Don’t Botch the Follow-Up

Summary:Customer feedback is important. So ask for it at the right time, make it easy for customers to respond, and put it to good use.

For a consumer, the purchase experience starts long before the transaction with the retailer, and ends long after. That’s why it’s so important to engage with customers post-purchase. Take my experience with my Nike FuelBand . Whilst I was very happy with how Nike handled the issue, it could have been resolved much sooner—or prevented.

Had Nike done, say, a follow-up survey with me, then perhaps the issue with my FuelBand could have been detected and fixed before I even knew it was a problem, as other customers had reported the same issue. If Nike could harness its customer service data, it could turn it into crowdsourced, long-term, quality assurance testing of the device.

Some retailers are doing post-purchase surveys. Only the other day, both my local Waitrose (supermarket) and Paul (French bakery) gave me a chance to report on my purchase by giving me something at the point of sale.


Asking for feedback the moment after purchase seems a bit too soon for me. How do I know how well I’ll like my pastry or groceries before I’ve eaten them? I actually have a loyalty card for both stores, so they know who I am, and could easily contact me later.

Plus, it’s a bit of a long shot that I’ll keep hold of the receipt and go to their survey site when I'm next in front of a browser. Even with the promise of a free croissant or the chance to win money, I wonder how many people really complete the forms. Or did they just complete them for the freebie (as I did!) and so not provide any real insight to the post-purchase experience?

There is a better way. It is, of course, mobile.

Take Vodafone. If you contact the UK customer support team, they do a follow-up survey once the issue is resolved. Via text. It’s one question: Was everything resolved to your satisfaction? Depending on your answer, the system will then send one or two more follow-up questions to find out more. Very clever: it minimizes intrusion and makes it easy to respond.

Feedback is very important. And here's mine: make sure you include mobile as a feedback channel.

Topics: Enterprise Software


Diarmuid Mallon is the Director, Global Marketing Solutions & Programs – Mobile, which includes the SAP Mobile Services division and SAP Mobile solutions. Before joining SAP, Diarmuid was a Product Manager for Logica's Wireless Networks division. He has worked in mobile messaging since 1996, holding a wide variety of range of roles and ti... Full Bio

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