Customer feedback: It's All About The Timing

Posted by Hards

September 5, 2014


customer-feedback-its-all-about-the-timingI can’t help but think that if a brand really cares about customer feedback and how their customers feel, they wouldn’t wait weeks to ask you – so why do some brands reach out at a snail’s pace?

Here is some background context before I get into the detail. I was a massive advocate of Fairmont Hotels, which meant I never minded paying out of my comfort zone as they had never let me down on my highly anticipated vacations. I suppose that demonstrates some sort of customer loyalty – they might think that of me already because I’m a member of their loyalty scheme... but we all know how naive that would be of them!

To cut a long story short, on my last visit to a Fairmont in Dubai this summer, my room was 3 floors up from the busy road which meant getting to sleep was near enough impossible due to the roaring sounds of 458 Italia’s and 911 Turbo’s racing up and down the road (ok, so they did sound great, just not at 3am). It took days to get my room changed and when I did finally move the manager was unnecessarily rude. So much for the ‘Royal Service’ that they pride themselves on.

So here’s the thing, everyone messes up, its forgivable – but how the brand responds shows their true character.

Upon checkout I got the usual, “was everything ok with your stay sir?”, and just like everyone else I said “yes thank you” as frankly I know the lady was just paying lip service and I was in a rush to head to the airport.

This is where they missed a trick – If they really wanted to know how I felt they should be smart enough to know I have checked out and have hours to kill at the airport, so why not send me an SMS asking me what I thought?! Even if I was worried about the cost to reply, I would wait until I got home – it’s just nice to know that they actually care and are joined up enough to know the most convenient time to ask.

Too little, too late

Either way, they failed to do that and my frustrations drove me to express my thoughts on TripAdvisor where it hurts them most. My motivations were:

  1. to get their opinion and
  2. to disgrace them slightly because I felt ripped off.

A week later I get an email which took me about 10 minutes to complete and I let rip, all they needed to know would have taken me 1 minute to write, so why bother with all the other questions that have no relevance to me?

Within that week 1,442 people had already read it and 6 had found it helpful... I guess that means they won’t be staying there!

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Topics: Customer Feedback, Real-time Customer Feedback

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