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Feedback Experiences: Design to Engage Customers in Fun ways

Joshua Andrews Joshua Andrews
May 24
5 min read

Have you ever walked down the highstreet and been approached by someone carrying a clipboard? I’d hazard a guess the answer is yes, and you’re certainly not alone. You’ll likely have either – rapidly changed direction, averted your eyes onto your mobile and not looked up until the coast was clear, or apologised and said something to the tune of “sorry...no, I’ve got somewhere to be”. And I cannot think of a better metaphor for how surveying had to change.

The last thing people wanted to do was partake in long questionnaires – it was time-consuming, long-winded and painfully dull. Meaning, just like me, you’d desperately try to avoid the clipboard-bearer attempting to grab ‘1 minute’ of your time. Something had to change. And it did. Surveying moved off the street and went digital, onto the very devices you were using to avert your eyes - your mobile phone.

As soon as things went digital, surveying tools and customer feedback exploded and is now very much a part of our daily digital experiences. We see it everywhere in many shapes and sizes whether it’s online forms, chatbots, net promoters, reviews, email, social media - the list goes on. But at that time, and still to this day, there were two real standouts – Typeform and SurveyMonkey. What’s not to love? These two companies completely redesigned the traditional long form questionnaire and turned it into something beautiful and customisable. But the true magic was one very simple decision. Show your customers one question at a time. This tapped into human psychology - one question is easy, requiring little-to-no effort. And as a result both these companies have gone on to become multi-million dollar businesses.

That said, as mobiles continue to dominate our digital lives and have even surpassed computers, new businesses are surfacing pushing a new wave of customer feedback that really taps into the capabilities of the mobile device and mobile-culture as a whole.

Take VideoAsk for example (recently acquired by Typeform) the business tool that lets you build instant trust, put a face on your brand, and have more personal interactions at scale. How do they do that? By making full use of your phone’s camera and microphone features to create a new, more personal, feedback experience; that puts you center stage. Their philosophy - “The best interface is your face”.

And Tapkit, a platform to design fun, engaging mobile-first experiences, fully customisable with mobile-culture widgets. Their mission - to democratize design and enable anyone to create high-engagement customer feedback experiences.

Ever since Instagram launched stories and the handful of engagement add-ons like polls and sliders it’s taken the internet by storm. Businesses frequently use them to engage and communicate with their customers and gather actionable insights. And as users, you don’t feel like you're ‘working’, this gamified-style of interaction has made the whole notion of feedback fun and effortless. Platforms, like Tapkit, take this social-learning and enable you to create similar experiences anywhere - in your email campaigns behind a button, in a whatsapp group or slack channel.

“As users, you don’t feel like you're ‘working’, this gamified-style of interaction has made the whole notion of feedback fun and effortless”

So how do you design to engage customers in fun ways?

We’ve come a long way from pestering people with a clipboard and a pen – and in that journey there’s a lot of great learnings to be taken away.

  • People really don’t like filling out forms. This means it’s your job to really hone in on what it is you want to know from your customers. The less you ask, the more likely you’re to get a response. So get to the point and keep it short and sweet. Resist the urge to add more than 5 questions.
  • Ask users one question at a time. We’re lazy when it comes to giving things away for free, without incentive, but ironically when it’s given that way – it’s the most tangible and real data for you to subsequently rely and act on. The less work it appears to cost the customer the more engagement you will get.
  • Be the authentic you. People fall in love with brands, so a fully customised research experience that speaks, looks and feels true to your brand will work wonders over a generic form. It feels more personalised and your customers will appreciate it.
  • Tap into mobile-culture. Mobile has become an integral part of our daily lives and intrinsic to our behaviours online. The best example of this is how traditional star ratings were reskinned with emojis. Add these cultural layers of fun where possible/relevant - perhaps there’s a better way to ask your question than with simple words?
  • Expect the unexpected. Whether it be haptic feedback, animation or GIFS, the digital-space allows us to be creative in previously unimaginable ways. Is there another dimension you can bring to your survey to provide users with a heightened experience. Perhaps what was once flat can be brought to life?
  • Spell it out. Honesty is integrity. Sometimes providing a little insight into why you’re collecting this feedback might just win over the hearts and minds.
  • Surprise and delight. Don’t take, take, take. Give a token of your appreciation as thanks for your customers input. This leaves your customer feeling good about the experience.

Accounting for these factors, feedback can become a more enjoyable and honest experience that doesn’t feel like work. Get your creative taste-buds flowing with these inspiring examples from Eve, Localize.city and more.

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