Learning from an unhappy customer


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Last week turned up some frightening feedback on Twitter.
maya feedback
Negative feedback happens. Sometimes we can’t do much about it, besides issuing a refund or recommending a better suited alternative. We never, however, bury our heads in the sand and pretend that the user “just doesn’t get it.” If there’s one thing we ought to do right – 100% of the time – it’s to allow people to quickly and easily create a web form.
Worse than this negative feedback would have been no feedback at all. Our frustrated customer, Maya, could have just left without a word. Instead, she gave us a way to engage.
Luckily, I happened to spot her tweet right away. I took a deep breath, gathered my thoughts and then replied. Maya graciously agreed to give us a second chance – and later suggested (as a savvy marketer) that we record our conversation and tell the story.

We routinely do usability tests and investigate support requests to better understand how different types of people approach our form building tool. People have different expectations, shaped by their prior experiences with software, and it’s our job to accommodate that. I was pretty sure that if I could help her get started, she would have no trouble moving forward on her own. And if not, at least I would learn something about our product on the way.
We set up a web meeting, during which Maya first explained what she was trying to achieve and then, very helpfully, walked me through her thought process as she interacted with the application. We then proceeded to talk about the features she needed as I demonstrated how to set them up in her form.
The next morning – Maya updated her feedback.
“Awesome customer service experience with @formassembly. Giving the 121 training and the product 2 thumbs up.”

I wish we had more time to help out every customer that way. A happy customer and a public endorsement is great. Getting another insight into the mind of a customer – thanks to an improvised usability test – makes it really invaluable.
The bottom line is that our customers invest more than just their money. They also invest their time and attention, and we are mindful to not waste it. If you’ve tried our service and had a less than stellar experience, please do let us know – chances are we can make it work for you – or find a way to make our product better.

Don’t just collect data
— leverage it