Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

Schools are back, the tan is fading and my holiday is beginning to feel like a distant memory. As the joint creator of Opinion8, I sometimes find it hard to switch off from the world of surveying and holidays are no exception.

Arriving at Bristol Airport before my summer break, with time to spare, I decided to visit an airside coffee outlet. I was far from enamoured of the service I received and so I decided to take the opportunity, offered on my till receipt, to call the 24/7 number and tell them how they did.

My constructive feedback would have to wait. My call was unanswered for ten minutes as a message urged me to hold and informed me that all of the customer experience team was busy. Eventually, I was told to leave a message and assured that a member of team would call back.

You can probably spot the issue with a call back for someone who is just about to jump onto an aeroplane! Needless to say, I never received a call back and the company’s mishandling of the feedback collation compounded my already poor opinion of them.

So, to increase the effectiveness of your customer surveys and avoid upsetting your clients here are three recommendations from the Opinion8 team here at Square Systems:


An automated telephone survey is genuinely available 24/7. It doesn’t get busy at peak times or go home and can always be reached. Feedback can be gathered immediately whilst the experience is fresh in the customer’s mind and requires no extra staffing resource.

Set up real time alerts

Real time reporting is important, but so is real time alerting. Alerts can be raised the minute negative responses are left giving the customer service team the chance to undertake a heroic recovery. In the case of airport travellers, an open question asking them to leave further comments would give the immediate opportunity to leave their views.

Choose a versatile survey system

Some people will prefer to complete surveys by other channels like web or SMS rather than telephone so choose a solution that can integrate all of these methods.

Whichever method you use, make sure that it works and that you act on the information that your customers have kindly supplied.