answered each of the multiple choice questions fairly and honestly.  With each passing screen I was looking for and waiting for the open field where I could enter my comments.  A simple “Is there anything you would like to say about your visit that was not covered by our questions?” would have been sufficient.

Alas, there was no such place. I answered all their questions and provided them with the data they requested but at no time was there an opportunity for me to have MY say. Perhaps if I had said there was a “problem” during my visit it would have taken me to a page of the survey not opened for me because I did not deem my comments in the “problem” category.  Perhaps the company website has an option to just “leave a comment” if you don’t go through the link on the receipt.  I don’t know.

What I do know is that I went to the “talktoWendys” web address but did not get to “talk” to Wendys at all.  While I wasn’t irritated during my visit, just had a couple of comments to make – NOW I’m irritated.

Shouldn’t there be an easy way for me to share praise about the restaurant, a staff member or their ongoing support of adoption?   What about constructive comments regarding menu items or other valuable suggestions?

In the sample of the comment card shown in the back of my book,Common Things Uncommon Ways, I show a “happy medium” alternative – multiple choice questions of common items coupled with a “free text” area for customers to write in any comments – good or bad – they care to make.   This field was most important to us because it helped us to identify and solve problems, gave us valuable insights into customers’ needs and wants and gave us an ongoing stream of positive comments about our team so we could give meaningful recognition for a job well done.

Are you irritating your customers with one way conversations?  Do you ask them for their information but not ask what they would like you to know?  Are you using a comment system but not allowing for positive comments or suggestions? If so, why even bother?

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