Rapid feedback, rapid action

Instant applause in the workplace

We actors are lucky for many reasons. Not only do we get free beer, wealth and all the best girls, we also get immediate feedback on our customer experience when the customer applauds - or doesn't. In most businesses, though, it's hard to get that highly valuable instant reaction from customers. Here's a great example that pulls it off.

At Jet service stations in Germany, the key to the rest room contains a little dial which you can turn to show how satisfied you were with the cleanliness of the facilities. You finish your business, and while walking back to the attendant you dial in your verdict - thumbs up, or thumbs down. As you hand it to the cashier, she can immediately respond to your feedback, affirm you as a customer, and take action if necessary.

This "Toilet-TÜV" is a excellent feedback tool, and a rather splendid bit of customer experience design*. The name is well though out, because the TÜV acronym represents the car safety tests carried out by the scarily strict - and highly esteemed - German quality authority called the Technischer Überwachungsverein (Gesundheit!). The link to motoring is clear, and it invites the customer to adopt a role that carries a lot of respect, while still remaining playful. As the key needs to be handed back to the cashier, there is also a guaranteed human element involved, and a built-in opportunity to win back a customer who might be disaffected.

And because it requires less time and courage to turn a plastic dial than to answer truthfully to the question "Alles OK?", the feedback is going to be more honest and thus much more valuable.

Nice work, Jet.

Now, most honoured reader, could your company use something similar?

* Far better than the terrible coffee-spilling voiceover on their website, sorry. (Key image by Adam.)

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