Archive for Mystery Shopping

Is Convenience Killing Your Customer Feedback? Tips to Get Around It


Convenience for your customers sometimes comes with a price.

Businesses are all about saving money when possible, and improving the customer experience by making things as easy as possible. Both are good in theory, but some methods can be hurting other areas of your business; namely getting the all important feedback from your customers.

Below are two examples – both are good options for customers and can potentially save a company some money, but we’ll take a look at how they could be hurting your feedback responses.

Would you like your receipt? Customers are inundated with papers – receipts, business cards, you name it. One look in my own purse can be very telling – it’s like a receipt cemetery in there!

So, of course it was music to my ears when more and more companies asked if I would like a receipt at the end of a transaction. Nope, thanks, you can keep it! While that’s good for me as a consumer, it’s not so good for you.


If I don’t take a receipt, then there is no opportunity for the employee to tell me about the survey. Further, even if employees don’t mention it, I may be inclined to look for a survey link if I had a particularly bad (or good) experience. Now, without the receipt, I have no real way to offer feedback. Sure, if I really wanted to, I could look at the company’s website, but will I really do this?

Your customers don’t know what they don’t know. If they aren’t told about the survey and they don’t have a receipt, they will never know they had an opportunity to provide feedback.

Would you like your receipt emailed to you? Or sent via text? Or not at all? POS systems have come a long way, and this is a newest feature – offering options for receipts.

Here’s the issue: what if the majority of your customers prefer no receipt? Then you’re back to the earlier issue. If they want a receipt emailed or texted to them, does your POS system allow for inclusion of a link to a URL? Maybe, but maybe not. Or maybe you didn’t think to ask when bringing on the new system.

I recently worked with a company who had great response rates through their feedback program. They got a new POS system and were hopeful that it wouldn’t affect their numbers too much. Unfortunately, most of their customers were now choosing “no receipt” or a “text receipt” and they didn’t have the option to include a URL to a feedback survey.

Their response rates dropped quickly and significantly; it was painful, but they were eventually able to find workarounds to gain some of the missed feedback.

So, if your company is in one of these two situations and you’ve found a similar decline in feedback surveys, what can you do?

Below are a few helpful ideas to bring the survey back in front of your customers:

  • Use QR codes & catchy shortened URL’s: create table tents and other signage to encourage customers to take a survey. Make it easy for the largest group of customers – coupling a QR code with a memorable and short URL will go a long way. Why stop with the traditional? Publish the QR code and URL on other items, such as napkins, bags, etc.


  • Make sure you’re up with technology: if you switch to a POS system that offers email and text receipts, make sure your vendor allows URL’s to be included. If not, you may find out if the vendor captures contact information that you can later use to send a separate point of contact with a link to a feedback survey.


  • Offer feedback surveys to all customers: make the survey visible on your website, include it in the company’s social media bios, reach out to your loyalty members, etc. Keep it alive outside of the receipt trailer.


  • Know when it’s time to move on: Maybe traditional feedback isn’t relevant to your brand anymore. That’s okay (if it’s really the case). There are other ways to capture feedback, including monitoring of your brand’s social site, review sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor, and social media monitoring.


There’s a lot to keep track of with all of the changes in technology and social media; take a step back before implementing a new feature or technology to make sure it will work well for you AND your customers; figuring out the bumps ahead of time will allow for a smoother transition all around.




Customer Service Tips From a 14 Year Old

teen interview


My son, who is 14, just had his first job interview at the local pool. It’s a summer job that entails cleaning locker rooms, changing out the garbage, and other menial tasks. He was thrilled to get an interview, and even more thrilled when they hired him on the spot.

Later that night we were talking about the interview – did he make good eye contact, shake the interviewer’s hand, speak slowly and clearly, and give thoughtful answers? As he shared some of the questions and his responses, I was not surprised that he was hired on the spot.

The one that stood out to me the most was his answer to the question, “If hired, why do you think you have a responsibility to keep the locker rooms and pool grounds clean?” Before he shared his answer, I tried to guess what a 14 year old might say. Typical responses may be, “Because that’s what I will be hired to do” or “because I’m a responsible person and will do what is expected of me” or something along those lines.

My son’s response was interesting, and one that employees who provide customer service should follow. He simply explained that he would put himself in the pool guests’ shoes – what would he like to see when visiting the pool? He’d like a clean, well maintained place to enjoy the day. If that’s what guests would like, then he would need to provide that as a support staff member.

He makes a good point – as an employee who provides a service or interacts with customers, it’s wise to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. How would they like to be treated? Will their experience be different if you smile and make a bit of pleasant conversation as they are making a purchase? If someone couldn’t answer a question for you, which would you prefer – a curt, “I’m not sure, sorry I can’t help” or “I’m not quite sure, but let me find you someone that can help?”

Sometimes we don’t think of the customer and what they are experiencing through their interactions with us. Other times we may think our work is menial and doesn’t make a difference in the big picture of the company. But, as my son realizes, it does – a clean locker room, in his opinion, can affect a guest’s experience, and as a new employee, he will work to make sure it is as he would like to see it.

A very simple lesson, but a great way for staff to think as they go about their workday.


Three Ways to Kill Customer Feedback Responses




Do you want your receipt? While traveling recently, I stopped into a good fast casual burger place for lunch. After placing my order, I was asked by the cashier if I wanted my receipt. I said no, as I always do when I am offered this. It ends up getting stuffed in a coat pocket never to be seen again! However, while I was dining in I noticed invitations to take a survey with signage throughout.

How much different could that transaction have gone if the cashier did not give me the option of a receipt and instead circled it with a red pen and verbally invited me to take the survey? The odds would certainly increase, especially since I was dining alone and might have taken the survey out of boredom alone.

Question Design- Asking the questions in a way that makes it difficult for the respondent to understand is a definite killer and leads to survey abandonment. Carefully design your survey and don’t be afraid to change it up from time to time.

Incentive to take the survey. The majority of consumers today suffer from survey fatigue. That is strike one. Strike two is that they don’t always believe they will be entered into a contest to win a $1,000.00 gift card. Strike three is no offer at all. Doesn’t brand XYZ value my time?

Subway is one of the restaurants who gets it right! How much is that cookie costing Subway? Maybe $.25 and it gets the customer to come back. How much better can it be? Letting the customer know it will only take a minute is another plus to this invitation.