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4q: Customer Feedback Tool Beyond Web Analytics

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#1 phaithful


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Posted 07 March 2008 - 05:16 PM

If you have a website and want to ask your visitors / customers relevant questions about their experience... definitely check out 4Q: http://4q.iperceptions.com/ . This is a new feedback tool provided by iPerceptions, developed along with Avinash Kaushik

Avinash Kaushik is probably one of the more recognizable names in the Web Analytics space today. If you haven't see his blog, you should go visit it: Occam's Razor.

A couple days back he announced the launch of...

A true permission based on-exit survey that provides an easy to deploy, easy to use and easier still to analyze framework to answer 4 questions that no website owner can live without.

Basically it's a feeback tool that asks your users the following questions:
  • What is the purpose of your visit to our website today?
  • Were you able to complete your task today?
  • If you were not able to complete your task today, why not?
Here's the link to the YouTube video where Avinash walks through the 4Q product: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=o2LJliORQPQ

The best part of it, the tool is free.... Registration Page

Edited by phaithful, 07 March 2008 - 07:37 PM.

#2 DCrx


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Posted 07 March 2008 - 05:39 PM

Is user feedback accurate? Self reported data is rarely useful.

Why are customers who say they're satisfied, not necessarily repeat customers? Because satisfaction is a measure of what people say, whereas loyalty is a measure of what they actually do. Many managers still don't recognize this fundamental difference, so they use customer satisfaction and customer loyalty interchangeably, as though they were synonyms.

-- The myth of customer satisfaction

Most of these surveys qualify as data pollution.

#3 phaithful


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Posted 07 March 2008 - 07:48 PM

From personal experience I can see where self reported data can be seen as potentially "data pollution". You'll also probably have more tendencies to have very polarized comments from either "very negative" to "very positive" but usually never anything in between.

However, receiving that feedback is pretty important when developing new products and understanding the users "perceived" reason of why they do the things they do. Only so much can be inferred from web metrics. The data gathered here can be perceived as another data point as opposed to something that will be a replacement or an individual driver of decisions.

Just as the article you cited says:

There's no question that satisfaction measurements can be valuable. They allow customers to vent frustrations. They can highlight problems with product quality and customer service.]

In addition, the article is putting into question customer satisfaction as it relates to loyalty. For creating a better online product, gathering user feedback may gain valuable insights from a Ux standpoint that may make it easier for that new customer to make the initial purchase and have less to do with whether that person comes back to purchase again (loyalty).

From that same article:

Loyalty and satisfaction are decidedly different indicators of business vitality, but as management tools they complement each other. Good satisfaction measurement can help identify what's broken in your business today (although fixing it is up to you).

Edited by phaithful, 07 March 2008 - 07:56 PM.

#4 RisaBB


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Posted 07 March 2008 - 11:47 PM

Hi, I'm trying it. I just signed up and waiting for my confirmation and code to put on my page.

Although I NEVER fill out the surveys that I get after I pay my credit card online, or anywhere else, my visitors tend to view a lot of pages on my e-commerce site and stay a while. They seem like a warm, friendly bunch.

When people call me to ask a question or place an order, they practically tell me their life stories. Maybe they will be receptive to a nice, friendly survey. We'll see....

I'll let you know.


#5 DCrx


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Posted 08 March 2008 - 06:19 AM

However, receiving that feedback is pretty important when developing new products and understanding the users "perceived" reason of why they do the things they do. Only so much can be inferred from web metrics.

You say that like there aren't better alternatives. There are. Some involve other forms of user feedback than the traditionally structured survey. Of all the things you could choose, what people say is the least predictive of anything. Strangely enough the surveys get a free pass from the people employing them. That the data received goes largely unquestioned and unaccountable, nor tested against alternatives, makes it doubly harmful.

Time and again people find 65% to 85% reporting they were "satisfied" or "very satisfied" defect. If these people gave you any product development advice, you're building your product for non customers.

Let's say you're a developer. And you want accurate data collection which is predictive of the features users want. You can issue "points" per dollar spent. Only customers can use the points and vote proposed features up or down -- plus this offers an incentive for registering. You can only spend a certain number of points, which causes a very different user psychology.

"Fund a feature" interaction is much better at sorting out what people say they want from what they're willing to pay for. And even if what you're offering is at zero cost, findings are highly relevant. Even Drupal uses Donorge -- donation based fund-a-feature. (Just FYI, Drupal has a survey module)

At the very best satisfaction levels are highly misleading. They're used about the same way people install web counters. The scripts are easy to set up. And they give a false sense of assurance.

I'm not even going to open the "yes, but this way we don't have to do a user test" can of worms.

A company conducted focus groups for their Product X, which had as its main competitor Product Q. They asked people who were using Product Q, "Why do you use Product Q instead of Product X?" The respondents gave their reasons: "Because Product Q has feature F," "Because Product Q performs G faster," "Because Product Q lets me do activity H." They added, "If Product X did all that and was cheaper, we'd switch to it."

Armed with this valuable insight, the company expended time, effort, and money in adding feature F to Product X, making Product X do G faster, and adding the ability to do activity H. They lowered the price and sat back and waited for the customers to beat a path to their door.

But the customers didn't come.

Why not?

Because the customers were lying. In reality, they had no intention of switching from Product Q to Product X at all. They grew up with Product Q, they were used to the way Product Q worked, they simply liked Product Q. Product Q had what in the hot bubble-days was called "mindshare", but what in older days was called "brand loyalty" or just "inertia".

-- People lie on surveys and focus groups, often unwittingly

Surveys are yet another example of bad interaction design (flash, hit counters, blink tags) driving out good interaction design. The only difference is blink tags don't feed you disastrously misleading data.

Just like people gravitated to hit counters and blinking, flashing junk design, in total denial of the user psychology, surveys are going to end up as the blink tag of the future.


I Repeat: Do Not Listen to Your Users

Surveys unsatisfactory is interesting as it provides a barely whispered hint at why surveys are really employed: a mental sedative. Actual survey use is similar to the joke about why a drunk uses a lamp post -- for support, not illumination. People want validation of the status quo, not information which might rock the boat.

Not to mention the trivial fact: Satisfaction levels don't give you the "why" any more than anything else does. Which brings me to the subject of Beyond Being Satisfied, "They report that the rationally satisfied customers, although extremely satisfied, lack a strong emotional attachment to the company." They were satisfied in the past, but they won't be loyal in the future.

It really doesn't matter if they wrote an essay about the reason, if they don't then follow it up with action whatever they say to explain the satisfaction is worthless. If you're then going on to base some action or design decision on people who are no longer customers, the data is less than worthless ...it's sending you off in the entirely wrong direction.

The Customer Driven Death Spiral. What happens when you design a product for the median of customer response, rather than develop the insights two, three or five distinct customer segments -- each with very different objectives and desires -- are being put into one big bin and averaged? The customer death spiral, AKA doing a little something for everyone in the market disappoints each segment making up "the market."

Edited by DCrx, 08 March 2008 - 07:00 AM.

#6 RisaBB


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Posted 08 March 2008 - 09:49 AM


Despite your compelling response why surveys are a waste of time, and that even if you get a response, it's not accurate, I think some people respond to giving feedback, especially if it comes with a personal, hearfelt note.

After every sale I make, a few weeks later I send an email to the customer telling them that I hope they were happy with their purchase and I would love to hear their feedback. I'd guess that about 10% of the time, people respond with the nicest notes.

If nothing else, maybe it will make an impression that I care.


#7 RisaBB


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Posted 08 March 2008 - 10:53 AM

I changed my mind and I'm not doing it. My account was just approved and went to the page to get the code I read,

Remember: 4Q solicits participation from visitors on arrival to your site (for their feedback after completing their visit). It is important that this code is placed on high entry pages.

I thought it would solicit people for their response only upon their exit. Something about getting a survey message upon arrival to the site, asking them if they want to participate in a survey upon exit, but before they even have a chance to look around, seems obnoxious to me.

I don't think it's a nice way to welcome someone to your site.


#8 DCrx


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Posted 08 March 2008 - 11:02 AM

If nothing else, maybe it will make an impression that I care.

Nothing wrong with that. There's also nothing wrong with having surveys on all sorts of things.

The modification being they're treated as horoscopes published in the newspaper -- surveys are fine for entertainment purpose but not for management decisions. Even the small fraction of people going to psychics and astrologers don't depend on newspaper horoscopes.

None of that is missing with the alternative I suggested however.

Consider a handbag manufacturer. They used to have people over for focus groups to determine which handbags to make in what numbers for the upcoming season.

One suggested change: To thank participants, the manufacturer allowed focus group participants to select a single handbag as a "thank you" as they leave. They then compared the reponses, the handbags they selected, and compared both to the actual sales.

Now, the participants get the same focus group feedback session to share ideas with the company, and they get a handbag. ...The only difference is the company throws out the surveys and counts the handbags.

In other words, from the outside, the customers give the same feedback and rest assured that feedback -- that feedback which really counts -- is being paid attention to quite carefully.

Nothing I suggest is incompatible with anything currently being done -- except the excuses given for not trying it. Most of what I suggest is even more compatible with the interaction design behind Web 2.0 and social computing, because you're listening more deeply.

Like anything else, if it's something you're ready to try, you'll find a way to implement which is completely in keeping with social interaction.

And if you're not ready, there will always be that one additional objection.

Edited by DCrx, 08 March 2008 - 11:07 AM.

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