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When CX goes bad. What happens when you forget the customer feedback study is part of the customer experience too!

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The hidden dangers of gathering feedback

Here's an account of a continuous study following an experience with Eurostar (although it happens to many others). the study does not live up to the rest of the CX I've enjoyed, but because it's part of it my view of the brand is impaired!

By the way Eurostar, I'm still a fan - just not a fan of this part of the customer journey

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When CX goes bad. What happens when you forget the customer feedback study is part of the customer experience too!

  1. 1. A continuous feedback study is not just a survey. It’s a part of the overall customer experience. It can improve or reduce a customer’s perception of a brand. So why do some brands deliver it without the attention they afford to other parts of the customer journey? Here’s a personal experience of Eurostar, who delivered a great customer experience when booking, when at the St Pancras station, when on board heading to wards Brussels and on leaving and returning on 20th November 2013. Sadly, after I completed the customer satisfaction feedback questionnaire I was actually me feeling less happy with Eurostar than I was before. FIND OUT WHY christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com
  2. 2. Continuous surveys needs to understand they are part of the customer experience, not a review of it. As a consumer I don’t know the world of VoC and CX. I just see this as more of that great stuff from Eurostar that brand I chose to travel on. As you will see when you read on, my experience of this questionnaire, drags my view of Eurostar down even though the trip yesterday was great.
  3. 3. WE ENTER THE STORY A SHORT WAY IN TO THE STUDY In the last question of this study Eurostar (I know it’s GFK behind it but this questionnaire IS STILL PART OF THE OVERALL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE) you asked me if I booked the trip myself so you know I didn’t have business class travel. And you’ve sent me an email which means you know my class of booking again, so you know who I am. Why ask me this? Even if I had a good experience on the trip I am now a little miffed – which is nothing to do with the experience on the train but do with this survey, so how do you think that might impact my scores from here on in?
  4. 4. Again, you know I had food at the table because someone served me! Now it maybe unreasonable to expect you to know that because you are only a survey. But I am a customer who was served at a table just 24 hours ago, and I can remember it happening, so why cant you?
  5. 5. • Odd question this one. As far as I know Eurostar is the only company I can use to make this type of ‘trip’ • I’ve interpreted it as “other modes of transport to go from London to Brussels” such as a plane. Not that you know I am going to Brussels as you haven’t asked me anything about me yet……it’s all about you!
  6. 6. • • • • • Now I’m stuck. We travelled out in standard plus and came back standard. So I am not sure if I am scoring an average of the two journeys or the outward bit. The two were VERY different experiences But I’m going to give an average score overall which means my answer is not helpful for either trip. If it turns out this questions was just about the outward journey, I’ve spoilt my paper, but you wouldn’t know that. So you will take my false read as valid.
  7. 7. • • • • Ouch – I told you I didn’t use the lounge because I didn’t have a business ticket. But now I’m wondering maybe I was entitled to use it which means I’m doubly miffed because that wasn’t clear when I booked it and no-one at the station pointed that out to me when I was there. I should go back and change my answers to reflect my confusion, but I can see I’m only 26% of the way through and have other things to sort out. In fact now I think about it this is taking longer than the check in process and is impairing my overall experience as it’s still part of it. So I will have to make up an answer for the lounge which means I’m spoiling my paper just to get through the questionnaire. I’ll say poor because knowing it was there and not experiencing it is poor, poor me.
  8. 8. • Hey, I’ve just told you the loyalty programme was poor – but you don’t know why. • You might be capturing the reasons on another questionnaire, but I don’t know that I want to tell you why but can’t as there is no where to provide info. • Or don’t you want to know why? • The reason is I couldn’t link my forthcoming trip with the points system. That might be a user issue rather than a programme design issue – but how will you ever know that?
  9. 9. • Hey, that’s not cricket. You have a 60% weighting in your answers to a positive answer and 40% to your negative • This means if you use this as an NPS score it’s likely to be floored even if the intention is to only take top and box bottom as promoters and detractors. • That leaves 66% of the answers in the passive space as positive sentiments of the middle three – cheeky but very odd. • Perhaps this is not an NPS intended advocacy question after all.
  10. 10. • Now you are taking the pee! • I’ve told you I didn’t go in there. I didn’t think I could. And I only scored poor because I didn’t know about it and had to give it something because I needed to complete the questionnaire – which is only at 36%! • Ah my view of Eurostar is now dropping rapidly.
  11. 11. • Salt in the wound ! I’m telling you I didn’t go in there, I didn’t know I could with my class of ticket. • You haven’t thought to see how long I had after I checked in to boarding either which would make this section more interesting.
  12. 12. • • • • • And now I’ve decided to abandon the questionnaire. You claim “The survey is self-explanatory and should take about 8-10 minutes to complete.” – that may be the case in user testing or when a researcher looks at it, but trust me when you are served questions which annoy you, it takes much longer. I’ve also been moaning about this to the 12 people around my desk who have been coming over and laughing at my comments. But in all seriousness THIS has been the worst part of the customer experience so far. When I do travel with Eurostar again, (even though I’ve indicated I wont because the questionnaire has wound me up, I will) I will definitely say no to the feedback form – which means you have an additional issue – a gap in your sample from those who may or may not have had a good experience but are so fed up with the questionnaire they decide to ignore it!
  13. 13. • Okay so I am carrying on because I am specialist in customer experience who writes and blogs on this subject, but most would have dropped out. • Look…..NOW you give me a no comment option! Too late I am afraid all my patience is used up so when I should be commenting, I’m not.
  14. 14. • Now it may not be of interest to you but why not ask me about my at table service so you can compare the two and I can talk about the good service I got here – otherwise it’s lost forever. They were great by the way and it was one of the most important moments in the journey to me.
  15. 15. • • • • • • Come on now. you are asking me to give you help! Help yourselves, find this out. You know it because I travelled with you just yesterday. But its now really worrying me that you don’t know me at all do you! You should manage my expectations at the front of the questionnaire (e.g. sorry but as this is an independent survey we don’t want to guess any answer or looked pre-informed), so that it doesn’t feel odd and uncomfortable that yesterday you were really nice to me when I was on the train, and now because I’m not you treat me like a stranger. There is a huge disconnect here between the on-board experience and the offboard questionnaire experience. They should be seamless – it’s the same brand serving it up (the logo at the top is the same as the one on the train). However this part of you experience is damaging the brand equity built up.
  16. 16. • I said yes to find out what it was for but just got served with T&C’s! • The oddest prize draw I’ve ever seen, you don’t even know what the prize is!
  17. 17. • That’s it. Thank you and now see yourself off the premises! • What about “thanks for travelling with us and hope to see you again” – remember I’m a customer not a survey respondent. • Whilst the researcher maybe looking to get a questionnaire out to a sample of 1000. it is being read by 1000 x individual customers! • The continuous survey is a direct communication – it should be designed with the same attention any direct communication receives, even if it is not selling it will influence the recipients next action one way or another.
  18. 18. Lexden is a customer strategy agency. We work with brands to ensure their customers get the best possible experience of the brand. this delivers happier, more committed customers which in turn delivers a more profitable and sustainable business model for the brand. www.lexdengroup.com If you are on your journey of customer enlightenment, we’d be really interested in helping you get there.

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